You know how sometimes being a snoopy Lois Lane leads you to discovered things you wish you hadn’t? Or how innocent symbologist Robert Langdon was just puttering along when suddenly the Pope was trying to strangle him?

That’s what we have on our hands here.

I made my regular pre-Comic-Con trip down to Tin Tan Hung, the strange Vietnamese grocery store on the Lower East Side, the only place I’ve found in the city which sells actual Ca Phe Hoa Tan. Attending San Diego without a whole bag to get me through the show would be UNTHINKABLE. And unpossible. Despite my recent research which indicates that this pep powder doesn’t even contain coffee, whatever is in it, it wakes you up, helps you focus and keeps you regular all at once. Truly a miracle potion.

Going to the coffee aisle past the gruff old dude who was trying to block me (they don’t like non regular shoppers at Tin Tan Hung) I found my regular Ca Phe Hoa Tan produced by Vinacafe. But in my research, I’ve come across mentions of another brand, called G7 which many swear by. And there it was at the same price: 24 packets for $3.95.

But what shocked and stunned me was the packaging for G7. It reveals that the power of Vietnamese instant coffee is so profoundly intense that it has a super power. Finally I knew why after just one cup I felt like I could conquer the world.

It makes you feel like like a powerful white man.
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One sip and you will expect people to move out of your way at a glance, have everything you say be important and give you the right find any representation in popular culture of someone not like you “unrealistic.” When you drink G7 you feel like you can play golf and get the urge to prepare a report.

Being a powerful white man also has perks. You immediately acquire the things that every powerful white man has: a hot Eurasian girlfriend with a designer purse and a blackOps helicopter that comes with wifi, a stereo, reclining chairs and one of these:
You also get this:


In fact…you get everything that comes in a Skymall catalog.

Even the name, G7, suggests that you are ready join a club of other powerful white men and get to running the world.

Finally, I understand why after drinking a cup of Ca Phe Hoa Tan I feel such a sense of mastery, confidence and an urge to solve problems.

It is a mighty elixir.

On a more serious note, as I mentioned above, my research indicates that Asian 3-in-1 instant coffee packets don’t actually contain instant coffee. I have no idea what is really in them — definitely some kind of stimulant. Maybe I don’t want to know more. Maybe my friends who snorted it had the right idea.


  1. If you take the 4 to Kingsbridge, there is a southeast asian grocery which sells both 3-in-1 ($4.50 for 24) and G7. (The nice old lady recommended G7.) If you need a quick fix, there is a restaurant next door.

  2. Wil: it is strange to a Western palette at least, filled as it is with bags of dried squid, crab paste and toddy palm. All things I like, or might if I weren’t scared of them!

  3. I found G7 Black in a Carrefour store near here (Hsinchu, Taiwan). A pasted-on label in Chinese gives the caffeine content as 90 mg per two-gram packet and recommends mixing in 60 mL of water. This seems to be at the low end of the espresso strength range.

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