Weasel Coffee in Vietnam – Asia’s Unusual Delicacy

in Vietnam

Most of us love to start the day with a stiff cup of joe. But while you’re vacationing in Vietnam, why not be a bit more adventurous and bypass the espresso for a cup of weasel coffee?

It’s best to get this out of the way first; yes, this Vietnamese delicacy does have something to do with weasels, or more correctly the weasel-like Asian Palm Civet. Coffee growers feed their beans to the beast, and collect them once they pass through. That sounds disgusting, granted. But once you can get past its origins, you can enjoy this smooth, musky drink.

If you’re starting to get squeamish it’s worth noting that most cups of Vietnamese weasel coffee, or café Chon as the locals call it, aren’t made with any animal interference. Clever Vietnamese coffee growers have actually perfected a chemically simulated version, called Legendee. The growers use a synthetic process to mimic the effects of the beans’ weasel journey. Many sensitive tourists prefer this alternative, especially as it’s much kinder on the hip pocket. It’s generally still called weasel coffee though, despite the lack of weasels involved.

Coffee BeansThe country’s upscale cafes have begun to sell weasel coffee, but it’s just as good and much cheaper at Vietnam’s street tea stalls. Just make sure you don’t fall for the imitations. It’s not uncommon for enterprising Vietnamese traders to pass off the chemical version as the genuine article, complete with the high price tag! You should be able to find Legendee beans for between $10 and $15 US for 500 grams, while the same quantities of the real café Chon will cost around $70.

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