Nowadays, in addition to the traditional method of making coffee and the modern machines imported from the Europe to make the coffee flavor become more diverse, in Saigon, not many people know that there is another method to make coffee: By a racket.
About racket coffee
The life style of Saigon is busy as an endless turnbuckle. Not having much freetime, Saigon talented people still find the relaxing moment to sit in a coffee shop, sip bitter coffee, and sometimes enjoy a cigarette. Perhaps that is one of the many things that make the culture and way of life of Saigon people.
Sai Thanh coffee has a very unique culture, at first glance it looks bumpy, bustling but in fact very stylish, can satisfy a lot of “coffee lovers” from many different cultures. The people from the North to Saigon several times will not be able to understand why this black water with the smell of coffee and sweet as “black bean sweet soup” is so popular in Saigon. In the morning and night, whenever Saigon people can drink coffee. From the sidewalk cafes to luxurious coffee shops, the customers come right when the shop opens.
Many people joke that the reason why the coffee in Saigon is so sweet is that the Saigon people love sweet taste, do not like bitter. Every early morning in Saigon, it is not difficult for you to see a middle-aged man, sitting calmly in the chair at a simple cafe, meditating droplets of coffee down to the small glass.
Racket coffee is also called simmered coffee – the coffee making method from China a long time ago in Saigon. It was also considered as the simple way of making coffee of Chinese in the past. Unlike normal coffee, racket coffee has its own features. As its name, the most special thing is the coffee is made by a cloth racket and is simmered by a clay pot.
The way of making racket coffee is not complicated but you should pay the attention to the process. The coffee powder is put into a cloth racket and dipped into the boiling water. After that, the coffee will be poured into a clay pot and boiled at low temperature. The step makes the coffee always hot as well as keeps its flavor stronger and more delicious.
At present, there are 2 shops still preserving the racket coffee making method to serve for locals, young people and international tourists in order to remind the images of Old Saigon through the cup of coffee.
Mr Thanh’s racket coffee shop
Located in a valley on Tan Phuoc road, next to Thiec market in District 11, belonged to the area of Chinese people, Mr Thanh’s racket coffee shop has existed more than 50 years here.
Anyone coming to this coffee shop can easily find the ancient features in Chinese architecture. In the corner of the small kitchen where Mr Thanh makes coffee, the smoke from the clay pot which is put in a wood stove makes the house become warm and familiar. No sofa or air conditioner, the space of this shop is totally opened, simple and rustic.
Only some wood tables and chairs, the coffee is added a little condensed milk in a small cup used in the past. It helps the customers coming here undergo heart with their daily life.
Address: Valley 313, Tan Phuoc, Ward 6, District 11.
Phan Dinh Phung racket coffee shop
Like Mr Thanh’s coffee shop, this racket coffee shop is located in a small valley at 330 Phan Dinh Phung street without any sign or decoration. The familiar guests of this shop, every time coming here, always see the image of Mrs Ba and Mr Ba (the more than 60-year-old owners) making rapidly next two hot coffee pots.
The feature is not only in the history of the coffee shop, but also in the secrect way of making racket coffee of the family which brings a never-changed special flavor attracting many customers. Thanks to that, the shop is always crowded with many social components sitting along the valley. Not bustling and noisy, the guests coming here only want to enjoy the old flavor of coffee and in that space, it reminds the image of the old Saigon which is simple and rustic in every mind.
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