Viet Nam has a deep-rooted coffee culture dating back to French colonial times. Traditional coffee in Viet Nam is generally strong, dark coffee with thick sweetened condensed milk that can be found in every street cafe, where people enjoy even hours for their chat.
Highland Coffee was the first chain to open back in 2002, and more local players have entered the market since then. Starbucks opened its third store in HCM City in October 2013 and is planning to launch in Ha Noi later this year.
A series of coffee shops have sprung up in Ha Noi and HCM City that serve the more Western style of coffee such as Americano, expresso and latte, with comfortable seats and wifi to attract teenagers and young workers.
Many people feel this new wave of Western-style coffee shops could gradually take over the coffee culture in Viet Nam and detract from the attraction of the country's cities.
What are your thoughts on this? When you first came to Viet Nam, did you try out the Vietnamese style of coffee? Do you think that losing this coffee culture would make Vietnamese cities become less attractive?
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