15 April 2005

Coffee - The Hokkien Kind And The Vietnamese Kind

Warning: Coarse Language In This Entry

This cafe has been around for quite some time already and I finally got off my butt for once, walk up to the cafe and took the photos.

At first glance, it doesn't say much in this Mandarin speaking part of Ch1na.

It was after I found out that the owner is a Hokkien-speaking Taiwanese that I couldn't help but burst out laughing. Bladdy bugger got one heck of a sense of humour. I wonder how many local ch1nese folks caught the joke?

I wonder what would happen if I go to the cafe and tell the waitress that I wish to order a cup of "Lan Jiao Kopi"? er.... kopi-O please.... No "creamer", please. Don't trust these guys...

Here's the shop front. Looking at the bread arrangement (the baguette with the 2 dinner rolls) on billboard on the left. Is it a coincidence? Or is it deliberately sublimal? Or am I reading too much into this? Hmm..... I wonder.....

Ok time to get our minds out of the sewers. Finicky Feline was writing about coffee a few days ago and I thought I share my favourite bean. While the kopi tiam Indonesian roast is ever as good, sometimes I do go for the slightly "atas" blend of the Colombian bean. I like the sour after-taste though many folks would disagree.

But that was until a few years ago when Teck got me a kilo of the Vietnamese blend. Oh my gawd! I thought I died and gone to heaven. It was, like Teck said, "Liquid Gunpowder". ZONK!!!

While I did it the traditional drip way, Teck did it the more technologically advanced way by making the coffee in his Krups Super Duper Expresso Machine. He said that it worked better than his alarm clock as the frangrance of the Vietnamese coffee woke him right up as soon as the aroma diffused into his bedroom from the kitchen. Say good bye to the snooze button.

I went through my first kilo pretty quickly and was soon a junkie, craving for more. I started to source for the beans myself but somehow none was as good as Teck's. Took me a while to learn that his was unblended while the ones I got were infused with french vanilla, hazel nut or something else ..... It just wasn't the real deal. Guess I am very the purist, hor?

These days, I have to say that I am very fortunate to have business friends who shuttle between Ch1na and Vietnam every other week to keep my habit going.

I don't agree with Teck's coffee making method. The strong gush of hot steaming water is just too harsh on the bean. There must be a reason why the local Vietnamese resisted the coffee maker. I believe that the Vietnamese bean needs to be gently brewed to draw out the flavour and also, the real joy of drinking the coffee is to drink it in a relaxing setting. No distractions. Just the coffee and you. MMmmmm........

Click here or picture to enlarge
Vietnamese Coffee Porcelain Drip1

Ivan was lamenting about his flimsy aluminum drip apparatus that couldn't last long. Well, in the their (the local Vietnamese) defense, most of the local folks are poor, especially after the Vietnam War in the 60s. Aluminum was the only inexpensive metal in abundance. I don't see any alternative for them then.

I got the porcelain ones when I was in Vietnam last October. They were so beautiful. I couldn't resist not buying them.

Click here or picture to enlarge
Vietnamese Coffee Porcelain Drip 2

Here's another picture. As with the original aluminum ones, the lid is flipped over to act as a saucer to collect the drip. The little knob inside is the press that weigh down the coffee grounds to the bottom for the hot water to seep through. See the thick black coffee? Yum........ liquid gunpowder.... mmmm..... ZONK!!!

- Voxeros

1. a reader left...
Friday, 15 April 2005 3:12 am
I'm bowled over by "lan niao", and how significant can it get, when the baguette is arranged in a auspicious way! haha
2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 15 April 2005 3:31 pm
Yeah. I was most tickled by it when it first opened.
At first, I thought it was just me having a dirty mind, unless I found out that the owner was a hokkien speaking Taiwanese.

Wah lan (no pun intended) eh....

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