Let’s talk coffee first, shall we?

In a recent coffee conversation, my coworker told me that he took a coffee class in college and learned that coffee is different from different parts of the world. It’s true that no coffee is treated the same. Factors, such as: weather, climate, soil, water, etc. play an important role in determining the quality of the coffee beans. Different roasting and brewing methods affect how the coffee expresses.

As you may or may not know that I was born and raised in Vietnam. Coffee production has been a major source of income for our country since the early 20th century, first introduced by the French. In the U.S, as I’ve noticed, ready-to-go Vietnamese coffee is usually made pre-sweetened with condense milk and lots of ice. In Vietnam, you’ll actually have to mix your own coffee. The coffee is served in a single coffee filter known as ‘phin’, filled with hot water. You’ll have to wait for your own coffee to drip, and then you can add ice to make ‘ca phe da’, condensed milk to make ‘ca phe sua da,’ or sugar however you’d like. I remembered regardless of what time it is during the day, there were always people at coffee shops. In the a.m, working people would be slurping a hot bow of noodle soup and having their morning ‘ca phe sua da.’ That’s how they start off the day. Young people went to coffee shops to hang out with friends, took photos, and chitchatted their life away. Kids were told that coffee was toxic, and teenagers stayed away since coffee would make their body so ‘hot’ and resulted in pimples. I didn’t remember at what age I started drinking coffee and when it became my absolute obsession.

A famous Turkish proverb says that coffee should be “as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love.” Similarly, I like mine bold and rich, hot or cold, sweetened or dark! I don’t discriminate. Bad coffee is the one that tastes like water, in my opinion. If you’re ever curios, I have a few favorites below:

» ice coffee/cold brew at any coffee shops – This is my go-to, any day kind of drink! I always order this whenever I’m trying out new coffee shops r when I don’t know what to get. Plus this one is pretty hard to mess up unless their coffee sucks!

» Starbucks’ Double Shot On On Ice (You can read more, here) – I always get a medium. Since this is an espresso drink, a large would probably keep me awake for 2 days!

» Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato, 5 shots, extra caramel drizzles – My ex-boss used to get me so hooked on this one. She paid almost $8 for a tall cup, extra shots, extra caramel drizzled along and across the inner wall of the cup. I could never finish the caramel, but the cup looked super pretty. Coffee is art!

Twin Cities’ favorites:

» Spyhouse’s Caramella (pictured above!) – I like mine with ice! This is an easy-going kind of drink, light and happy! I’d go for this once in awhile. Their Spygirl is pretty popular as well, but I’m not a big fan of cinnamon. So Spygirl is out. I like their coffee overall, burnt roast and very dark. They have 4 locations, located in the Twin Cities area. I frequent the Broadway, Northeast location since there’s free parking. I would stop by other locations if I’m around, otherwise, paid parking and far drive are my main hates!

» Five Watt’s Kingsfield – This one is very similar to the Spyhouse’s Caramella. Again, it is in the Kingsfield neighborhood in uptown and is quite far from where I live. Love the atmosphere here!

» Groundswell – I’ve been to this shop twice. It’s my newly found bright and inviting coffee spot, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon when I want to skip the crowded shopping streets and malls. I’ve ordered cold brew both times, pretty good!

» My Vietnamese handmade homemade coffee – I make about a gallon to sell at church almost every Sunday whenever school is in session. I mix wo types of coffee, a Vietnamese coffee brand: Trung Nguyen and a French one: Cafe Du Monde, in a 50:50 ratio with two washes of boiling water and condense milk. Funny, there was one time I brought it to my work’s potluck, and everyone kept talking about how it kept them awake until 4 a.m.

This outfit is my current go-to favorite! A simple tee and a pair of well-fitted jeans are what you’ll most likely see me in, out brunching or shopping, especially catching up with friends for coffee! The t-shirt has interesting yellow lemon slice beading details. Isn’t it cute? Also, I’ve discovered these amazing jeans from Urban Outfitters couple days ago. They’re the BDG kick flare high rise crop, in Stone Bleach. My waist size is 25, and these in 25 fit me like a glove. They’re super high-waisted and stretchy with the very trendy raw cut bottom hem that hits me at the perfect spot, just right above my ankle. You should definitely stop by an Urban Outfitters store nearby and try these on.

OUTFIT DETAILS: t-shirt: Jcrew | jeans: BDG from Urban Outfitters | bag: Proenza Schouler | sunglasses: Ray-ban | heels: Coach

Similar or exact ones are linked below!

Thanks again for reading!

stay inspired | as always

An Trieu

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