Coffee Shop Saturdays: Story Coffee Roasters, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
February is a beautiful time to visit southeast Asia.
The weather is drier than usual. Temperatures aren't quite as steamy. Things cool off nicely in the evenings.
Renee' joined me here a couple of days ago, and we just finished a wonderful rooftop breakfast in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam - flying on to spend some with friends further north today.
Local Cambodian Coffee?
Cambodia and Vietnam both have a surprising number of coffee shops. It makes sense, since Vietnam is second only to Brazil, for producing the most coffee. (Over 900 million tons of the stuff!)
Cambodia still produces some coffee, but has experienced a substantial downturn over the past decade. The number of known coffee plantations in Cambodia has reduced by 70%, and most of what does get produced is amalgamated into Vietnamese coffee production.
The beans from this region are typically robusta, rather than arabica. Robusta is easier to grow, especially at lower altitudes. Think Nescafe. Actually, many Italian espresso blends secretly sprinkle in some robusta coffee beans. It makes for better crema. Robusta also has more caffeine, is cheaper to produce, and can be a little bitter.
In any case - it's a different coffee world here. However, I'm not complaining.
Particularly, when I find my hotel in Phnom Penh to be right next door to Story Coffee Roasters.
This local shop was my home away from home for an afternoon, while waiting for my room to be readied, and again before I jumped into a tuktuk to pick up Renee' from the airport.
The manager of Story is friendly and charming (much like most of the people of Cambodia). I believe her name is Vutey - but, as my Khmer is essentially nonexistent, I may not be getting the spelling correct. However, English is spoken here. So mo worries about language.
In fact, Vutey did tell me a bit about the shop when I asked. The owner wanted a gathering spot for people visiting the city from around the world. He wanted to hear and share global stories. Everyone has a story. Your story can be told over a cup of joe, at Story Coffee Roasters.
And it's great coffee, as well.
Their roasters is actually in Vietnam. However, the coffee is clearly fresh. In fact, they'd just put out whole bean coffee for sale, and needed to wait a week before brewing.
That means it's fresh.
Their beans are primarily Arabica, and imported from all over the world.
I had a pour-over, made with a blend that was delicious. Renee' and I went back together the next day, and tried espresso drinks. The Americano was smooth and rich, perfectly blended. Renee' enjoyed her latte.
Apparently Story has just started serving food, as well. I was hungry and had breakfast. The egg and meat plate was perfect for me - and tasty.
Even though their hashtag is #smallspacebigheart, I found Story Coffee Roasters' atmosphere charming. Seating is comfortable. There are multiple levels (stories?) of seating available. Seemed to be plenty of room the day I was there.
Traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia? Story Coffee Roasters is worth seeking out. While a little hidden from plain sight, it's not too hard to find. Story Coffee Roasters is located just two blocks east of the Independence Monument, on the south side of the promenade.
Give this address to a tuktuk driver:
#2, Street 21, Phnom Penh Cambodia