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?

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Spring trip in North Vietnam & Amazing Laos

Hello hello dear followers!!

As you might know if you follow me on Twitter or Intragram (@Frenchydiary) I am away for 12 days with my family. Starting first by Hanoi and the North of Vietnam, Sapa and its surrounding, I am now in Lao for a week. Mainly in Luang Prabang to make the most of the city and all the activities you can do around it.

We started by two days trecking in the moutains around. Very physical as we climbed up to a small village for more than 2h30 under 40 degres, which is really exhausting believe me…. But such a nice result in the end! The meeting with local Laotians over there was amazing. It was a very rustic and typical village where there is no gas, no electricity and no water. People are showering at the river 50 meters down with a bucket and cold water from the mountain. Such an experience! I am so glad to have seen and tested their way of living. This is the best gift the local population can do to a visitor, making them try their food, culture, habit and so much more.

A 80 year old local even came with us on the way back (6 hours walk) to show us the way, walking in flip flop in the up and down hills as they are all used to do. I am still so thanksful to have done this experience and amazed by the the kindfulness of these people!

Back to Luang Prabang – this city is so nice, so peaceful and calm. Classified by the UNESCO patrimony, all the building are well conserved and very typical, which make the city very lovely. The light in Luang Prabang is warm and well spread out, which makes the photos look great, especially in the early morning or by the sunset time . I really liked the atmosphere around here, the people, the way people live according to the time of the day, the markets, the different activities… It is a small city and tourists are used to ride bicycles or to walk around, whereas locals use their motobikes to do their usual things.

We are now 50km North away from the city, in a very peaceful and relax Resort called the Nam Ou Riverside Resort. A special place located by the Nam Ou river with an amazing pool and 22 rooms in little bungalows. They also have 9 elephants wondering around and are offering tours including feeding and bath of the animals: a very fun time I can assure you!

Follow me on my Twitter and Instagram if you want to know more about my daily stories 🙂 @frenchydiary 🙂

 

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Random Story #1

No pictures for this kind of posts. That what makes a Random Story, something unexpected that happen to you one day, and it goes so fast that you can’t even picture it.

It’s TET in Vietnam, or the Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year as you want. That means EVERYTHING is close: shops, restaurants, small supermarkets. Only some street food are serving you, and most of the time, they cook only one dish for everyone.

That day, myself and Mr D. were wondering around the District 2, looking for a Bun Bo Hue or a soup to eat for lunch. We arrived close to Metro, the big supermarket, in front of which was actually an ‘open’ street food supposed to serve Bun Bo, Pho, … As soon as we stopped, a random Vietnamese guy came to us, invite us around his friends’ table in order to have a beer. #howcute!

We didn’t have time to sit that the beer was already served! Haha #Vietnamesewayofdoingthings

Funny thing is that the conversation was very limited as their level of English is low and our level of Vietnamese was even lower. The first thing we understood is that they were not serving food because it was Tet. Then that it was a Happy time because of the New Year. We met his friends, or actually most of the Metro’s staff and boss; and his family.

5 mins later, food was serve, no Bun Bo, no Pho, but lots of different dishes to share: Beef and beans, noodles and omelet, hot sausages.. ‘Well I think they are inviting us to eat with them’. 

And that’s how we found ourselves having a normal lunch with random Vietnamese people, talking shit, eating good food and drinking beers 🙂

 

Random tip: we tried an amazing Chilli sauce made of: salt, pepper, chilli and lemon. Simple, strong and delicious!

What’s up in Saigon?

Hi there, sorry for the lack of news. These last weeks have been a bit busy/stressful for me. I got my bag ripped off while I was driving my motorbike, by 2 random guys who drove away as fast as they can. Didn’t really realize what happened at that time… But results are that I don’t have my iPhone anymore, my credit card and my motorbike original papers … which is SH*T. Loads of people told me about having their bags/phones stolen, apparently it’s a current thing here, and I am used to be VERY careful, just not this time (as usual) …
So yea, no more Instagram pict, no more social media, random status, or internet on my phone, I feel a bit naked I have to say for the social media addict that I am … Makes me realize as well how much free time I have without my phone actually. #crazy

Well, apart from that, things are going pretty much the same… work – drinks with friends – home – sleep – work – … I have moved in a new house 2 weeks ago, and the only thing I am not happy about is the amount of cockroaches on the ground floor, coming from everywhere because of the rainy season… #buuuuurk I just HATE them and I don’t think this will be the kind of things I will be used to ….

One good news is the #Fleamarket I have been to last Sunday in District 7, which was bigger than the previous one. Great weather and enjoyable time there. I really appreciate going to D7, it’s like going on a trip 40mins away from HCMC 🙂 The area is very new and makes me thing of Gunwarlf in Portsmouth … #Goodtimes !

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Next one is planned on Sunday in District 2, so of course you will find me there 🙂

I am also excited about this Dream Market I have never been to! It looks quite nice and I have to say I can’t wait to try it. I love vintage/retro stuff, clothes, accessories, objets and maybe that’s the reason why I am making a big deal of all these markets around here! In London, I had my little favorite Charity Shops I was going to every time I was there. #excitingtimes 🙂

Ohh also, I haven’t said it yet, but I introduced a new concept of #bloggersmeetings monthly in Saigon 🙂 I hold the first one last month and I am very excited about the next one this week. I hope to get more and more people coming, so we will end up being a good community, sharing the same passion for blogging and maybe creating some kind of projects all together … #Whynot?  I have noticed the Bloggers community in Saigon is not very well expended. I mean I know censure for bloggers is a big deal here but there is nothing wrong talking about a shared passion if nothing bad is said. 🙂 So I felt there were something to do about this. It’s just too bad if we are all blogging about Saigon and not knowing each others.  So I will keep you updated about that …

A lot of writing, I guess I had things to say 🙂 sorry for the lack of pictures :/ at least you know the reason why…

Tonight is #WebWednesday for a great talk so maybe see you there Saigoneers 🙂

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Have a good day 🙂