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Coffee in Viet Nam

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  • Coffee in Viet Nam



    Viets like their coffee roasted dark. Even so-called Cinnamon roasts looked dark to me. This means low acidity and muted flavours but the main taste to my palate was chocolate undertones - subtle. General advice is that you will probably be disappointed with milk-based drinks in Nam as with most other coffee places in SEA thgo the traditional drip filter over condensed milk wasnt too bad when I tried one on my first trip there back in 93.

    Ha Noi

    I enjoyed the best espresso at a coffee chain called Hapro - particularly the kiosk on the south-eastern shore of the Lake (but the ambience assisted the enjoyment). Not sure if they are country wide.

    The Starbucks of Ha Noi was a company called Highlands. They had Jamaica Blue Mt as their drawcard and tyhis was recommended to us by the waitress. I found it quite ordinary, let alone the over-ratedness of JBM as a bean. It lacked any enjoyable flavour and was stale. I ended up ordering one of their own espressos which was much better but not as nice as the Hapro. My wife ordered a Mocca style concoction which came back as something you might buy in Starbucks and she was quite underwhelmed.

    The store featured a selection of roast beans you could buy and, on closer inspection, all looked well past their best. The Highland City Roast (prob. roasted to about CS11) was about the freshest and I ended up buying a 250g bag  for VND50000 (about US$3). It wasnt bad in an Aeropress. I gave the remainder to the boys at Highlander in Singapore which they put through their Oscar. First shot was ordinary but the second wasnt bad.

    I was only there for 4 days so didnt get a chance to visit any plantations. Avoiding writing a travelogue I will just say that I tried a couple of risky experiecnes in my two trips to VN but probably the most dangerous activity is trying to cross the road on foot  .


  • #2
    Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

    I am off to Vietnam in a couple of weeks and am wondering about any other coffee-experiences of CSers over there...

    Cheers

    Daniel

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    • #3
      Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

      VN has been discussed on other threads. Try a search on CS

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      • #4
        Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

        OK, I have just spent 3 months in Vietnam, and heres the lowdown...
        First up, you can pretty much forget about getting a familiar espresso on anything like a regular basis. I got a few nice flukes from the Emporio Armani cafe in HCMC, and a random place called Coffee House that when I went back had one of the crappiest coffees. The vietnamese coffee is not great as a hot drink (in my opinion anyway), but it makes an excellent iced coffee when added to ice and condensed milk. Considering it rarely drops much below 30C, its probably as good a place as any for the iced coffee. The best one I had was in Hoi An (which also had the best vietnamese food incidentally). There was also a pretty good one in Da Lat. Ive attached the pictures (with yours truly in the Hoi An one, a little riverside stall, and it cost all of 50c). As far as the ones I had the most, it would be at Highlands (the Starbucks of Vietnam), but that was for some peace and quiet and a chance to get away from the Vietnamese people for a while (Im a bit jaded to be honest, and can only put it down to being there for a longer time makes it harder to ignore the obvious attitudes). My tip: forget Vietnam, go to Laos. The coffee isnt much better, but its a much nicer place ;D



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        • #5
          Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

          Hows the food in Laos?

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          • #6
            Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

            Originally posted by 42474857260 link=1240742173/4#4 date=1285840837
            Hows the food in Laos?
            Laosy.

            Sorry, couldnt resist. Im sure its wonderful.

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            • #7
              Re: Coffee in Viet Nam

              Originally posted by 66636C73020 link=1240742173/4#4 date=1285840837
              Hows the food in Laos?
              check my other post, but its fantastic!

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              • #8
                Just back from 3 weeks in Vietnam. Best coffee (a latte) was at coffee shop/restaurant on the waters edge at the northwest corner of Lake Hoan Kiem in Hanoi.
                Next best was coffee shop in the foyer of the water puppets theatre nearby (north east corner of the lake).

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                • #9
                  I had a great coffee experience in Saigon. A place called the workshop. Specialty arabica only coffee unlike I suspect a lot of the other coffee here.
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                  • #10
                    Great looking cafe for Saigon, thou $4.45 is way over the top for Vietnam

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                    • #11
                      Yeah I though the same thing. But it was good so I can't complain. The place is seriously well set up with a 10kg roaster in there as well. They do cupping classes too I believe

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                      • #12
                        The thing that makes the latte style coffees in SE Asia so expensive is the cost of fresh milk. The coffee place we drink in in Sihanoukville is ran by a Dutch woman, she runs out of a beach hut and her kit is a behmor roaster and a Silvia/rocky combo and she charges about 4US a coffee. Fresh New Zealand milk is about 2.50US a litre. In Cambodia and only available in a couple of the expat supermarkets.

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                        • #13
                          Any recent/new recommendations in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by apicius View Post
                            Any recent/new recommendations in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)?
                            The Workshop was still good in June this year. Otherwise I just had Vietnamese Iced Coffee (so much sugar you can't really get a "bad" one).

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                            • #15
                              I was there couple of weeks ago and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had reasonable coffee. Black probably best option as they tend to overdo the milk. e.g. Ask for a Macchiato rather if you want milk. Too much milk for a Mach, but good Cap replacement. There was a small Roastery at the Coffee shop next door to the one I went to, but full of smokers, so gave it a miss.

                              GrahamK

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