When we were in the charming Hoi An, we loved everything about it except no room for walking. Ok, we are overstating the situation a little bit, but the truth is that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is extremely popular. Buses from all around Vietnam are stopping here and leave behind nothing but masses. As it happened that uproar led us to the discovery of a tranquil Reaching Out Teahouse. Reaching Out Teahouse is a project where all the employees are deaf or having hearing loss. As you might know, a deaf waiter is not something you would usually see, but after this experience, I am sure that they could work in every single bar.
Immediately upon entering we found ourselves in a peaceful bubble where barely a sound was present. You see, silence is respected in this tea house due to the people with disabilities. Guests whisper if they can’t hold their mouth shut and order with tools to overcome any communication barrier. If we think about our fragile bodies we immediately pay more respect to the sound and on the other hand, silence.
Given that the first part of the Reaching Out Teahouse was a store, we couldn’t pass the display of very attractive handmade items for tea, coffee, and more. Once we accepted, we can’t carry all the pretty items around the world we moved to the small garden at the back, where tranquility feeling only increase.
At the back one will find a small garden with natural shade and a well-manicured fish pond. A perfect zen corner for your favorite cuppa. Speaking of which, you can choose between coffee and tea.
In summary, this place is rustic, pleasant, and homely at the same time. After all, the whole Hoi An should be like this and you can see immediately what is a barrier to achieve this. Loud crowds.
Vietnamese Tea Tasting Set
The first thing I saw, when the tea set came to the table was a strainer shaped like a lotus flower. A silver brother of the one I was eye-balling before, in their store. Of course, we couldn’t let go of the opportunity to see how they are made and the staff was kind enough to take us to the workshop. Not to say nothing of handmade teapots, cups, and saucers on the tray, would be a crime. Oh, the perfect little things!
Like tableware, also the tea offer is of small produce. Vietnamese Organic Green tea we had is not just organic, it is also processed by hand. The end product is somewhat astringent but highly potent. That was especially notable after a long steeping time, but nothing that a cookie can’t fix. For the occasion, we tried all of their house-made cookies, although we paired this green tea just with the sweet potato chips.
A must try in our opinion is Jasmine Green Tea, which is also a favorite in northern Vietnam. Whenever we try Jasmine tea, we are always blown away by its divine aroma. Indeed, the Country Jasmine Green Tea was no exception in an intense floral bouquet. In this case, we decided to pair the drink with a coconut green tea treat. To be more specific, shreds of coconut are infused in sweetened green tea.
Our last teapot was filled with caffeine-free traditional tea known as the Organic Red Lantern Herbal Tea. It had a woody aroma and soothing mouthfeel with a mildly spicy aftertaste. Next to it, we enjoyed brittle cookies packed with coconut flavor.
Coffee holds a special place on Vietnamese tables ever since French colonials introduced it, and that Vietnamese twist can be called a miracle. First, let’s clear that for the real Vietnamese coffee you need unevenly ripened Robusta coffee, grown in Vietnam. To avoid any taste compromises coffee gets a dark roast to make it more flavorful. More often than not people add some flavor-boosting spices while roasting coffee beans. Butter and salt are almost a must. Then there is also cocoa for that desired chocolate flavor, nuts, vanilla, and so on. Some got as far as producing toxic battery coffee, one you’d want to avoid at all costs.
Vietnamese Coffee Tasting Set
The final step in Vietnamese coffee is the drip method, using so-called “phin”. By the way, “phin” is a coffee drip filter, placed on top of the mug. Flavor boosting properties at Reaching Out coffee selection come also from the fair-trade produce. We started our coffee degustation with the Good Day Coffee that made our day even better than it was. We call for victory whenever we find a light floral aroma and toffee in a cup. This and every other coffee on the Reaching Out menu is grown in Da Lat, Vietnam. Even though, arabica beans replaced the usual Robusta berries we didn’t mind the gentler flavor.
Our next coffee had a stronger bitter-sweet taste that came with a well-balanced after-taste. This coffee is known as the Yin-Yang Hoi An Ancient Blend and is made from Burbon Arabica and Moka beans. The last cup of coffee belonged to the humbly named Local Coffee. This medium roasted organic blend of Arabica and Ea H’leo Robusta had the longest aftertaste of all. We also loved the sweet aroma and nutty touch. Our last coffee to try on was Yin-Yang Hoi An Ancient Blend. This iconic blend pairs a sundried Dalat Bourbon Arabica with Moka beans. Intense bitter-sweet taste, balanced with strong body and aftertaste.
Are You F****** Deaf?
Like everywhere on this planet also here in Vietnam, you can easily find douchebag tourists. When we were at Reaching Out, a tourist rushed in and started to ask staff for some directions. Apparently, he was unaware that the Reaching Out Teahouse was a bit different. Instead of asking himself what is going on, he was becoming angry. We took it over and once we explained the situation, and he realized that in front of him is hearing and speech impaired staff, he simply turned around and left. Without “sorry” or any doubt of shame. Isn’t it amazing when a moron and deaf person meet in a wild?
As you can see this wasn’t ordinary afternoon tea like we are used to, and so we didn’t do a review like we usually do. Instead of that we wrote our experience and would like to share this must stop place with you. Totaly recommended by Wild’n’Free Diary! When was the last time you appreciated the silence? Maybe you should, a few times weekly and appreciate more you can hear and speak perfectly.
Unfortunately, pandemic times are causing havoc on many levels and this unique teahouse is no exception. Fortunately, not all is lost! Visit their online store and consider supporting them. We will order a teapot for sure!