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Coffee shop District 3, has no price, customers pay for themselves depending on their feelings

HO CHI MINH CITY – Drinks of the cafe on Vo Van Tan Street, District 3, have no price, customers pay for themselves depending on their feelings.

Located on Vo Van Tan street, the cafe has a small space, the frontage is only about 2.5 m wide, and regular customers come in and out from morning to night. The outside decoration is simple with just a sign, the inside is about 10 m2 wide for a few small chairs. The corners of the wall are closed to the roaster, extractor, and coffee maker, the remaining space is enough for 5 guests to sit close together, if there are more people, they have to go to the sidewalk. Two bartenders work hand in hand. The restaurant does not have a menu or prices. Guests pay for themselves in a wooden box in the corner of the wall, with the words “Customize”.

Coffee shop District 3, has no price, customers pay for themselves depending on their feelings
Mr. On Tan Luc prepares coffee for guests. Photo: Quynh Tran.

The shop has been open since April 2021, the enthusiasm and also to satisfy the passion of Mr. On Tan Luc, 50 years old. Mr. Luc used to be a famous tennis player in Vietnam and is working as a coach in this sport. Around 2010, Mr. Luc started to learn about coffee and then went to teach. “In the process of researching this drink, I want more people to know about coffee methodically, especially organic,” said the 50-year-old man about the reason for opening the shop.

According to Mr. Luc, organic coffee or organic coffee is the type that does not use synthetic fertilizers or chemicals in cultivation or production. The coffee bean’s raw materials are taken from Bao Loc (Lam Dong), and Dak Mil (Dak Nong).

Mr. Luc invested about one billion VND to buy roasters and coffee makers. He chose a small space because it is aimed at the needs of guests to enjoy the coffee instead of the accompanying facilities like a regular shop. Most people come to choose to take away, when it first opened, it only consumed 30 cups a day, but now, the average shop consumes about 150 cups, and it’s more crowded on weekends. In addition, the shop also sells roasted and ground coffee.

The shop has a small space, people often sit and drink coffee. Photo: Quynh Tran.

The owner chooses a custom form, and after drinking, customers can pay according to their mood, and the taste of the drink they feel or not pay. “If I charge at the market price, a cup of organic coffee is not cheap, usually twice as much as regular coffee. So not everyone has access to this drink, so I let people pay for their own feelings. when drinking,” Mr. Luc said.

From the first day of opening the shop, Mr. Luc has seen people put hundreds of thousands of dong in the box, but in some cases, they only put change. For that reason, the money box is also kept in a hidden corner so that many guests will not be afraid.

Not setting a specific price for coffee helps the owner feel comfortable, reducing the work of detailed billing at the end of the session, and controlling the bill. “I don’t care about profit, the money I get will be used to buy ingredients and pay employees,” the shop owner said.

The shop does not name each drink, the staff often suggests dishes for customers to choose the right cup of coffee according to their taste. Instead of using condensed milk, this place chooses homemade nut milk to give the drink its own flavor. Everyone is also free to observe, learn about how to make and distinguish each type of coffee…

Mr. Le Hieu Nghia spent as much money as he wanted for the two cups of coffee he bought. Photo: Quynh Tran.

For nearly a month now, twice a week when work passes by, Mr. Le Hieu Nghia stops by to buy two cups of milk coffee to take away. After receiving the goods, he stopped the car and entered the shop, leaving the box of 50,000 VND. “The coffee here is delicious, fragrant and the preparation is also very methodical,” said the 38-year-old man.

The second time visiting the shop, Mr. Mai Cong Minh, 26 years old, chose a cup of coffee with milk but not too sweet and low in fat. This time, he chose to sit at the bar to chat with everyone. “This model is quite interesting, I feel comfortable when I get paid according to the taste of the drink. My company is recent so I will definitely visit the shop many more times in the future”, Mr. Minh said.

The shop is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Outside of the weekend, the shop’s busiest hours are 10am – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm, when nearby office workers go out. The drawback of the restaurant is that the parking space is not much, encouraging people to buy and take away.

Photo: Internet (

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