Stocking Coffee

A most unusual way to brew cofffee

An image of coffee slowly dripping through a metal filter into a cup perfectly captures Saigon and its unhurried way of life. However, before the arrival of these iconic metal filters, coffee sold by street vendors was made an entirely different and unusual way. Finely milled coffee powder was brewed in earthen pots (same ones Chinese traditional herbalists used to brew medicine) on top of wooden cookers for five to ten minutes. When ready to serve, the thick liquid is filtered through nets made of cloth similar to thick stockings or boot socks – giving this style of coffee, aptly named, stocking coffee (ca phe tat, ca phe vo, or ca phe vot in Vietnamese). According to devoted drinkers, the texture is smoother, the flavour richer and the fragrant lasts longer.

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--19 (OiVietNam-3N)

No one can pinpoint where this method originated from, just that it was first popularized by street cafes and restaurants in Saigon’s old Chinese quarter sometime in the 1950s. These days, only a handful of places still serve stocking coffee in Saigon: the nameless cafe at 330/2 Phan Dinh Phung in Phu Nhuan District and a cafe in alley 313 Tan Phuoc in District 11. Each café is more than half a century old and has passed through several generations.

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--6 (OiVietNam-3N)

The tiny 330/2 café has never once closed its door in 60 years, not even for Tet. Interestingly the fire, which never goes out, is in a US bomb casing. Dang Tran Con and his wife Pham Ngoc Tuyet manage the shop from morning to late afternoon. Their children, fourth generation stocking coffee brewers, man the counter from late afternoon through the night and into the next morning. The café’s customers vary, ranging from teenagers to nostalgic retirees seeking a taste of 1950s Saigon.

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--5 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--2 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--9 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--15 (OiVietNam-3N)

“We actually have changed our way of serving a little to keep the young people from being too bewildered,” says 64-year-old Mr. Con. “Back in my grandfather’s generation, we serve coffee in porcelain soup plates so that the customers can dip pieces of Youtiao (fried Chinese breadstick) in the coffee and have them for breakfast. When you drink it, you sip the same way you would soup, just like how the French used to do it. Back in those days, that’s a meal and for some people it was considered the vogue way to enjoy coffee in Saigon then. If you didn’t drink coffee from soup plates and eat Youtiao dipped in coffee, people would call you a boorish country bumpkin. But nobody does it that way anymore.”

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--11 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--12 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF--17 (OiVietNam-3N)

oi-magazine-march-2016-stocking-coffee-shop-NF- (OiVietNam-3N)


Share this story, choose your platform!

About the author:

Leave a Comment

The Rise of Niche Dating Apps Catering toSpecific Interests in 2024

The projected reach of the global online dating app market, estimated at $14.42 billion by 2030, marks a substantial growth trend with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 7.6% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is a testament to the changing preferences of users, who are now looking for more intentional and meaningful connections. With

Read More »

When To Take The Services Of A Blocked Drain Repair Service?

A blocked drain can be a nightmare. Not only is it inconvenient and messy, but it can also damage your plumbing system if left unresolved. Knowing when to call for professional drain repair services versus trying to unclog the drain yourself can save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Here are some

Read More »

Saving Money With Affordable And Cheap Skip Bin Hire

Home renovations, office revamps, store clear-outs or warehouse cleanups inevitably generate loads of debris. Renting a skip bin provides a convenient method for disposing of high volumes of waste without blowing the budget. Follow these insider tips for scoring an affordable and  cheap skip bin hire like Aot Skip Bins to handle your rubbish removal

Read More »

Key Considerations When Hiring A Mezzanine Floor Builder

Gaining extra functional space and valuable storage capacity inside existing commercial or residential buildings often gets explored as operations scale up over time yet site acreage remains finite. While lateral expansions prove extremely expensive due to land scarcity and construction complexity, heightening ceilings to add intermediate mezzanine levels allows maximising vertical room creatively minus major

Read More »

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Granny Flat Builder

Installing a granny flat or secondary dwelling on your property can add valuable living space for family or rental income. Hiring an experienced granny flat builder like Granny Flat Solutions is key, but not all builders are equal. Asking the right questions upfront ensures you choose the best construction team. Here are twelve essential questions

Read More »

Why You Should Hire A New Home Builder For Your New House

Building a dream home from the ground up seems like a pinnacle of achievement. And while a DIY approach may appear economical on the surface, orchestrating a major new home construction solo proves immensely challenging for most. Hiring an experienced new home builder like Vision Homes ultimately saves money, stress, and headaches in the long

Read More »