It was bright, it was sunny, and my two best friends and I went on an adventure to find a mountain we saw in the distance without a map. It was liberating to drive towards a destination without a plan. Without a plan, we felt free.
The route we took brought us over a
bridge that was meant for trains to cross the river. On each side, there were designated
pathways only just big enough for motorbikes with little room for error.
From Hoi An to our unknown destination we drove through rice fields, typical Vietnamese neighborhoods, cemeteries… places that you can’t find on a guided tour; places you only find on an adventure. This is how we found the best coffee in the world.
I am a coffee snob. I will only drink good coffee and if I can’t find good coffee then I will endure the withdrawal symptoms one goes through when caffeine isn’t coursing through the veins.
Best coffee in the world? Am I sure? Yes! In my opinion, Vietnam has the best coffee. I have traveled to 39 countries and Vietnam takes the winning ribbon for most delectable crack beans… because coffee is like crack, but in this case the bean is the addiction.
I thought I knew good coffee, but I was naïve until I found myself sipping Ca Phe Sua Da off a random road at a “café.” This café is a Vietnamese style house with hammocks and plastic tables sprawled alongside the road.
In Vietnam it is common for locals to turn their front porches into restaurants or cafes as a business. A license for your home is very cheap and there are virtually no costs involved in setting it up. All you need are a few plastic chairs and tables, perhaps some cutlery, a sign with the word Ca Phe outside and a business accruement that Vietnamese people seem to have in abundance.
This is a perfect place to lounge while bathing in your own sweat from the Vietnamese heat, but with an iced coffee for a bit of a reprieve. Ca Phe Sua Da translated is “Coffee Milk Ice” aka Ice coffee.
This coffee… this glass of coffee heaven had a natural chocolate creaminess. It had a flavor profile the Coffee Gods would delight in. This glass of refreshment would bring a grown man to his knees to beg for more if he didn’t have the 40k dong to pay for a second round.
In all seriousness, the three coffee and lime juice are more than worth the $2.00 we spent in total. The old lady who the runs the café – and whose house we frequented – speaks no English. With a little Vietnamese “Ca Phe Sua Da,” and some charades, we got our order delivered with no issues.
I was able to track this place through the gps tagging on the photos I took there. Our map-less journey didn’t allow us to get a address, and to be frank, this is Vietnam, there are few addresses here. They rely on landmarks and approximations.
It’s approximately a glorious 40 minute ride from the beautiful old town of Hoi An, Vietnam. The journey from Hoi An to this dirt road side hammock café that is really just ran out of someone’s house. This is the real Vietnam and this is real coffee.