Vietnamese coffee has long been a mainstay of the Little Saigon area in Orange County, but it is only in recent years that a group of ambitious coffee shops and cafes have started to push the culture. caffeinated second generation from this enclave to new heights. Inspired by recent trends in Vietnam and a sense of creativity here, here are five Vietnamese coffee drinks you should not miss in Southern California.
Cà Phê Trung at Nếp Café
The flagship drink of this modern and lively Fountain Valley brunch is Hanoi-style egg coffee, or cà phê trung: hot or iced Robusta coffee covered with a thick head of fluff similar to custard, a combination supposedly created. by an ingenious barista during a dairy shortage in Vietnam. The filling is made from pasteurized egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk, vigorously whipped until they become a liquid, sticky and sweet marshmallow and a world away from the fleeting foam deposited on the cappuccinos. Try the sprinkled version with grated trung muoi (salted egg yolk); the egg-on-egg action balances the saccharin qualities of the drink with a note of umami.
10836 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 516-8121, nepcafe.us
Cà Phê Da Ua at Thanh Thi bakery
Prior to opening a specialty bakery in a small Garden Grove mall in 2019, the Phan family sold traditional Vietnamese cakes and jellies (called bánh and thach, respectively), for years, supplying graduation parties and showers. birthday with marble platters. coffee gelatin and puffed steamed rice cakes. You should not visit Thanh Thi without a sample of the homemade yogurt: wonderfully sour and thick like a milkshake, balanced with a generous drizzle of (what else?) sweetened condensed milk. To make the popular Vietnamese drink cà phê da ua (coffee with yogurt), it is finished with a dark crown of freshly brewed coffee, the bold, bitter flavors and contrasting textures mix in delicious and unexpected ways – think the perfect meets the uplifting, an affogato for the whole fermentation.
10710 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 352-9186, thanhthibakery.com
Coco Cloud at DaVien Café & Desserts
One of the more recent drink trends in Hanoi cafes, blended coconut coffee (ca phe cốt dừa) is usually associated with Cong Caphe, a popular coffee chain in Vietnam where baristas wear outfits. green inspired by Viet Cong. As a summer refreshment, coconut coffee is on par with the Greek smoothie, only thicker, richer, and arguably made from premium ingredients. The coconut cream and sweetened condensed milk are mixed with ice to form a creamy slush, then sprinkled with coffee rich in phin drops. At DaVien Café in Westminster, a new confectionery that draws its roasted land from the Vietnamese highlands, you can find a version dubbed the Coco Cloud. It may look like a basic Starbucks Frappuccino, but make no mistake about it. It exists on a higher plane.
9731 Bolsa Ave., Westminster, (657) 346-2010, daviencafe.com
Cà Phê Sua Dá to Phin Smith
There wouldn’t be anything wrong with visiting Phin Smith, an unassuming cafe in Garden Grove with a retro Vespa parked outside, to enjoy some of the more baroque drinks on its menu. This includes an avocado-tinted “Javacado” smoothie, banana latte and a colorful “melon bar” matcha. But it would be a crime not to sip the original cà phê sua dá at least once, a good example of Vietnamese coffee that shows why taming bold Robusta coffee with velvety sweetened condensed milk is a brilliant marriage. The store roasts their own beans imported from Vietnam, so the emphasis is undoubtedly on the earthy and nutty intensity of the coffee, but not so much that it gets tough or austere – it’s simply an enhanced version of a drink that’s already easy to love.
12921 Main Street, Garden Grove, phinsmith.com
VTMatcha at BLK Dot Coffee
Most of the drinks from BLK Dot, an elegant coffeehouse chain with locations in Orange County, appear to have been engineered by an optimization algorithm, which may not be far off considering the early days of the business. company on the Irvine Google campus. VTM, as the prototypical Vietnamese coffee is called here, is made from an intense concentrate of home-roasted Arabica beans, designed for a caffeine surge; even sweetened condensed milk is made from scratch. One of BLK Dot’s best creations borders on sacrilege in its rejection of purism: a VTM layered with high-quality Uji matcha, two distinct and pleasantly bitter tones that complement each other rather than stomp on each other. Does it contain enough caffeine and antioxidants to fuel a Jack Dorsey coding sprint? Expect nothing less.
Various places, blkdotcoffee.com