Salted coffee in the Imperial City of Hue

By Phieu Linh, Van Pham   August 22, 2016 | 07:24 pm PT
One lump or two? Pangs of nostalgia with salty bitterness.

The city of Hue in central Vietnam has long been known for its feudal court, UNESCO-recognized genre of music and a gastronomy so distinctive that the city’s name alone is a money-back guarantee for everything it has to offer.

As a mere child in gastronomic generations that stretch back centuries, salted coffee has adopted a emblematic status which rivals that of egg coffee 700 kilometers northwards in Hanoi, and is recommended to anyone eager to enjoy a true Hue experience.

The coffee in Hue is filtered in the famous Vietnamese ‘phin’, an aluminum cup-like coffee brewer. Salt adds a contrasting background to help bring out the sweetness, a culinary trick that has earned many sweet dishes their fandom, such as something as exotic as Vietnamese ‘che’, or something more familiar like Oreo cookies.

The salty layer whipped from the fermented milk and salt rises to the surface of the cup, offering an experience that no other variation of coffee can.

At VND15,000 ($0.7), salted coffee is a flavor worth adding to your itinerary in Hue. The first cafe to offer this savory drink, also where it tastes best, is at 10 Nguyen Luong Bang Street.

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