One of the worst things that Nick and I had while we were in Indonesia was their coffee. Basically “Bali Coffee” is just water mixed up with coffee grinds – always gritty and almost guaranteed to lodge little brown bits in between your teeth.
Pulling a close second for horrible coffee of the world is Laos. Nick has actually grown fond of thick-as-mud Lao coffee, but I just can’t seem to acquire a taste for it.
Aside from being especially strong, Lao coffee has another special quirk: it always comes with condensed milk.
Occasionally you will have an opportunity to drink Lao coffee with non-dairy creamer or fresh milk, but typically they will go ahead and add about an inch of the thick, sugary milk syrup for you. It makes for an interesting mix – you can still taste the extreme bitterness of the coffee, but it’s so sweet that you have to suck the sugar off your teeth after drinking it – quite literally, drinking Lao coffee is a bittersweet experience.
But if Lao coffee is a bit strange, ice Lao coffee is completely bizarre. They start by filling your cup ½ full with condensed milk and then top that off with a white powder (which looks to me like non-dairy creamer, but might be sugar or powdered milk).
Then they add a little bit of coffee
It's like sucking on a block of rock-sugar. I had to pucker my lips after every sip. Neither I nor my friend could finish our glasses, but Nick, who usually cringes at how sweet I make my coffee, was happy to finish both of them for us. I’m not sure how anyone manages to drink this stuff on a regular basis without contracting diabetes.