is one of the things that Vietnam is known for. And I was fortunate enough to have just had a taste of it a few hours ago, in a Trung Nguyen Coffee outlet within walking distance of my hotel*. I tried the Legendee coffee, which is made through a process that supposedly mimics a civet’s gut. The steeping process took about 15 minutes, as hot water seeped through the coffee powder over the distinctive Vietnamese metal filter. The resultant coffee was thickly black, with no iota of transparency whatsoever. I poured this half-cup into a glass of ice, and sipped gingerly. The aroma was bracing, and the taste combined a jolt of acidity with a strong, cloying bitterness, and a welcome lingering sweetness that remained long after the cup was finished.
*By the way, I’m writing this entry in the lobby of the very well-appointed Sofitel Plaza Saigon, via the free wireless connection. The service here is excellent, and the rates lower than many comparable hotels. Perhaps worth trying when you’re here. And, as I finish this post, I’m still burping up whiffs of Legendee, and licking the remains of it from around my molars. Yummers.