Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Starbucks of Vietnam

Trung Nguyen Coffeeshop
Originally uploaded by yellojkt.
One of the many capitalist innovations that Vietnam is allowing and adopting is franchising. One of the most common chains is Trung Nguyen, a chain of coffee shops. We saw the brown logo of this brand throughout Vietnam, making it the Starbuck of the country. According to this article, there are over 400 of these shops in Vietnam. High tarriffs keep Starbucks and other chains out.

Since French colonial days, coffee has been an important part of the Vietnamese economy and culture. Vietnamese coffee is a very strong espresso style beverage.

One popular method of serving coffee commonly found in Vietnamese restaurants in the United States is iced coffee with condensed milk. Condensed milk is poured into a glass of ice and then a small pot filled with coffee grounds is placed over the glass. Hot water is poured into the pot and when the coffee is finished seeping into the glass, the coffee, milk and ice are stirred.

In any third world country, tourists are warned not to drink the water. In Vietnam, we stuck to bottled water, but ice is just as dangerous.

One morning I saw a local shop preparing their ice for the day. A large block of ice had been delivered to the shop and one of the workers had set it on the dirty sidewalk and was chipping it with a rusty machete. That sight kept me from drinking any beverages that involved ice. I stuck to refrigerated cans of soda and fruit juice.


Anonymous said...

Hi there, found your travel blog by way of Trusty Getto's blogroll.

I just returned from short trip to Vietnam - and had this awesome coffee. They do not need starbucks in Vietnam at all.
I bought some of this coffee to take home and the little drip device at the market for $1 usd.

yellojkt said...

Thank you for making the very first comment on this blog.

Unknown said...

totally agree
though I loved starbuck, I have to say that out Vietnamese coffee, the thick one, is very good and unique

Anonymous said...

hi good to read your blog, just sad that there's no really a starbucks in vietnam. im a collector of their bearista and planning to go this month to get one.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog,for me they still need to have starbucks for people like me that have a consistent taste when it comes to coffee and i know there are a lot of businessmen,tourists and whatsoever out there, looking forward for starbucks vietnam

1kay said...

starbucks is too expensiv vietnam people
beside that vietnam has great coffee, so why should somebody buy anything from starbucks which is 5x more expensiv than the homemade coffee from vietnam?