Coffee Shop Saturdays: PHD Photo and Coffee, Tuy Hoa, Vietnam
PHD Coffee and photo is a tiny, little coffee shop in an out-of-the-way street in Tuy Hoa, Vietnam.
It's on Trip Adviser. That's how I knew this place existed. (Well, that and our friends who live in the same community had been there.) It's at the end of a winding neighborhood road.
I'm not sure why it's "Coffee and Photo" - other than they are located in a wonderfully photogenic spot. Fittingly, a number of Vietnamese young people were taking selfies throughout the location most of the time I was there.
Here's the thing - this little spot is well worth finding, should you ever be in that part of the world.
It's a beautiful, cozy corner, with comfortable seating, outdoor space, good wifi, and wonderful coffee. I was able to get a fair amount of work done in the hour I was there.
There's not much in the way of food. But, PHD is about ascetics and coffee.
Really good coffee. Seriously. It's delicious. Almost worth a trip to Vietnam for the coffee alone.
PHD serves Vietnamese coffee - locally grown, roasted, and brewed. The interesting thing is that they serve both robusta and arabica beans.
Most of the coffee served and exported from Vietnam is robusta - which tends to be a little more bitter, varies in flavor and quality, and has a higher caffeine content. Arabica beans (what is found in most US speciality coffee shops) tend to be grown at higher altitudes and is a bit tougher to grow, as arabica is more susceptible to disease and pests.
Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee in the world - and the largest producer of robusta beans.
I actually found Vietnamese coffee to be quite tasty. It's brewed in small metal presses, and usually is served with sweetened condenses milk - which takes the edge off robusta bitterness. I was actually okay with or without the sweet milk. It's probably an acquired taste - and maybe it was the extra caffeine boost - but I enjoyed my daily dose of Vietnamese joe.
That said - It was great to drink an arabica pour-over at PHD. I found Vietnamese arabica to be a nicely balanced acidity, with a bittersweet chocolatey notes.
Tuy Hoa is a bit off the beaten path. But if you're ever in the neighborhood - I recommend spending some time at PHD Coffee and Photo. Take some photos. But definitely drink the coffee. You'll be glad you did.