Take Your Time With That Coffee

Vietnamese people hustle. Hard. At all hours of the day and night, I'll see people working. They'll be peddling a bike powered wooden cart while hawking bootlegged DVDs and children toys, delivering fridges on a 125CC moped, and professionals of all ages running about from one work place to the next.

But even with all that hustle, they all know how to sit down and unwind. It's common to see people, from all walks of life, sitting on small plastic chairs at an outdoor cafe chatting. If you sit down and watch, you'll slowly realize that it'll take an hour or so before their coffee cup is empty.

This slow pacing is evident in their cafe nóng (hot coffee). It's a drip, espresso like coffee. It's usually served with sweetened condensed milk, sugar, or just black. They serve this coffee by laying out a small empty cup, topped with a metal coffee dripper, and a side of tea.

It takes 5 minutes for the the hot water to slowly drip through the densely packed coffee grinds, down the metal coffee dripper, and into the cup.

It sets the tone for a slow coffee drinking process.

This is different than America, where everyone is always on the go. Most people get coffee in a plastic or cardboard cups so they can carry it as they run about and drive through coffee is common place.

I prefer Vietnam's approach to coffee.

Like the colloquialism:

Work hard, play hard

I believe in relaxing just as deeply as I stretch myself to accomplish things. These little pockets of slowness helps me renergize and allows me to return to work with renewed vigor.