|There is nothing in the world that smells like Vietnamese coffee. Photo Sprudge|
The Traveller recently described the smell of Vietnamese coffee as nothing in the world that smells like that. “Instantly recognizable. Delicious,” the writer Ben Groundwater said in his article entitled ‘The smells of travel: The good and bad smells we miss’.
He wrote: “You can get coffee pretty much anywhere in the world, but coffee in Vietnam is unique. To begin with you have the coffee itself, drip-dripping from a mini percolator, pooling in the bottom of a glass that’s layered with condensed milk.”
|In Vietnam, coffee comes with a side order or motorbike exhaust fumes. Photo iStock|
For the full Vietnamese experience, he said travelers had to add the exhaust fumes from a million mopeds, because “you’re invariably drinking this coffee on a street somewhere, maybe in a city, maybe by a highway, but there are always the bikes, and there is always the good coffee.”
|A streetside coffee stall in Vietnam. Vietnamese people often start a morning with a cup of coffee. Photo Perfect Daily Grind|
|You’ll find cafes on every street in every city in Vietnam. Photo Heritage Line|
Vietnamese coffee is the rocket fuel that keeps the country buzzing. You’ll find cafes on every street in every city, from trendy cafes molded by the creative class, to retro institutions that have evolved over decades, to pavement cafes draped around and across the sidewalks. In each one you’ll be enveloped by nattering locals nursing their favorite brew, according to Vietnam Travel website.
Traditional Vietnamese coffee is made from Robusta beans, which have a strong, bitter taste. For decades, resourceful café owners have dreamt up new ways to temper the potent Robusta bean and enhance the country’s favorite drink. As a result, there’s now a kaleidoscope of innovative coffee variations on the menu.
The Traveller has also listed other favorite aromas from around the world. They are the scents that instantly transport visitors.
Let’s find out interesting facts about these scents.
“The Stank”, South-east Asia: Representing Beauty of Travel
Ben Groundwater said he realized this probably sounds disrespectful, and for that he apologized.
“I just can’t think of another way to describe the smell you pick up in certain parts of South-east Asia, the pungent and not exactly pleasant mix of street scents exacerbated by heat and humidity. If you know, you know.
“Of course the smell itself isn’t nice, but what it represents is: the adventure, the joy, the beauty of travel through this part of the world. And it’s instantly recognizable.”
Mediterranean salt, Italy: Affected Scent
|Photo Tour Radar|
According to the Traveler, the Mediterranean smells different. The beauty of this scent is affected, of course, by the joy you take in all of those other activities
“Different to an ocean or any other sea. Particularly in Italy.
“It has a salty scent all of its own that you get to breathe in by the delicious lungful as you’re lying on a beach in Sicily or sitting at a seaside restaurant in Amalfi, taking a ferry out to Ischia or riding a scooter along the coast of Sardinia.”
Charring meat, Asia and the Middle East: Ready to Cook
If you are in Muscat or Marrakech, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, and smell charring, singeing meat, then get your wallet out and prepare to be sated, because somewhere close by someone will have a charcoal grill set up on the street, ready to cook you something good.
It might be shish kebabs, it might be whole fish, it could be small, marinated satays. Whatever it is, when you catch that cloud of smoke, you follow it to its source.
Alpine forests, Canada: Smell of Good Health
You can’t help by feel a glow of good health when you catch a whiff of a forest in British Columbia or Alberta. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been eating nothing but pancakes and poutine and Tim Horton’s doughnuts for the last however long it is: once you’re out in the Rocky Mountains, breathing in that clean alpine air, enjoying the fine scent of pine and fir trees and cedar as you hike along a trail, you are wellness personified. Instantly cleansed. And there’s nowhere else in the world you would rather be.
Wood smoke, anywhere with snow: Smell of Warmth
That smell of smoke, drifting from chimneys, from houses and pubs and restaurants, cosy places where everyone is huddled around the hearth, is the stuff dreams are made of.
Tropical storm, Pacific Islands: Natural and Clean Scent
It’s the smell of rain, the earthy scent that’s made up of ozone, plant oils, falling water and so much more.
You can take that scent and multiply it by 100 when you’re talking about a tropical storm on a Pacific island, when you watch as the huge thunderheads roll in, as the lightning flashes and the thunder claps and the sky just opens up in a flood of heavy, warm droplets.
The scent is beautiful and natural and clean and it makes you feel alive. Give me some of that.