Friday, 3 May 2013

Vietnamese Coffee

best coffee ever at Avalon Cafe!
When I was in Hanoi, Vietnam last year, the last thing that I ever expected was to get a really good cup of coffee and I thought I would be lucky to even get a decent cup of coffee . But, boy was I so wrong! I happened to savour one of the best coffees that I've ever had.

The first time I tasted the coffee in Vietnam was on our first day in Hanoi, after a long day of sightseeing, in a stylish little cafe overlooking the Hoan Kiem Lake, named Avalon Cafe. I ordered a Vietnamese Iced Coffee and I expected to get a rather mediocre, weak coffee. However, I was pleasantly surprised with its robust flavour and rich aroma and I still dream about having the iced coffee in that cafe!

Then again, I thought I was just lucky any maybe only this place happens to serve good coffee. But, I must say, the quality of the coffee throughout my whole stay in Vietnam was consistent and I never had a bad coffee, even once. Even the coffee served at the breakfast buffet at the hotel I was staying was also commendable, unlike those weak pots of coffee you get at buffets. 

On our last day in Vietnam, totally in love with their coffee, I decided that I should buy back home some of their lovely coffee. However, I was clueless as to where to get really good quality ground coffee. Just took my chances and entered a shop in the Old Quarter which appeared to specialise in coffee and also there was a bit of a crowd there. I assumed that the shop must be supplying good quality coffee.

Upon entering the shop, we were given a catalog of the different types of coffee blend that they sold any their prices according to weight. Like I said, I was quite unfamiliar with the coffee blend in Vietnam. The owner then recommended us to sample the Vietnamese Kopi Luwak. You can read about kopi luwak here. To tell the truth, although kopi luwak, especially the Indonesian variety is much famed, I was rather hesitant to give it a try. But, for the love of coffee, I gave it a try. It had such a superior flavour that I've never tasted. It was buttery, had a robust and nutty flavour and gave you a "buzz" after having a small cup. I was convinced and bought back a pack!

vietnamese kopi luwak
One thing about vietnamese coffee or vietnamese kopi luwak (vietnamese weasel coffee) is that it is best taken with sweetened condensed milk. I'm not a big fan of those sweetened condensed milk, looking at the amount to sugar in it. Hence, I have the Vietnamese kopi luwak as an occasional treat. Trust me, I've tried making it with low fat milk and creamer, but it does no justice to the coffee. And you have to make the coffee really strong to enjoy its rich flavours. If you are not much of a coffee person or don't like their coffee too strong, maybe vietnamese coffee isn't for you. 

If you are ever in Vietnam or planning to head there in the future, please don't miss out on their remarkable coffee.

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