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A Mind Wanderer- Let's have a rant about anything

Top coffee brands for your favorite hot to-go coffee in HCMC

Do you start your day with a cup of hot coffee? If yes, I’m with you. To me,  a hot cup of well-made cappuccino is always a bless for my everyday. I love getting the takeaway cappuccino cup to the office, excitedly opening it,and pouring down sugar. Then, I open my laptop and start checking my task for a day whilst sipping the steamy , foam-filled coffee.

However, takeaway hot coffee (here my case is hot cappuccino) is not that common in Vietnam like in other Western countries, where you can easily grab a hot cup of cappu or latte, walk to trains and easily drink at office. People here commute on bikes, and surely hanging hot coffee on your bike is always trickier than the iced coffee. Moreover, Ho Chi Minh is always hot, and hotter. People always want ice to chill out everything. Therefore, coffee shops in HCMC always downplay the packaging of hot coffee in the menu. To get cost-wise, coffee shops here normally go with plastic cups for every drink. I always cringe when some coffee shops sell me hot cappu or hot coffee with milk in plastic cups. That’s a big NO to me as they don’t give a good damn care about the coffee itself and the customers. In the past 2 years, things have gone much better for my breakfast choice of hot coffee as there are more and more coffee shops offering options catered for hot coffee. It’s time the coffee shops want to touch the niche market of hot coffee (person like me). The market for iced coffee is way too crowded and competitive. And honestly, coffee all tastes the same to me when it was cold.

Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donut just entered Vietnamese coffee markets and have a wide range of hot coffees with different style of paper / styrofoam cups. However, they all are really pricey for every Vietnamese to afford on daily breakfast. The good thing is the enter of foreign big giants make other local coffee brands push themselves harder to have cheaper hot coffee in decent paper cups.

After a while, I have gathered for myself a list of decent coffee shops offering good options for my love for  steamy hot coffee :). To be more exact, here is my list of to-go hot coffee brands. Feel free to comment . I am excited to know about other options in HCMC, the coffee city.

Continue reading “Top coffee brands for your favorite hot to-go coffee in HCMC”

Awesome Coffee Shop (yes , it’s the name)

I really love our apartment, actually, not for the apartment itself but for the its location. Living in Nha Be grants us a tons of things; the location generously offers us a grand view to the vast greenfield, the blue clear sky. Besides, the area is only 10-minute drive to District 7, one of the most prosperous districts of Saigon. District 7 is very much different from other districts of Saigon. It was not authentically Vietnamese, to be honest, because a large percent of residents in district 7 is covered by foreigners (mainly Korean expats) and upper-class locals. The district is popular destination for a wealthy and healthy lifestyle. Still, I don’t live in district 7 aha, I just happen to live really near that area. So, I enjoy a lower housing cost thanks to living in a rural area and, in meanwhile, the short distance to a great diversity of restaurants, malls and cafe. Most of my friends don’t like district 7 or the area I’m living in because these two areas are so far from the authentic Vietnamese lifestyle. Nowhere can be seen the loud and lively open market, or the street food carts or the low-cost dining courts that you can find in every street of district 1, 2 or 3 in Saigon. I’m living so far from the Saigonese hustle and bustle. Sometimes, I miss that hustle and bustle, but most of the time I feel myself blessed for having peacefulness and quietness. I have had enough during 8 hours working in the centre, so ‘no, thanks!’ for the rest of my day.

Continue reading “Awesome Coffee Shop (yes , it’s the name)”

Tuesday and being a good nitpicker

Working as a copywriter has taught me a lot in picking errors and things for improvements. I’m no way near being a perfectionist, but my profession requires me to be a nitpicker, and I have to admit that I still fail at that. Sometimes, at my office, the graphic designers moan out of desperation for my comments. “Why do you love commenting a lot?”. No, I don’t enjoy criticising other people. I just want to point out things we can do to improve before sending anything to clients. Still, I’m no way a perfectionist. My stuff still has a lot of flaws teehehhee, and I’m working on my flaws.

But recently, I have seen that my habit of raising comments and feedbacks has some good returns back to me instead of the frowns or moaning!!! Days ago, I sent my email to Skillshare, an online global learning community,to raise my comments on how difficult for me to load the new version of their site. And the web layout seemed to be a little bit more distracting than the older version. This is my professional talk after time of working with the user interface and web content. I just sent them the email just on a whim, expecting nothing back as I know that they would say thank you for your feedbacks or ignore my email. Instead, I received a very friendly, down-to-earth and sincere email from their staff –Megan, thanking me for the feedbacks and explaining their process of working on the lag. And she sent me a small token, which is one free month to be added to me premium membership. Whooho!!!! One month membership of 9.9$ is not such a big deal to me, but I’m happy to receive a gift for my feedbacks. Not the usual impersonal, corporate emails “Thank you for your feedback bla bla, we will come back to you soon” and with no follow-up emails. I’m happy about the personal touch from Skillshare, the website that I have used a lot in recent months.

I normally use Skillshare for learning creative writing, and graphic design. I attended the courses in graphic design just for knowledge only, not for hard-core techniques. I just wanted to understand better about the graphic design, so I can discuss with the graphic designers in my work more easily. So they can’t fool me !!:D I can’t draw, but I still can talk, babe!! For creative writing, I joined courses in the creative nonfiction writing, hosted by Susan Orlean (the staff writer of The New Yorker magazine). The course was extremely helpful for me, and I loved Susan’s lecture. I did attend one writing course before, as my company paid me to learn that course. However, that $350 Australian Writing course was not as good as this $9.9 course by Susan Orlean. Well, just my personal opinion, okay? Because everyone has different style of learning and understanding, I found myself helpless with audio-only lectures like the ones in the Australian Writing course. I prefer illustrative lectures, where the lecturers talk and illustrate ideas in compelling ways. It’s like I sucks at audiobooks. I would rather sit with the hundreds-page books doing nothing else than driving with 2-hours audio book. I would either crash into the lightpoles or remember nothing from the audio.

Today is not a happy day at work for me, but the email did really lighten up my afternoon (after a sleepy heavy lunch~ ~).Anyway, it’s my time for me to make a hot cup of coffee, and back to work.

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

(It’s ironic to see the feature image and the text together lolz)

The Workshop Coffee Shop – the perfect hide out for my writing

Since today, (oy yeah, today!!), I will start blogging in a serious way– not ranting over nonsense matters or mundane trivia anymore. I will start blogging about all the interesting snippets that I’ve collected everyday.

Monday is always the day I hate most in a week, and many people do as well, right? Monday is called ‘the brain dead day’ not for nothing, right? It’s right after an amazing weekend, and is the beginning of a long working week. I always have to drag myself to the office in Monday, regain a little bit energy in Tuesday, Wednesday and then get on high spirit and anticipation during Thursday then Friday. Monday is ‘the dead-fish day’ for me, because I look absolutely tired and sleepy on Monday. Anyway, today is Monday; however, this Monday is different: I don’t have to work in office!!! Oh yeah, my damn boring, gloomy office. Thanks to the power outage, which happens once a month in my office, I have free wills to work from home or work in café till 2pm. The only pros (I used to consider it cons) of working in a start-up and your start-up office is located on the residential area with high density is that you have to experience the power outage once or twice per month. Oh yes, welcome to Vietnam, babe! When I used to work in my former company in District 7, I never once experienced the power outage, or they could be but the whole building had the back-up power source.

When I saw that the power outage happens not occasionally but in a monthly basis, I decided to have a list coming with that occasion : How to celebrate the monthly power outage. It’s also a way to celebrate third world’ problems, right? I felt myself lucky somehow. 😉 Therefore, I set up a list of café shops in HCM that I should visit for each time I can escape from my damn boring office to work outside. I feel myself blessed because: 1/ HCM is home to various, unique café shops with lots of different styles in terms of the coffee and the interior design, and 2/ I don’t have much time at weekend to explore café shops in district 1 as I live so far from the centre.

Today, to celebrate the first monthly power outage of September, I listed out three café I wanted to visit: Air Lounge D.7, The Morning Café D.1 and the Workshop Coffee D.1. At first I picked the Air Lounge because it’s airy, open-spaced and very near from my house. Also, the view of Air Lounge is very romantic which I love most about District 7. However, when thinking back and forth, considering the time and travelling distance also the space, I again rode to my last option, as I wanted to see how awesome the drip-brewed coffee in The Workshop Coffee. Once again, I’m such a sucker for coffee. Awww, it’s such a super duper long introduction to talk about a café…. Hmmm.

The first drawback of the Workshop Coffee is parking your bike. It’s not a surprise to me as this coffee shop is located in the centre, right at the centre of District 1 so parking is nothing short of a hassle. It was pretty easy to find The Workshop, 27 Ngo Duc Ke, right near Me Linh Point and Sheraton. Strangely though, I have never been to this place before because it’s so easy to miss this tiny place. After trying to park my bike, I went into the place and walked a number of stairs to the third floor, bypassing two desolate shops and bars on two first floors, which were closed for a while. On the third floor, I got welcomed by a totally different space. It’s like you walked into a tiny house with a tiny door, but then when you open the door to its room, the door opening to a giant dreamland like in the fantasy movies :). And the Workshop Coffee Shop is that misterious room; it was pretty big and bright, giving a sense of open space thanks to the high ceiling and minimal interior design. The windows with green shades of trees behind gave an utterly feeling of fresh and peacefulness.

I preferred the slot with greener view; however, it meant I had to be sandwiched between two other occupied tables so I turned to the table at the corner. The corner place turned out to be pretty good and romantic too. Not bad at all!! I really enjoyed the view thanks to the green shades of trees outside, the violet shades of flower bush on the old hotel at the opposite, and a clear blue sky. That’s just simply awesome. I ordered a cup of hot cappuccino as usual, and a slice of tiramisu. As advertised, the coffee beans were hand grinded and brewed. The coffee I drank was not from the drip-brewed bottle, so I couldn’t judge that type of coffee yet. The cappuccino I chose was very good, rich and creamy. The tiramisu was soooo good although I am not really a fan of tiramisu. This morning, I craved for a slice of apple pie, but now I changed my mind. The tiramisu simply rocked my Monday; it was so good, fresh and rich in taste. The music and the noise was just loud enough, creating a perfect atmosphere for me to write and roam. This kind of atmosphere was so different from the gloomy and doomy view in my office, with noisy music played by the designers. I was so different from the rest in my office as I was the only copywriter. For designers, they love loud and upbeat music when they need to concentrate. But for me, the loud or upbeat music keeps distracting me from producing words and ideas. Yeah, but I couldn’t do anything except escaping from them and sacrifice my honour and dignity haha. They would tell that I was becoming slack, but it’s fine for me because I found that I could write four times better when I was away from that dimly lit, depressing office.

Sorry that my photos can’t do the justice for the coffee shop as I was too shy to use my camera in a proper way. I was afraid to disturb other people with my flash or camera.

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The Workshop Cafe’s information

27 Ngo Duc Ke, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam

Apart from taking a sip of the heavenly cup of joe, you can also get the cakes, sandwiches, and salad.

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