Most of what I said about coffee in my Ho Chi Minh City Food Guide applies here, and the Vietnamese coffee is plentiful and cheap. Highlands Coffee is the common chain in Hanoi – my wife and I only saw one Trung Nguyen in the city.
One place that I wanted to mention on here was Reng Reng Cafe. It’s run by Duy Biểu Nguyễn, who started with nothing more than a bicycle and coffee beans from his family’s coffee plantation in Lam Dong. Nowadays he has a stall in the most unassuming of locations next to what looked like a bike/car parking station.
His equipment isn’t fancy as funds are limited. It’s a Baby Gaggia and old Gaggia grinder. I had an espresso and the coffee was pretty decent. Duy was very passionate about coffee, sustainability and the like and it was a pleasure to talk to him (his English was broken but pretty good). I love what Duy is doing and I hope that when I visit Vietnam in years to come that he’s been able to get some better equipment and achieve his dream of having a chain of take away stations that sell sustainable, locally produced take away coffee to the people.