For my treat coffee in week two I strategically held out until the end of the week. Having finished nights at the hospital on Saturday, I slept for only a couple of hours and then later on foolishly went out for a few beers…
Consequently, when Sunday arrived, although I desperately wanted coffee, I also felt the need to hibernate. So instead of indulging in a delicious brew overlooking the Mekong, I got a take out americano from Joma and returned home where I could drink coffee, eat crisps for breakfast and be in my pyjamas without being judged.
For me, Joma is like the Starbucks of South East Asia. Depending on your views, this may sound like an insult but I don’t mean it as such. In a sea of cafes (some serving excellent coffee, some… not so much), Joma is a beacon of dependability. Whether you’re in Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Luang Prabang or Hanoi, you know you can go to Joma and get a taste of home (if home for you is North America or England that is). Good coffee, delicious banana bread, and generally good service. Nothing to write home about but comforting and easy.
And, as it seems you can no longer just have a coffee shop, you must also be a social enterprise, 10% of profits are poured back into NGOs in the local communities. So you can feel virtuous with every sip.
I picked up my americano and wandered home in the sunshine, back through the streets of Luang Prabang, picking up deep fried snacks along the way. No frills, no fuss. Just strong hot coffee on a lazy Sunday, enjoyed whilst doing a coffee-themed puzzle. And that was one of the highlights of my week.