Trung Nguyên Coffee offers a café concept featuring a lot of great eastern elements that differentiates it from western cafés. Its traditional drip coffee is considered one of the best coffees in the world by many coffee experts.
When I came across this branch (located in the basement) at I12 Katong the other day, I thought to myself "I've gotta try this!" They weren't yet open, but gave me a free "drip coffee" to sample. I was so impressed by the flavour that I went back the next day.
The deep flavor of Vietnamese coffee (cà phê) is achieved by using condensed milk as a creamer and sweetener, and a single-cup brewing process, which is a beloved ritual in Vietnam.
Ground coffee is put in a special metal filter, which is put atop a cup filled with a generous amount of condensed milk. Boiling water is poured into the metal filter and allowed to slowly drip through and into the cup. The coffee and condensed milk are then carefully blended with a spoon, resulting in an incredibly rich, smooth, and wonderfully sweet concoction.
|Waiting for the liquid to drip through into the cup
|All the liquid is gone . . .
|. . .time to sit back and enjoy!
You would be surprised to know that the coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness. This coffee is widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.
HOWEVER, PLEASE DON'T LET THE ABOVE PUT YOU OFF TRYING THE COFFEE!!!
The main "coffee" attractions available are:
CREATIVE 1: THOUGHTS - Elegant aroma and bitter sweet
CREATIVE 2: DISCOVER - Light and flavourful
CREATIVE 3: IDEA - Strong aroma and refined acidity
CREATIVE 4: CREATION - Rich flavour and lasting aroma
CREATIVE 5: SUCCESS - Bright and flavourful
PASSIONA (Low Caffeine) - Elegant aroma with a hint of tamarind and chocolat
LEGENDEE - uses the best coffee beans that undergo a patented methodology emulating the digestion process of weasel to give the ultimate premium quality coffee with a rich, exotic taste and texture.
Vietnamese coffee is not for the faint of heart though, and usually much stronger than Western style coffee. With that being said, Trung Nguyên Coffee does offer other beverages, such as instant coffee, espresso based coffee, ice-blended beverages and smoothies.
Below is a youtube clip showing how to make this traditional Vietnamese (drip) coffee:
According to their website, they have branches at Liang Court, Marina Square and The Heeren.