Located in a small lane at district 5, Ho Chi Minh city, the coffee shop “Cheo Leo” is the oldest coffee in the whole city. “Cheo Leo” now is run by three sisters: Suong, Tuyet and Sau, they still keep the way they brew coffee since 1938. Back to that time, Chinese people here use ceramic pots to brew their medicine. Influenced by then, “Cheo Leo” also use ceramic pots and cloth filters to brew coffee.
The coffee powder will be put in the cloth filter first, and pre-brewed in the ceramic pot for a while, then the ceramic pot will be put in a 80-year charcoal fire oven to maintain its temperature. The owner said that the most challenging part is to keep the heat consistently. The ceramic pot will be boiled if it is too hot, while the aroma cannot be spread if the temperature is too low. And this is the secret of success of “Cheo Leo”.
Mr. Ngo, the father of the three sisters, opened “Cheo Leo” when nothing can be seen in this area. In Vietnamese, “Cheo Leo” means high and dangerous, which just percisely illustrates the scene when the coffee shop was established.
Walking into “Cheo Leo”, you can easily find that most of the customers are residents in this region. Some have even drunk coffee here since they were students. Going through 80 years, the coffee shop “Cheo Leo” is an indispensible memory and the most important piece of puzzle of old Vietnamese coffee.