A caffeine high that is 😉
The southern parts of Laos are home to world famous coffee plantations. The high mountains, fertile land and stable climate provide for perfect coffee growing conditions. If you have read my previous posts you’ll know that I love coffee.
Australia is a pioneer in the coffee industry and growing up I was forever going on coffee dates with friends and checking out the latest #trendycafe (okay not just while I was growing up I still do that!). A lot of people do not understand that to go from bean to cup is a very long process with large margin for error. For example, when I was in South America everyone said “oh you will get the best coffee there, that’s where it all comes from.”
The beans come from there, yes. Roasted there, probably not. Because when a coffee bean is picked it is picked green. A roaster will then buy those green beans and usually have them shipped internationally to them . Once rceiving the beans they will roast them. After the bean is roasted a cafe will buy these beans, the barista must then dial in that bean to the grinder and coffee machine. These beans can be affected by humidity, temperature and a whole host of other factors. Baristas are kind of like mini scientists. So no, just because you’re in a country which grows coffee beans it certainly does not mean coffee will be good!
So I was pleasantly surprised on my arrival in Pakse that there were a number of coffee shops who grew and roasted there own coffee to a high standard.
This cafe is certainly appealing to the upper market travellers. A long black set me back 20,000kip. However, the coffee was very good. At the store they also had a range of beans which you could take home. Sinuous has their own plantation at the Bolaven Plateau and roasts them up there as well. Apart from coffee they do a number of other iced drinks and have a fresh selection of house made pastries. Indoor and outdoor seating available.
Situated near the Deaunghon Talat this cafe caters mainly to locals with a large selection of sweet iced drinks (Lao people love condensed milk!). My usual Long Black cost me 10,000 kip. It was decent and it seemed as though they used Dao Coffee. Dao coffee is one of the biggest suppliers in Lao. Lovely outdoor seating section, staff were quite friendly and I even received a heart shaped candy for Valentine’s Day!
Parisian is situated across the road from Sinouk and caters to a similar upper class market, especially Asian tourists. It is a chain but they do make all their pasties in house. Coffee is alright but not worth the 18,000 I paid for a long black.
By far the cutest location as it is situated outdoors under a big tree! Staff are much friendlier than usual Lao staff which is a nice change. My coffee was 15,000 Kip, Dao coffee, and was okay except I think they added sugar. I also had a mango shake for the same price and it was delicious!
Defiantly catering to the local crowd. This cafe has a nice corner spot across from the big bus station on the Mekong. Outdoor set up was cute, inside decor not as inviting. Big cold drinks selection, there were also a few pastries but they looked store brought and stale.
Laos Vida Bakery and Cafe
Great cafe for a great cause! This bakery and cafe provides vocational training and education to young local men. Seems to be run by an Australian lady who is very inviting when you enter. Menu is one of the cheapest I have seen for western food! My long black was 10,000 kip. To be honest I expected better considering the program was run by an Aussie but I wasn’t that bad, I’m just a bit of a coffee snob. The pastries in the cabinet are made fresh everyday (sweet and savoury) and if you want to grab a bargain you can buy one of the previous day’s pastries for a slither of the price!
Hot tip: They are closed on weekends!
Hands down the best coffee in Pakse! Coffee grown and roasted by Delta as well. My long black was 10,000 kip and was superb, thick crema, rich flavour…my dreams have come true! They also have a good menu of local and western food. House made cakes and pastries also look tempting.
Hot tip: Don’t come here for the service!
It is great to see this area embracing their coffee farming roots and taking advantage of this booming trade. Many of these companies also reinvest some of their profits back into the local areas where they have their plantations, thus promoting local development…awesome!