A random urge to just cruise around town brought me way out to Gò Vấp today, and I happened to pass by one of the rare air-conditioned shops on Phạm Văn Đồng street. Upon walking in it appeared they were just opening the shop – not just in the starting-for-the-day sense, but rather the grand-opening sense. They still had boxes of supplies behind the counter and the whole shop smelled like fresh construction. In addition, they were running a half-off promotion today. Lucky me!
Alien Coffee is very crisp-looking in its sparse modern decoration. It’s probably angled toward the college crowd. The air was comfortable, though they were playing crappy pop music. The surprisingly large staff, though limited on English skills, seemed excited when I walked in. I’m not sure if that was because it was so empty, or because a foreigner was visiting so far from the city center. In any case, I had high hopes.
…and was let down. Their black coffee did not have the taste of a thick phin brew – I’m guessing it was just drip-machine brewed, weak and bitter. Sigh. For those interested, also on the menu were a wide selection of fancy coffees, tons of teas, juices, smoothies and matcha drinks.
Verdict: I really wanted to like this place. They’ve done everything right but the coffee itself. Since it’s so new I may end up giving it a second chance, but for now, I can’t really recommend it.