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StevenC

Cambodian coffee

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During a two-week trip around Cambodia, I noticed that the coffee always seemed to have a pronounced chocolate flavor. I visited a number of places--Phnom Penh, Kampot, Battambang, Siem Reap--but the chocolate flavor was always there. (I tended to avoid adding sweetened condensed milk, although it actually complemented the flavor of the coffee quite well.) I bought a bamboo container of coffee at the Phnom Penh airport on my way home; when I brewed some a few days later in New York, sure enough, the chocolate flavor was right there.

Has anyone else found the same thing? Is it a characteristic of the bean variety, or has something been added to the coffee? I believe there was an article on Cambodian coffee in Gastronomica some time ago, but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy.

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The container you bought - was it pre-ground or whole bean? There are a number of coffees that have a chocolate undertone although it's more pronounced when brewed as espresso than as drip coffee.

Was the coffee you had while in Cambodia prepared in the little metal filter assemblies akin to how the Vietnamese Cafe Sua Da is prepared?

And more to the point - I have had both Vietnamese coffee (from Vietnam - not just stuff brewed in the Vietnamese style) and also Laotian coffee. Have never noticed any distinct chocolate notes in the flavor of those.

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Khmer coffee is mostly imported from VN. however onced brewed it doesn't taste as good as VN coffee in VN. less strong and inferior in taste. coffee in Laos is better than in Cambodia, at least that's what i noticed. there's also chicory in the coffee, btw.

[i'm so glad i lugged back 4kg of the best VN coffee beans money could buy]

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The container you bought - was it pre-ground or whole bean?  There are a number of coffees that have a chocolate undertone although it's more pronounced when brewed as espresso than as drip coffee.

Was the coffee you had while in  Cambodia prepared in the little metal filter assemblies akin to how the Vietnamese Cafe Sua Da is prepared?

I didn't notice metal filter assemblies. If I recall, the coffee came either from espresso machines or French presses. The coffee I brought home was ground, and I made it in a French press.

I never noticed a chocolate flavor to the coffee in Thailand, so perhaps it's a Cambodian thing.

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I have to say I didn't notice a chocolate flavour in the coffee i drank while there. However most of the coffee i drank was made suo da style, and i did pour in the sweet canned milk, so I might not have noticed. There was a fair amount of chicory in most of the coffe I drank there. Could that be the taste you noticed?

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I have to say I didn't notice a chocolate flavour in the coffee i drank while there. However most of the coffee i drank was made suo da style, and i did pour in the sweet canned milk, so  I might not have noticed. There was a fair amount of chicory in most of the coffe I drank there. Could that be the taste you noticed?

Maybe. I'm frankly not accustomed to drinking coffee that contains chicory (at least to my knowledge), so I'll have to buy some and see if I notice the flavor again.

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I've had chicory blend coffee here in the US at some Vietnamese restaurants that use it for their cafe sua da. I don't recall any chocolate notes in the flavor profile. But I have had some espresso blends that have very distinct chocolate notes when consumed with milk.

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Nobody seems to know the answer to this quaetion. I recently bought a stash to last me several weeks while travelling about. The beans have a strange flavor which I'm not sure whether to attribute to the over roast, the blend of beans, or an additional flavoring ingredient. Not entirely pleasant, either way.

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It is very possibly the chickory. Also, in Vietnam at least, robusta coffee is the primary coffee available and although many people say it has an unpleasant burnt rubber taste it's OK by me.

That link on the Phnom Penh style roasting is great, cheers.


Edited by tsp. (log)

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