Food File: Yoghurt Coffee
Yoghurt coffee has got to be the perfect breakfast: yoghurt for calcium and protein and those little probiotic thingies that look so cute when they jump up and down on the see-saw in the yoghurt ads.
Caffeine, people! It’s what mornings were made for.
And all the food groups are covered. (Aren’t they?)
Yoghurt coffee, served icy cold, is one of those rarer Vietnamese oddities that I’ve discovered since throwing myself into Vietnamese coffee research. There is so much to learn about Vietnamese coffee, Vietnamese coffee culture and Ho Chi Minh City cafes that I feel a bit insignificant as I dive into this new field.
But Vietnamese coffee is just so good I can’t keep away.
And so I give you … yoghurt coffee. Something I discovered when I was on the hunt for something else.
I had my first sweet sip of yoghurt coffee in a groovy dimly-lit cafe that Darling Man took me too after I raised the possibility of adding a coffee tour to our street food tour offerings.
The coffee tour is a concept that Darling Man disparages because he doesn’t drink coffee. (It makes your teeth brown, you known.)
But I think it could work. Although I keep searching and searching and I haven’t yet found that perfect set of coffee confluences that would make a great street food tour.
We had a tour-free day and I had been cajoling him into taking me to a new coffee place. (And yes, he does have to take me because … he’s so cute. And the information available in Vietnamese is infinitely more comprehensive than the information available in English. As is the case on most Vietnamese food and beverage topics. And my Vietnamese still sucks.)
We had actually been on the hunt for Hanoi egg coffee in Ho Chi Minh City. We’d struck out at two places and now I was so ablaze with caffeine my eyebrows were gently buzz-tackling my hairline like ballerinas who’d taken rugby league classes.
Darling Man floated into the groovy dimly-lit place a few steps in front of me. I stutter-jumped behind, hiccuping loudly and trying to look like I was not suffering from Tourette’s.
I’d already had two plain old cà phê sữa đás (iced coffee with condensed milk) at places that used to serve cà phê trứng (egg coffee) but didn’t anymore. If I was Vietnamese I probably would not have ordered anything. But I’m Australian, I feel like it’s only polite to order when I am at a groovy dimly-lit cafe, even when I’m thrumming with caffeine.
I flipped open the menu and DAMN no egg coffee. Again. I pulled a face that attempted to convey my half-thought that we were wasting our free day — a day when we didn’t have a tour and Miss M was at school and the baby was with the helper and we were together and in love … and we OWNED this old town and all it has to offer.
Darling Man was oblivious to my look. He was busy examining the menu.
“They have yoghurt coffee,” he said. And I was torn between getting pinged off at him for not seeing the complicated emotions on my face and being intrigued by the concept of yoghurt coffee.
I decided to go with the intrigued feeling.
“I think I’ve had enough coffee for today,” I said.
Darling Man shrugged and turned his attention to his phone as if the conversation and the date and the day was over.
Bloody smart phones. I rue the day we got them. (Even though I secretly LOVE mine and find it so helpful when managing a small business while being out and about doing other stuff.)
Darling Man ignored the sweet waitress who was hovering.
I smiled at her and ordered a yoghurt coffee. When I handed the menu back to her, I noticed my hands were shaking from the caffeine I’d already imbibed that day.
The yoghurt coffee arrived a few minutes later. And it was amazing. Tart and sour and sweet and coffee-y all at the same time.
I slurped it down, jumped off the couch and started bouncing on the balls of my feet as I tapped my fingernails on the wall and yodeled and asked to Darling Man come out of his phone and take me to another cafe. Maybe one that served ACTUAL egg coffee because I was starting to feel sick from all the non-egg coffee I’d drunk that day.
Darling Man took me home. Where I crashed into a post-caffeine sleep that I think can only happen in Vietnam.
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5 years ago