Tip of the spear for specialty coffee in Hanoi, we chanced upon Gau Coffee almost immediately after arriving in the Old Quarter. We almost missed it, but shot a double take when we saw the La Marzocco Linea MP and collection of metal V60 cones. Right in the heart of the old quarter was this fantastic little roaster, bakery, and cafe run by champion barista, Sang, who had moved up from HCMC to spearhead the concept. It’s an effort to grow the high-end coffee scene in a traditional style coffee-saturated Hanoi.
Sang himself says that the shop serves “premium coffees,” but is hesitant to refer to his own shop as Specialty Coffee. “Specialty Coffee is hard to achieve” he said, though the espresso itself was a better pulled shot than many others this writer has personally had in places claiming to be “Specialty Coffee.” I think that this form of healthy dissatisfaction will drive this shop for years to come.
The coffees we had were from their house blend that used honey processed coffees from Ethiopia, Panama, and their own farm in Vietnam. The blend was balanced and with fruit-like sweetness.