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Specialty coffee is a concept first mentioned by Erna Knutsen in 1974 on Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. She uses this term to describe the most delicious coffee beans and produced in special climates area. According to the American Coffee Association (SCAA = Secialty Coffee Association of America), coffee is only called a “specialty” when it scores from 80 to 100 points according to their rating scale.
“Specialty coffee” is no longer a strange phrase for coffee lovers in Saigon. In fact, specialty coffee in Vietnam has appeared for a long time. Since Starbucks chose Cau Dat, Lam Dong coffee and included it in their coffee product called Reserved, some high quality coffee makers have been aiming to produce specialty coffee. These are five recommended specialty coffee shops in Sai Gon at the moment, in no particular order that you should try:
Shin Coffee began as an idea six years ago, and after breaking ground in 2015 it already has two outposts in downtown HCMC, just a five-minute walk from each other. With the success of bringing world coffee trends to Vietnam, Shin quickly became one of the most famous coffee brands in Saigon.
Founder of Shin coffee – Mr. Nguyen Huu Long – is a coffee connoisseur who used to live in Japan, a country with a special coffee culture. Then, in 2015, he decided came back Vietnam and set up Shin Coffee to share his knowledge and experience. Shin was Japanese for loyalty, which was a befitting name as the shop already had a loyal clientele that understood and appreciated the craft of quality coffee.
Visiting Shin, you will be encouraged to come to the counter to see the barista making coffee. The equipment, the preparation process and the taste of coffee will definitely bring interesting experiences to customers. If you’ve never had egg coffee, Shin Coffee is one of the few cafes in the city to offer this Vietnamese specialty.
Vietnam Coffee Republic is often called briefly as a VCR, which not only blends into the wave of coffee but also brings this drink to a whole new level.
“Every good tale to tell stems from a good journey. Ours is no different. It started with a personal one” -Mr Phong Lam, Founder
In December 2017, VCR launched take away coffee bottles. These coffee bottles are using for the purpose of serving busy guests and often in the status not awake because of lack of caffeine. All they need to do is buy some instant coffee bottles for storage. It also reflects a special feature of the VCR that their coffee can hold for a long time. It also reflects a special feature of the VCR – their coffee can preserve for a long time. For example, a bottle of Cong Hoa Iced Coffee can preserve up to six months. And Cong Hoa Iced Milk Coffee – Cold brew mixed with condensed milk – can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.
At Vietnam Coffee Republic, they serve a product that is world-class and capable of satisfying the most discerning of palates while being 100% locally produced.
Located on the 3F of an old apartment right in downtown of District 1, very close to Nguyen Hue walking street The Workshop is one such example of Saigon’s many hidden gems. The decor feels industrial in a way, yet still fun and lively. This is the best meeting place for people.
Before mention about coffee at The Workshop, we have you talk about food in here. They also serve salads, sandwiches, and burgers. These options are go really well with their coffee.
Going into operation in 2014, The Workshop quickly became one of Saigon’s most favorite coffee shop, because of the seriousness that they invested in making coffee. It is the meticulousness and endless love that they put into the preparation process that makes The Workshop famous.
Considering both the taste of coffee and the quality of service, The Workshop is doing very well. They provide many different types of coffee beans like Arabica, Robusta, Geisha, Ethiopian etc. All are very distinguished, and the smell is very nice.
It is a great café shop with a wide range of coffee extraction tools including Wave, V60, AeroPress, and syphon.
Address: 27 Ngo Duc Ke, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
AMA coffee founder – Aldrich – is a Taiwanese man living in Ho Chi Minh City. He describes his coffee shop: “Proud to be the core business of AMA Trading and Marketing Corporation, AMA – AMAZING COFFEE was created in the focus of providing the finest fresh coffee to the upper-class coffee enthusiasts. Our success is in fully controlling over the full process of how each cup of coffee is made, in order to ensure the premium quality of our products”
Although the space of AMA quite small, they serve a high quality Italian style coffee with the excellent service. This modern coffee shop is perfect for people who want to get out of the heat and enjoy a cup of cold or hot coffee. This place is very comfortable for working and meeting friends. The coffee shop is located in the neighborhood around Ben Thanh market, so you can feel this is a little cool vibe of old Saigon around the shop.
Like the name itself, they offer amazing coffee. They also have coffee magazines, coffee beans and even coffee related tools and souvenirs for guests to buy.
Address: 29 Luu Van Lang, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1.
This coffee shop is home to both the first and currently reigning Vietnamese Barista Champion, Tran Han, as well as the first and reigning Vietnamese AeroPress Champion, Le Dan Nha Thi. Bosgaurus is great training ground for Vietnam’s most prolific baristas, as they really take their coffee seriously here. Every painstaking detail, from sourcing to roasting and to serving the perfect cup of coffee is watched with eagle-eyed precision.
When hearing the coffee shop’s name, I doubt that some people will wonder what does Bosgaurus mean? Bos gaurus is the world’s tallest species of cow, an elusive, rare type of cattle native to Southeast Asia, with long, milk-white legs—majestic, not unlike the shop that bears its name.
To talk about the space of Bosgaurus, it can only be summarized in one word: Great! The shop has a very spacious and comfortable space. You can choose to sit inside and enjoy air conditioning and sip coffee with friends or you can sit at the courtyard to relax.
Address: 92 Nguyen Huu Canh, Sai Gon Pearl Villa, Binh Thanh District
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