Despite my fears that Friday would never come, it did and with it the chance for me to buy my one good coffee for the week – a self-inflicted money saving idea I’d had when clearly not thinking straight.
I woke like a child on Christmas Day, but hadn’t foreseen the dilemma I was now faced with: Which cup of coffee and which coffee shop to choose?
Anyone who has been to Luang Prabang knows that the peninsula consists predominantly of coffee shops and temples. I haven’t done the maths but if you multiply the number of cafés by the number of coffee beverages they each sell… Well the options aren’t quite infinite but let’s just say there’s a lot. More than I can try in a few months.
Thankfully I’d done my homework (and when I say homework I mean drooling over all of the menus), whittling the choice of cafés down to just a few. I’d heard good things about Saffron Coffee.
Started by an American living in Laos, Saffron Coffee partners with tribes in the mountainous area of Northern Laos, to produce arabica beans that are then roasted in Luang Prabang. The coffee produced is both organic and fair trade. Perfect. I could feel virtuous whilst indulging my addiction.
The café itself is situated on the quiet road that runs along the Mekong, and feels light and open. Definitely somewhere to spend an hour or two, writing, reading or, as I did, just gazing adoringly at your coffee.
Both the menu and decor show that the owner is passionate and knowledgeable about coffee. Always a reassuring sign. The ‘alternative brew’ section of the menu intrigued me, but as much as I wanted to try a cold drip (a phrase I never thought would pass my lips) I chose a small, hot cappuccino… mainly because it was half the price of the alternative brews. I am on a budget after all.
My coffee arrived decorated with latte art: a fashion and skill that may be impressive but is not necessarily welcome on my cappuccino. I like a simple, dry cappuccino, no chocolate dusting or fancy shenanigans.
For a brief moment my heart sank: had I just spent my weekly allowance on a milky coffee that was more style than substance? The first sip reassured me that I had not. Despite the latte art, it was quite dry and very rich. I’m no coffee expert, I just know what I like. And I liked this cup.
I could have happily spent the day there, working my way steadily through the various coffees on offer, as well as the incredible looking cakes and desserts. Saffron Coffee, you were well worth the money. And next time, I’m splashing out on a cold drip.