My brother-in-law Bill loves to drink. I am not suggesting alcoholism here, simply the man loves his liquids. At one meal, Bill will consume a water, tea, a diet coke, a beer, wine if its around, another water or tea, and if its brewed one to two cups of coffee. I love a good beverage too, but nothing like Bill. So for Bill and you, I give you a beverage (both hot and cold) review from Thailand.
In the morning you are looking mainly at juices, coffee and tea. The juices are amazing. So far I have only tried orange and pineapple and both are very sweet and refreshing. On most street corners here you can get fresh squeezed orange juice. I think these come mainly from green tangerines imported from New Zealand. They don’t add sugar or water, just juice. We tried one at our guesthouse and it was amazing. I am not sure why we add anything to an already sweet fruit.
Then there are the frozen shakes that are good for both breakfast and dinner. Think smoothie. The first night in Chiang Mai I tried an avocado shake. Awesome. Last night I went for a banana, equally awesome. Then there are options for a mango or pineapple. Thailand has many options for fresh tropical fruit.
But coffee is my morning drink of choice. As Lindsay loves to say, I am a coffee snob. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I know good coffee when I see it, but in all honesty and with all humility, I do. So far the coffee in Asia has been very adequate. They pull most of it fresh from espresso, making you an Americano. For all of you amateurs out there, that means espresso and hot water. If you are looking for a fresh cup of coffee, this is your drink. Don’t be scared of it because it has espresso, it is watered down enough to take the edge off. So what this means for Thailand coffee is you always get a fresh cup. This is essential to good coffee, so it passes my test.
Water. Get bottled. I have found that some taste like slimy tap water from the US, but mostly you can’t go wrong. This is very important for the afternoon in Thailand. Between the spicy lunches and the sun, you are losing a lot of water.
Lindsay generally goes for the Coca-Cola Light. This is her equivalent to my coffee. She tries to say she isn’t a Diet Coke snob, but she would rather not drink Diet Pepsi or Diet Rite. From what I can tell, the Thai version is just fine. She drinks as much of them here as she did at home.
Wine. Expensive by Thai standards. Buying a bottle here makes you think they must import this stuff from the moon. But truth be told the bottles are like buying a good bottle of $25 wine at home. In Thailand, though, where everything is so cheap, the wine prices look very expensive. Red wine gets served cold too, but from what I have found the wine is pretty good.
Then there is the beer. Singha and Chang Beer really dominate the scene over here. But there is also Leo and Tiger. Personally, I think they are all good, but to me they all taste close to the same. Interestingly most bars that serve only Singha and Chang also serve Heineken. If I had to compare these Thai beers to one other beer it would be Heineken. Kind of a bitter, hoppy lager. When Lindsay and I first arrived in Chiang Mai I ordered a Chang and got it in a glass with ice. I figured the bartender just didn’t know what she was doing, but apparently this is the way of Thailand. I think I like Chang better, but I am pretty sure its because I like their elephant logo.
Tea. Funny you ask. Can’t say I have had any here other than on the flight over. No comment yet. I think in Korea we will be drinking more tea. I was sort of under the impression that the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok would be made of tea rather than water, but I was sorely mistaken. It seems that coffee is becoming a bigger drink over here as most streets have a coffee shop on it. If tea dominates I suppose I have just been going in the wrong places.
Alright drink up. Cheers.