Having been in Vietnam, a coffee and café filled country, for around 10 years, owner Hyun Do Song only got the idea of opening a café after a friend made him taste Mandheling coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia. The impact that made on him drove him to open his own café.
Awesome Coffee resembles a living room where family and friends gather, having conversations while sipping coffee or tea, and enjoying a plate of dessert or two.
“I’m Korean but my coffee is a mix of different styles,” says Mr. Song. The beans used for his coffee is mainly from Dalat, but he also has some beans from Latin America, Africa and other Asian countries. His friends, who also share the same passion for coffee, give him beans from all over the globe.
He uses rapid coffee roasters from Petroncini Impianti and The San Franciscan Roaster Co., which are from Italy and the US. The small roasting space is at the back of the café, but Mr. Song says that they roast about 300kg of beans per day.
Mr. Song’s zeal to provide a one-of-a-kind coffee experience to his customers led him to study more about coffee for two years. Now, his interest and knowledge about coffee is something that he likes to share with others. When his customers buy his roasted coffee beans, he sees to it that he teaches them how to prepare it so the quality of coffee is preserved.
The café has an open bar so customers can see how each coffee is made by hand. The staff also maintains the homey atmosphere by letting the customers mind their own business and not overloading them with questions or loud music.
The café has an eclectic theme, yet exudes comfort; the tables and chairs are mismatched but still go well together. On the left, there is a white wall adorned with black-and-white art pieces, and a cabinet filled with a wide variety of well-decorated coffee or tea cups and camera accessories owned by the photography enthusiast owner.
On the right is a full chalkboard wall, which also serves as the menu. Mr. Song opts to not have any flyers or printed out menus for he wants his café to be environmentally friendly. Mr. Song and his team curate the menu. These new concoctions become crowd favourites, just like his wife’s tiramisu which costs VND70,000 a slice. The tiramisu satisfies your sweet cravings without being over the top. If a slice isn’t enough, take a whole tray home for VND470,000.
For drinks, the best seller is the caramel macchiato, which can be enjoyed both hot at VND70,000 and cold at VND80,000. The macchiato is smooth and gives you just the right kick to keep you awake for a couple of hours to finish some tasks for the day, and not keep you awake until the small hours of the morning. Other hot coffees are also served with prices ranging from VND40,000 to VND70,000, and cold coffees from VND55,000 to VND80,000.
The ground and first floors of the café are complete opposites. The ground floor of the café is welcoming as it has glass walls and doors, which makes it a good place to finish some studying or have business done. The first floor, however, is a lot more intimate. The room is dimmed suitable for some tête-à-tête or some alone time.
Awesome Coffee is located at D2-21 Khu My Toan 3, 994 Nguyen Van Linh, Q7, HCMC and is open every day from 9am to 10pm
Photos by Mike Palumbo