Coffee Cambodian Style
A unique and flavorful way of roasting coffee beans
One of the best treats in Cambodia’s steamy 35-degree heat is to sit down in the shade of a local café and enjoy one of the country’s famous sickly-sweet iced coffees. Ga-fay ta-kork, meaning iced coffee, is a legacy of the French influence in Indochina with a Cambodian twist.
The coffee grown in Cambodia is primarily the Robusta variety. This hardier plant, rather than the more common and popular Arabica plant, is better suited to growing in the lower elevations of the Cambodian landscape. The higher acid content of the Robusta beans generally creates a bitter taste. Therefore, the Cambodian method is to roast the coffee beans with rendered pork fat or butter to reduce the harsh taste.
The brewed coffee is served over ice similar to the Vietnamese and Lao equivalents and served with a large portion of sweetened condensed milk. And for a very affordable price! Usually the iced coffee is served in a plastic cup with a straw; however, travelers can do as the locals often do and have the coffee served in a plastic bag that is held by two handles and sipped with a straw. Bon appetite!
Cambodia’s northeastern provinces of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri are full of rich, red soil which is excellent for growing a multitude of crops such as rubber, cassava, cashews and of course coffee. The farmers in these highland areas are local tribes people who have lived in the area since the Angkorian Era. They have remained primarily agrarian and have become successful in cultivating coffee. Your travelers to this part of Cambodia can certainly tour these traditional villages and coffee plantations.
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