The Workshop in Saigon, the coffee experience!

The Workshop is a new café in town, only few months old, but already very busy!

The reason why? Their coffee. This is what they do best and this is the main reason people come for. The Workshop produces it, transports it, roasts it, brews it, prepares it and drinks it (to make sure the preparation is well done). The place looks also very nice, it is one of these cool spots in Saigon where you like to go. Very similar to L’Usine in some ways, but definitely less busy. People come here to meet friends, do business, organise events, work, or simply drink a nice cup of coffee.

With a group of bloggers, we had the opportunity to meet Dung, the owner of the place, a coffee enthusiast as well! During an hour or so, we got to learn the various and surprising techniques of making coffee, the different types of coffee, the coffee roasting process, and of course, to try the coffee ourself.

I drink coffee myself, and I have to admit that until that day, I didn’t know a thing about it. Vietnam is a big producer of coffee, and around 99% of the coffee produced is Robusta, a less tasty but very concentrated and cheaper coffee. Arabica, on the other side, is less concentrated and can be drunk all day (well, there is still a limit). 70% of The Workshop coffee is from Vietnam, but they also prepare other kind of coffee like Ethiopia for example.

Roasting method was also very interesting, it helps the beans to lose their acidity. The roast-master knows all the techniques from beans used for an espresso or beans used for a latte. Totally different according to him.  The Workshop has their own roasting machine and roast-master that comes from Dalat every week to prepare and roast the beans. They make sure every single cup will be enjoyable, and this is exactly what you can feel when you go there. As Dung says: ” It’s all about taking the time to drink a good coffee”😉

Random fact: Did you know that you need 70 beans for a cup of coffee?

DSC_1533 DSC_1555 DSC_1558 DSC_1563 DSC_1580 DSC_1584 DSC_1587 DSC_1602 DSC_1606 DSC_1607 DSC_1608 DSC_1615 DSC_1620 DSC_1629 DSC_1536

Where to work as a freelancer in Saigon?

I have noticed a lot of people work as freelancers in Saigon. Me included. The reason why is probably due to the all the advantages it gives, when you don’t have to go to the office at 8am every morning for example, and when you can work from wherever you feel comfortable to work from. Or when you manage your work the way you want it to, and not have someone constently telling you what you have to do. This freedom and this way of working has a price of course, and lots of disadvantages as well, but let’s focus Today on where it is cool to work when you are a freelancer in Saigon.

First of all, I have to say that driving a scooter is the best thing ever when living in Saigon, as it gives you a total freedom! You can drive from places to places easily and manage your time according to your priorities, meeting and stuff.

Places I LOVE to go:
🔸 The fly cupcake garden in District 3: recently the place I have been the most, as it’s quiet and very nicely decorated.
🔸 The WORK Saigon: an open space usually regrouping all kind of people from startups, entrepreneur to students. This whole house, set up and imagined by 2 young creative entrepreneurs, has been transformed in a really nice cocoon for creative minds and I really love it! Moreover they now have a cantine & coffee where you can get a nice brekki or a yummy lunch.
🔸 The Workshop: one of this places that specialize in coffee making and which looks incredible. A minimalist decoration, mixing simplicity and design on the second floor of a random building in D1. Not cheap but worths a look!
🔸 L’Usine: the most famous coffee in town, mixed with a concept store based on the Urban Outfitter/All Saints style if you have been to the UK. For me, a good place to meet people and schedule meetings, but not too work, as it’s always busy and noisy.
🔸 Mekong Merchant: in D2, one of this places where you actually feel ‘at work’ and where the staff actually knows you because you come too often, ordering the same coffee all the time. I remembered how impressed I was the first time I went there, I thought it was a very ‘exotic’ place with all this vegetation and its palm trees roof.
🔸The Loop: yummy latte! Cool atmosphere in the morning when its quiet, nice decoration and breakfast.
🔸Cucuta café: so cute & cosy. Not even mentioning the angora cat wondering around…

Places that worths a try:

🔸M2C café: very quiet and nice with amazing natural juices. A bit disappointed on the food though.
🔸ID café: I did an article about this one just here.
🔸The Fig café: very nice and calm, but a bit far from home.

Okay places:

🔸Tous les jours: a bakerie that serves coffees and patisseries. AC is colder than ever.
🔸Starbuck: nice to get your favourite white latte with cream on the top, or to get a bit of a Christmas feel with a Christmas cookie latte. But definitely too big and busy. And you have to get a new wifi code every hour.

I actually have so many in my minds, but most of them, I can’t remember the name or the address and I can only direct you there.

Saigon has so many hidden cafés everywhere. Go in a random building and I am not surprise if you find a super trendy café with lounge and chill sofa, AND amazing beats in the background. Yes it is possible!

Marion xoxo

IMG_3176

DSC_1606

IMG_3446

IMG_3145

IMG_3572

IMG_3574

IMG_3462

IMG_2734

IMG_2752

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_3256

IMG_3388

IMG_3386

When in Saigon…

3 months has passed since I went back to France for the summer holidays! As usual, it went so fast… I was happy being able to switch off completely from work during this month away. Of course, as soon as you come back, reality and work life hits you up again, but it was really nice and enjoyable.

A lot of things have been going on in my Vietnamese journey recently. I dropped out one of my two jobs, decided to become an entrepreneur, share more on Instagram, take some yoga classes every week, went to a beauty show in HK, got a juicer to make amazing healthy juices, be more organized, cook at home more and buy some veggies on the market, enjoy Saigon more, carry on discovering new places and café in town, do more hairstyling, get a sport routine, drink coconut water, well… all these little things that make your life better!

After these 6 crazily busy months, I have realized I didn’t have time for myself, my hobbies, sport, my lovely blog, or even for my BF. At some point, I have tested my limits. I now take some time for myself, relax, and work on my own projects. Well deserved!

There is this thing, when working in Asia, that you can work non stop if you want. Working freelance makes things even more difficult, as you work towards deadlines. You don’t have hours, and you want to do your best. As a result you find yourself working like crazy for everyone apart from yourself, as it is the only not-paid job.

On the happy side, Hong Kong was amazing. We had such a great time, switching off the Saigon underdeveloped life to HK crazy developed city! We were staying in an area called Causeway Bay, the heart of HK shopping experience! Forever 21, Aesop, Mango, Apple, Ba&sh, Uniqlo, Etude House, you lost me already…

Then there is the Peak experience, the oldest tram climbing to the top of the world with this stunning view (!!), the flowers and the birds market, all these vintage markets selling fake brands, and above all this stunning view and light show of the city. A unique (and busy) experience!

Here is a quick lapse of what we have experience in the crazy city:

Good evening Hong Kong! 🌃🌙

A video posted by Marion // Ma Belle Box Founder (@frenchydiary) on

DSC_0372

DSC_0347

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

DSC_0284

DSC_0274

DSC_0294

DSC_0363

DSC_0301

DSC_0332

 

Some news from the other side of the world!

Dear followers, readers & travelers,

Sorry for the lack of posts on here… I have been very busy lately and have been doing kind of two jobs at the same time since more than 3 months now.

A bit hard to handle but still alive and very happy to go back home in Nice for the summer holiday. A nice break is well deserved and it was time!🙂 Time to celebrate my first year in Vietnam as well by the way. Yes, time goes fast, I don’t even realize I am here since 12 months already!

But some nice projects are coming up in August  and I really can’t wait to tell you more about that!!

Summer plans in France are going to be very busy, I already planned to go to Nice (of course), Corsica (Calvi on the Rock I am coming!!), Paris, Normandy & England, all of this in 1 month time, so I already expect to be frustrated on my way back. A lot of people to see, and I really can’t wait🙂 and a lot of shopping to do!! Vietnam is so not appropriate for shopping, this is the thing I am missing the most. Of course, I will come back full of cosmetics as well and I have already started to order things here and there🙂 I miss cooking and cooked food as well so much, I hope to have time to do some nice things at home!

Follow me on Instagram if you want to see my cool gallery from the other side of the planet🙂 @FrenchyDiary

I leave you with this amazing breakfast I did the other day, that reminded me of my years in England (Thanks Sarah, if you are around, for showing me this <3) & proof that I miss Europe a little bit🙂

IMG_0925

By the way, you can check out my photography project in Vietnam: www.marionauvietnam.jimdo.com I added some new cities lately🙂 An amazing trip in Phu Quoc Island for my birthday, and some pretty ones from North Vietnam, Sapa and Thon Chi.

 

Marion xx