Bernie Anderson
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Coffee Shop Saturdays: PHD Photo and Coffee, Tuy Hoa, Vietnam

 PHD Coffee - a great little retreat, off the beaten path in Tuy Hoa, Vietnam. 

PHD Coffee - a great little retreat, off the beaten path in 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.

 Lattes and latte art. Well done, PHD.

Lattes and latte art. Well done, PHD.

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.

 My arabica pour-over was delicious. 

My arabica pour-over was delicious. 

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.

 We bought some whole bean coffee - both arabica and robusta. 

We bought some whole bean coffee - both arabica and robusta. 

 Photogenic. This is why it's PHD Coffee AND Photo. 

Photogenic. This is why it's PHD Coffee AND Photo. 

 Great places to sit and converse. PHD's ascetic is wonderful. 

Great places to sit and converse. PHD's ascetic is wonderful.