Introducing coffee was one of the best things the French did for Vietnam; the country is now one of the largest coffee producers in the world. The coffee grown and consumed here is mainly robusta and it’s very bold in flavour with deep, nutty, caramel and even chocolate notes. They serve it strong and it’s a popular pick-me-up when energy starts flagging in the intense Saigon heat. One of the nicest ways to have it is over ice, although plenty of people like it hot too. Whichever way you drink it, it’s essential to use sweetened condensed milk. One of the beautiful things about drinking coffee in Saigon is the ritual of watching it filter, through a special little drip contraption called a ‘phin’, which sits on top of your glass. It demands you chill out and watch life go by as the coffee takes a while to drip through; you just can’t be in a hurry when you order Vietnamese coffee.