I’m returning to Vietnam next month, and that got me thinking about the many hours I’ve spent in coffee shops in Hanoi, especially one on Ngu Xa in Truc Bach…
By Alison Bate
The cafe owner smiles the smile of many mornings as she brings over my iced coffee and green tea chaser. I lean forward in my bamboo chair to stir the two-tone Nau Da, digging down with the long-handled spoon to mix in the condensed milk, navigating around the lumps of ice. The mixture curdles and looks like a work of art sometimes and other times, a sludgy mess.
I take a sip of Nau Da and the chocolatey taste spreads inside my mouth, and an involuntary smile outside. A sip of the green Tra Da clears my palette and my mind. Continue reading