Houston Bites: Ca Phe Phin- Vietnamese Coffee House

Cà Phê Phin. The name has a catchy sound to it. Cà phê is actually the Vietnamese word for coffee and phin is the drip by drip brewing process that they use to make the coffee. Me and my friends were looking for a cafe that we hadn’t been to before in Houston, and so this place seemed like the perfect find. You may have driven by this place numerous times not knowing what quenching drinks lay inside (If you are a Houstonian, that is). This coffee house lays tucked away in the middle of a shopping center on Nasa Rd 1. It is right next to Akimi Sushi & Stir Fry, which is a great landmark to have to find this place. Located in Houston, this cafè has quite the prime location as it is a minute’s drive from Nasa Space Center. If you are looking for a laid-back, calm atmosphere to talk to your friends, do some homework, or just get a drink, then this is a place that you should put down on your to-do list. I, myself, will be coming back for sure to try some of their different drinks.

Right when we walked in, we instantly felt the inviting and cozy atmosphere. The sunlight, shining in from the large windows, lit up the whole interior and gave it a very nice and natural feel. The funky cultural artifacts around gave additional character to the small space.

Ca Phe PhinCa Phe Phin

Here is the menu that we spent forever looking at. I personally am a big green tea and thai tea person, but I decided to try something different while here. The Ca Phe Sua was described as a translucent, rich smooth drink with light condensed milk and so I tried that one out in frappe form!

Menu

The delicious Ca Phe Sua frappe! It had a strong coffee taste but was creamy and satisfying. If you love coffee, but want a cold drink for the day then I would suggest you try out the Ca Phe Sua.

Ca Phe Sua Frappe

One of my friends got the Banana Japanese Green Tea Frappe, but without the bananas. This drink did not have a bitter after-taste as some green tea frappes do, so this is one you will enjoy!

Green Tea Frappe

And finally, pictured on the left is the pineapple slush. Even though this a coffee house and you would think that the only good products would be the coffee, the pineapple slush did not disappoint. For those people who prefer fruity over coffee drinks, this is a go-to! On the right is the salted caramel frappe, which again tasted just as one would expect, with a hint of salted caramel. All of us finished our drinks and left with the intention of returning to try the other delights that we did not get a chance to. I really wanted to get the toasted sesame frappe. I am curious as to how that one will taste, but we will have to wait till the next visit.

pineapple slush

 

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Green Tea Frappè with Tapioca

Green Tea Frappé

Mason jars have just opened a whole new world to me. It’s crazy the amount of desserts or drinks you can make in them! They also end up looking ten times nicer, because the mason jar just adds this special effect to any photo. Well, asides from the mason jar, the green tea is definitely a winning flavor. It tastes perfect in just about anything- macarons, ice-cream, cake, and even lattès. Any bakery that serves this flavor instantly earns five stars from me haha. If you have not tried this flavor before, it would probably be a good idea to get that on your priority list. Usually I’m a regular with the “green tea” bubble tea served at tapioca houses, with the “thai tea” bubble tea coming in to a close second. I have also tried the green tea frappuccino from Starbucks, but I was disappointed with it. It felt that it was too sweet and had too much ice, like most of their drinks. Check below to see how to make this one of a kind green tea frappuccino!

Green Tea Frappuccino

Makes: One Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla syrup or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Blend all the ingredients together until at a smooth consistency
  2. Serve with a scoop of ice-cream if desired

For directions regarding the tapioca, check out this link here. I will be posting my own step-by-step for it soon!

Tips:

-Green tea matcha powder can be found at a local Chinese grocery store or at amazon where I bought mine

-The matcha will be a little bitter, but the vanilla syrup or extract will cover up that bitterness

The Search Is Over!

I read in an article once that spending money on experiences and eating out made people happier as compared to spending money on materialistic items. I for one, agree completely with this. An experience will stay with you forever, an unforgettable memory. Every time I eat out, it’s another new experience. Discovering new restaurants and bakeries is always a joy, not to mention the varieties of cuisine that you will get exposed to. In the past weeks I have also discovered two new bakeries, one known for their moist bundt cakes and another for their delish macarons (pictures coming up soon).

Anyways, me and my friends have been looking foreverrrrrr for an exceptional Chinese restaurant to go to! The Chinese fast food in the mall just wouldn’t cut it anymore and neither would those loaded buffets. We settled on P.F.Changs in the end, a decision well-made. Before we even walked into the restaurant, we knew it would be spectacular due to the clean cut presentation. If you haven’t been to this restaurant yet, I highly recommend you visit it if it’s near your area.

**By the way, my goal this winter break is to post something everyday whether a recipe, book review, or something interesting I’ve read, so keep posted! :)

photo 1

P. F. Changs!

What we ordered…. Before the real food came haha. Dynamite Shrimp, Crab Wontons, Spring Rolls, oh and can’t forget Auntie Chang’s Frappe :)

*Almond & Cashew Chicken*

Stir-fried with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in a garlic soy sauce