Filipino and Vietnamese culture is colliding with a Vietnamese coffee pop-up from Kasama Cà Phê coming to San Francisco starting on Sunday, February 17th at MAC’D (2127 Polk St.) and The Brew Coop (819 Valencia St.). The pop-up will also appear on Sunday, March 24th and Sunday, April 28th at the same locations.
Kasama is a reference to companionship or togetherness in Filipino culture and cà phê means coffee in Vietnamese.
The menu will consist of strong cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee) and ube affogatos (Philippine purple yam ice cream topped with Vietnamese coffee).
Vietnamese coffee background
Vietnamese coffee dates back to the 19th century when French colonialists introduced coffee to the country according to BBC News. Most Vietnamese coffee is actually exported today rather than consumed in Vietnam itself and Vietnam was ranked 2nd in the world in 2017 for coffee exports behind Brazil. Recent reports suggest a rise in both the quality and quantity of Vietnamese coffee.
Vietnam is a major producer of Robusta coffee which has more caffeine and has a much more bitter flavor than the commonly-known and used Arabica beans. Robusta makes up at least 79% of Vietnamese coffee production according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs in 2016.
Robusta can be described as earthy, harsh, or grainy. Most consumers of Vietnamese coffee will add condensed milk to sweeten it from its bitter taste. Vietnamese coffee is something you’ll want to ease into if you’re not used to high caffeine coffee.
About the people behind Kasama Cà Phê
The owners of Kasama Cà Phê are first-generation Asian-Americans and are sourcing their coffee beans from Vietnam with a plan to offer coffee from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand in the future and a plan to focus on brewing techniques from Southeast Asia.
Most people probably consume Vietnamese coffee at Vietnamese restaurants or at home at the moment, it will be interesting to see how Kasama Cà Phê differentiates themselves to make it a worthwhile experience.
Find out more about Kasama Cà Phê at kasamacaphe.com