A guide to Vietnamese coffee. Кофе vietnam

Coffee production in Vietnam - Wikipedia

Terraced Coffee Plants in Vietnam

Coffee production has been a major source of income for Vietnam since the early 20th century. First introduced by the French in 1857, the Vietnamese coffee industry developed through the plantation system, becoming a major economic force in the country. After an interruption during and immediately following the Vietnam War, production rose once again after Đổi mới economic reforms, reaching 900,000 tons per year in 2000. In 2009, Reuters reported Vietnamese coffee exports at "an estimated 1.13 million tonnes" for the previous year, stating that coffee was second only to rice in value of agricultural products exported from Vietnam.[1]


Coffee trees on the Cressonnière plantation, near Kécheu. 1898

Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by the French and slowly grew as producer of coffee in Asia. The height of coffee production occurred in the early 20th century as small-scale production shifted towards plantations. The first instant coffee plant, Coronel Coffee Plant, was established in Biên Hòa, Đồng Nai Province in 1969, with a production capacity of 80 tons per year.

The Vietnam War disrupted production of coffee in the Buôn Ma Thuột region, the plateau on which the industry was centered.[2] Although seldom involved in conflict, the area was a crossroads between North and South and was largely depopulated. After the North Vietnamese victory, the industry, like most agriculture, was collectivized, limiting private enterprise and resulting in low production.

Following Đổi mới reforms in 1986, privately owned enterprise was once again permitted, resulting in a surge of growth in the industry. Cooperation between growers, producers and government resulted in branding finished coffees and exporting products for retail. It was during this time that many new companies involved in coffee production were established, including Đắk Lắk-based Trung Nguyên in 1996 and Highlands Coffee in 1998. Both of these continued on to establish major brands distributed through a widespread network of coffee shops. By the late 1990s, Vietnam had become the world's #2 coffee producer after Brazil, but production was largely focused on Robusta beans—considered inferior to Arabica due to their bitterness—for export as a commodity. Recent government initiatives have sought to improve the quality of coffee exports, including more widespread planting of Arabica beans, the development of mixed-bean coffees, and specialty coffee such as kopi luwak (Vietnamese: cà phê chồn, "weasel coffee").

By 2000, coffee production had grown to 900,000 tons per year. Price decreases, however, led annual production to drop to around 600,000 tons/year in 2003.[3] In 2009, Reuters reported Vietnamese coffee exports at "an estimated 1.13 million tonnes" for the previous year, stating that coffee was second only to rice in value of agro-products exported from Vietnam.[1]

The country's 2013/2014 coffee crop is expected to be a bumper harvest of around 17 million to 29.5 million 60-kg bags. Such a large production will add to a global oversupply of beans and will pressure coffee prices which have lost about 10 percent since October 2012. The country's coffee industry has taken a hit; of the 127 local coffee export firms that operated in 2012, 56 have ceased trading or shifted to other businesses after having taken out loans they can't repay. A few firms, such as Vietnam's top coffee exporter the Intimex Group, will benefit from the 2013 harvest. Intimex accounts for a quarter of the country's coffee exports and made $1.2 billion in revenue in 2012.

The amount of non-performing loans or debts in the coffee sector likely to go unpaid stands at 8 trillion dong ($379 million), which is around 60 percent of all loans for the coffee industry in Vietnam. [4]


Most coffee producers are private and state owned, such as Trung Nguyen Coffee Company Ltd., Hung Phat Company Ltd., Tam Chau Tea and Coffee Company Ltd., Viet Pacific Co. Ltd. known as Vietcoffee, and Vinacafe (Vietnam National Coffee Corporation). Highlands Coffee, a privately owned producer, was the first private company in Vietnam ever registered to an Overseas Vietnamese. A number of international players, such as Nestlé, have been established in Vietnam following economic liberalization in the 1990s.

In 2010, The New Vision for Agriculture framework was created under the direction of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. This 10-year strategy aimed to advance sustainable, large-scale Agricultural productivity, quality and competitiveness to achieve national food security and sustainable Economic growth. The NVA framework was incorporated into the national agriculture strategy in November 2011 by the Vietnam government. [5]

A Working group on coffee was one of the first initiatives of the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam.

A number of prominent coffee companies collaborated with government, civil society organizations and farmers as part of a pre-competitive effort to replace aging coffee trees and provide extension and financing services. By the 2014-2015 season, farmer’s yields and net incomes had increased by 21% and 14% respectively. [6]

Vietnam is the second largest producer in the world after Brazil.[7] The quality of the beans, however, has typically limited their marketability. Robusta coffee accounts for 97 per cent of Vietnam's total output, with 1.29 million tonnes exported in 2012, a value of USD 1.4 billion. Arabica production is expected to rise owing to the expansion of growing areas.[8] Other types of coffee grown in Vietnam include Chari (Excelsa) and Catimor.

Region Altitude Harvest season Blend nature
Central Highlands - DakLak, Gia Lai, Kontum, Lam Dong, Buon Me Thuot 500-700m November–April aromatic
Southeast - Dong Nai, Ba Ria–Vung tau, Binh Phuoc
Central Coastal
Vietnamese coffee brewing in single-cup filters. In southern Vietnam, a cup of coffee is often accompanied by a cup of hot or cold tea. In the northern regions, this rarely occurs and the coffee is often twice as expensive.

Vietnamese (Buôn Mê Thuột region) style coffee has characteristics that distinguish it from other coffees and brewing methods:

  1. The growing regions of the Buôn Mê Thuột have been classified into micro-climates by European scientists contracted by private industry. In these different regions, several species of coffee are grown, including Arabica, Robusta, Chari (Excelsa), with Arabica varieties including Catimor, and some with indigenous lineage, such as the Arabica SE. Vietnamese coffee producers blend multiple varieties of beans for different flavor characteristics and balance, or to reduce production cost.
  2. Typically the coffee is prepared in single servings in single-cup filter/brewers known as phin. Generally the coffee is served table-side while it is still brewing. The use of sweetened condensed milk rather than fresh milk was first due to its availability and easier storage in a tropical climate. The condensed milk serves to sweeten the coffee as well. Long practice has led to this being the taste preference in the Vietnamese community.
  3. The coffee may be brewed into ice for cà phê đá, or when had with condensed milk for cà phê sữa đá.

Availability in other countries[edit]

In the USA, Vietnamese-style coffee is sometimes confused with that brewed in Louisiana with French roast coffee with chicory. Vietnamese immigrants who came to the state in the late 20th century adopted New Orleans-style coffee because they were unable to get Vietnamese-grown coffee.[9] The French roast style popular in Louisiana was similar to Vietnamese coffee in its relatively coarse grind; therefore it made an excellent substitute for traditional brewing in the single-serving filter/brewer. In Vietnam, however, locally produced coffees are characterized by medium roast and don't contain chicory.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


A guide to Vietnamese coffee

Strong and flavourful Vietnamese coffee makes converts as quickly as it raises pulses. French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam, but the morning cup of ca phe soon became a local habit. With variations that make use of yoghurt, eggs and even fruit, Vietnamese coffee has developed a style of its own.

Same but different

The preparation process, as well as the blend of beans, helps give Vietnamese coffee its particular style. Coarsely ground beans go into a French drip filter (called a phin), which sits on top of the cup. The beans are weighted down with a thin lid, hot water is added to the phin, and then the water slowly trickles through into the cup. Most people drink the resulting dark, strong brew with sweetened condensed milk, a practice that began because the French couldn't easily acquire fresh milk. In the north of Vietnam, this mixture is referred to as ca phe nau (brown coffee), while in the south it’s called ca phe sua (milk coffee).

Coffee filters through a phin. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

Types of coffee

Vietnam has far more to offer in the caffeine department than just coffee with milk. Below are a few more unique variations to look out for.

Yoghurt coffee (sua chua ca phe)

Like coffee, yoghurt was originally brought to Vietnam by the French and has been adopted into local culinary tradition. Rich and creamy, it’s served with various toppings, from fresh mango to fermented rice – and even coffee. This might sound like an odd combination, but the rich yoghurt pairs amazingly well with a drizzle of black coffee – just stir and sip.

Yoghurt coffee. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

Egg coffee (ca phe trung) Egg yolk whipped with condensed milk into an airy froth meets dark coffee in this rich concoction: think of it as a Vietnamese take on tiramisu. Egg coffee first made the scene in the 1940s, when milk was scarce and egg yolks provided a convenient replacement.

A rich and frothy egg coffee. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

Coffee smoothie (sinh to ca phe)

In recent years, coffee has even found its way into smoothies. Popular juice shops perk up creamy blends of fresh fruit with a touch of Vietnamese coffee, sometimes tossing in yoghurt or cashews. In Hanoi, try sinh to ca phe chuoi bo (coffee blended with banana and avocado). In Ho Chi Minh City, go for sinh to ca phe sapoche (coffee blended with sapodilla, a tropical fruit with a custard-like taste). Both are delicious ways to get your caffeine fix and your vitamins at the same time.

An avocado-and-coffee shake. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

Where to drink

Hanoi remains the undisputed centre of cafe culture in Vietnam. While modern-style coffee shops have grown in popularity, traditional sidewalk cafes still fill up from morning to night with drinkers of all ages, who linger for hours over a single glass. However, you can find quality coffee all over Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, coffee is usually served in taller glasses and is slightly cheaper.

For the experience: Trieu Viet Vuong

Known as ‘Coffee Street’, this stretch of Hanoi’s historic Hai Ba Trung District might contain more cafes per block than anywhere else in Vietnam, ranging from family-run shops to more fashionable places popular with teenagers. Hanoian favourite Cafe Tho (117 Trieu Viet Vuong), which has been here for three decades, brews a powerful cup that still draws consistent crowds.

People enjoying coffee al fresco in Hanoi. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

For dessert: Cafe Giang

No trip to Hanoi is complete without a taste of egg coffee at the place it was invented. Cafe Giang (39 Nguyen Huu Huan), on the edge of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, was the first to begin whipping up this drink/dessert in the 1940s. Since then the atmosphere has changed as little as the recipe. While the tiny stools here might not be the most comfortable, the drink itself is top notch. Those who don’t drink coffee can sample the egg foam with sweetened mung beans or cocoa.

For the view: Cafe Pho Co

Accessed via an entrance concealed in the back of a shop, a spiral staircase leads up to Hanoi’s Cafe Pho Co and a stunning view of Hoan Kiem Lake. From the quiet balcony overlooking the lake and surrounding streets, you can enjoy a coffee while watching the seemingly never-ending stream of traffic pass by.

Coffee with a view at Cafe Pho Co, Hanoi. Image by Elisabeth Rosen / Lonely Planet

For a blast from the past: Cafe La Tamia

A retro cafe in Ho Chi Minh City, La Tamia (38/05 Tran Khac Chan) offers visitors a glimpse into old Saigon. Relax on a vintage sofa or browse the cafe owner’s collection of antique TVs and gramophones while enjoying your iced coffee.

Drink like a local

A few coffee-drinking tips for your Vietnam trip:

Milky way Don’t even try to ask for decaf. If you prefer your coffee mild, do as the Vietnamese do and order ca phe bac xiu, coffee with lots of extra condensed milk.

Sweet spot As condensed milk is sweetened, there is no white coffee without sugar. True coffee connoisseurs should opt for ca phe den (black coffee). A touch of sugar will bring out the complex flavours, just as it does with dark chocolate. However, if you want to ensure that your drink isn’t too sweet, ask for it duong (less sugar).

Avoid hunger Cafes in Vietnam don’t typically serve food. Some newer cafes do offer quick eats, but you’re better off following the local custom of eating first and then heading to a cafe to relax. In a pinch, you can always nibble on hat huong duong (sunflower seeds).


How Vietnam became a coffee giant

Image copyright Getty Images

Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?

When the Vietnam war ended in 1975 the country was on its knees, and economic policies copied from the Soviet union did nothing to help.

Collectivising agriculture proved to be a disaster, so in 1986 the Communist Party carried out a U-turn - placing a big bet, at the same time, on coffee.

Coffee production then grew by 20%-30% every year in the 1990s. The industry now employs about 2.6 million people, with beans grown on half a million smallholdings of two to three acres each.

This has helped transform the Vietnamese economy. In 1994 some 60% of Vietnamese lived under the poverty line, now less than 10% do.

Coffee Vietnamese style

  • Ca phe da - Coffee served on a bed of ice
  • Ca phe sua da - Coffee served with condensed milk, on ice
  • Ca phe trung - like a cappuccino, except with the addition of an egg or two
  • Kopi luwak - The process of making coffee by feeding beans to civets - a type of weasel - and then roasting the excreted beans

"The Vietnamese traditionally drank tea, like the Chinese, and still do," says Vietnam-based coffee consultant Will Frith.

Vietnamese people do drink it - sometimes with condensed milk, or in a cappuccino made with egg - but it's mainly grown as an export crop.

Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the 19th Century and a processing plant manufacturing instant coffee was functioning by 1950.

This is how most Vietnamese coffee is consumed, and is partly why about a quarter of coffee drunk in the UK comes from Vietnam.

British consumers still drink a lot more of that than of fancy coffees, such as espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.

High-end coffee shops mainly buy Arabica coffee beans, whereas Vietnam grows the hardier Robusta bean.

Find out more

Image copyright AFP

Watch The Coffee Trail, with reporter Simon Reeve, on BBC Two at 20:00 GMT on Sunday - or catch it later on the iPlayer

Arabica beans contain between 1% to 1.5% caffeine while Robusta has between 1.6% to 2.7% caffeine, making it taste more bitter.

There is a lot more to coffee, though, than caffeine.

"Complex flavour chemistry works to make up the flavours inherent in coffee," says Frith.

"Caffeine is such a small percentage of total content, especially compared to other alkaloids, that it has a very minute effect on flavour."

Some companies, like Nestle, have processing plants in Vietnam, which roast the beans and pack it.

But Thomas Copple, an economist at the International Coffee Organization in London, says most is exported as green beans and then processed elsewhere, in Germany for example.

While large numbers of Vietnamese have made a living from coffee, a few have become very rich.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Dang Le Nguyen Vu: Next step, an international coffee shop chain

Take for example multi-millionaire Dang Le Nguyen Vu. His company, Trung Nguyen Corporation, is based in Ho Chi Minh City - formerly Saigon - but his wealth is based in the Central Highlands around Buon Ma Thuot, the country's coffee capital.

Chairman Vu, as he is nicknamed, owns five Bentleys and 10 Ferraris and Forbes magazine assessed him to be worth $100m (£60m). That's in a country where the average annual income is $1,300 (£790).

Who buys Vietnam's coffee

  • Vietnam produced 22m 60kg bags of coffee in 2012/13
  • Germany and the US imported about 2m
  • Spain, Italy and Belgium/Luxembourg imported about 1.2m
  • Japan, South Korea, Poland, France and the UK all imported in the region of 0.5m

Source: ICO

The expansion of coffee has also had downsides, however.

Agricultural activity of any kind holds hidden dangers in Vietnam, because of the huge numbers of unexploded ordnance remaining in the ground after the Vietnam War. In one province, Quang Tri, 83% of fields are thought to contain bombs.

Environmentalists also warn that catastrophe is looming. WWF estimates that 40,000 square miles of forest have been cut down since 1973, some of it for coffee farms, and experts say much of the land used for coffee cultivation is steadily being exhausted.

Image copyright AFP

Vietnamese farmers are using too much water and fertiliser, says Dr Dave D'Haeze, a Belgian soil expert.

"There's this traditional belief that you need to do that and nobody has really been trained on how to produce coffee," he says.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Hanoi has independent coffee shops - last year it got its first Starbucks

"Every farmer in Vietnam is the researcher of his own plot."

Some people from Vietnam's many ethnic minorities also say they have been forced off their land.

But Chairman Vu says coffee has been good for Vietnam.

He is now planning to set up an international chain of Vietnamese-style coffee shops.

"We want to bring Vietnamese coffee culture to the world. It isn't going to be easy but in the next year we want to compete with the big brands like Starbucks," he says.

"If we can take on and win over the US market we can conquer the whole world."

Watch The Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve on BBC Two at 20:00 GMT on Sunday or later on the iPlayer.


Vietnam Coffee Manufacturers

An Thai, established in 1992, is a leading corporation (top 10) in the coffee export field in Viet Nam.Through nearly 24 years of working, we have been developing ourselves in order to adapt to the chances in demand of our customers.

Telephone+841635702605Address263 Vuon Lai, Tan Phu Ward, Ho Chi Minh City

Being the professional exporter in Vietnam, PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL TRADING CO., LTD wished you and your organization a happiness, wealthiness and prosperity year after year! We build long term business with the code of conduct is “Win-Win”.

Telephone+84 939 847 992Address184 Binh Loi, ward 13, Binh Thanh district

TOP CHOICE FOODS INTERNATIONAL JOINT STOCK COMPANY is one of the largest producer for instant coffee by volume in Vietnam.Our monthly production capacity for granulated instant coffee is 300mt and 200mt of freeze dried instant coffee.

Telephone+84838560113AddressFloor 8th, 39 Hai Thuong Lan Ong St, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

An Thai Group is a professional coffee manufacturing and processing company.We have 15 year experience in this field.We have 2 factories in DakLak.Our products are consumed and exported nation-wide and world-wide.

Telephone84936335856Address56 Tran Quang Co, Phu Thanh Ward, Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Dear Sir/Madam !Good day and wishing you have a nice working day !We are VHV IMEX CO.,LTD in Viet Nam.Our company is a professional in exporting, We supply many different International and Vietnam Brand products for many partners abroad.

Telephone848-62506772Address66 / 1 Highway 1A, Tan Thoi Nhat ward, district 12, HCMC, Viet Nam, Vietnam

Viet Thai International Joint Stock Company is located in vietnam, we are the coffee, supplier.

Telephone84-904-308989Address135 / 37 / 50 Nguyen Huu Canh, Binh Thanh, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

BEN THANH IMPORT & EXPORT COMPANY (VIETNAM) has established trading link with global partners and it is famous for its high quality products and services.Our activity is sourci...

Telephone84-08-22133133Address37 No. 1, Go Vap Ward., Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Huynh Nga is located in vietnam, we are the coffee supplier.

Telephone84-54-654897897Address54 Huynh Tan Phat, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Highlands Coffee is all about great coffee.Whether that's in our coffee shops throughout Vietnam, a pack you've bought at the supermarket or a cup you've had in a leading hotel or restaurant.

Telephone84-8-35137355Address135 / 37 / 50 Nguyen Huu Canh, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

An thai Instant Coffee Joint Stock Company specializes in producting and exporting Instan16a0t Coffee Products as follows:+Instant Coffee+3 In 1 Coffee Mix.+Roasted Coffee Beans+Ground Coffee.

Telephone84-8-54342053Address154 / 6 Le Thuc Hoach St, Phu Tho Hoa Wrd, Tan Phu Dist, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vietnam trade promotion joint stock company is located in vietnam, we are the arabica, robusta, coffee bean, coffee supplier.

Telephone84-983-802292Address406 Room, A5 Building, Thang Long International Village, Trandan

vinacafe Dalat is located in vietnam.

Telephone84-63-3648649Address115 highway 20 - hiepthanh - ductrong district - lam dong provin

congtytnhhtmdvxnkphuhai is located in vietnam.

Telephone84-08-73031781Address86 nguyen thong f9 q3, hcm city, hcm city, Vietnam

Coffee Viet Ltd is located in vietnam, we are the coffee supplier.

Telephone84-312-687897Address79 Binh Thuan, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

AnThai Group consists of 05 member companies: 02 Coffee production companies 02 Trading companies operating at the highland area 01 Export-import and trading promotional company Ou...

Telephone84-8-54342053Address28, Le Thuc Hoach St, Phu Tho Hoa Ward, Tan Phu Dist, Ho Chi Min

We are big trade company with 02 big members.Our main headquarter is located in USA.To make it sure in exporting goods to customers, we have some representative officials working in USA to satisfy our customers when buying our products.

Telephone84-8- 5113 888 616Address10 Hai Phong street, 8th floor., DA NANG, DA NANG, Vietnam

An Thai Coffee Company is located in vietnam.

Telephone84-050-234056Address28 Le Thuc Hoach, Tan Phu District, Ho Cjhi Minh city, Ho Chi Mi

Gia Khang Co.,ltd is located in vietnam, we are the sell coffee supplier, mainly for the southeast asia markets.

Telephone84-9-18090988Address108 Nguyen Thi Tu, Ho Chi Minh, Binh Tan Dict, Vietnam

We are a big coffee manufacturer in Vietnam. We have two coffee production factories in Buon Ma Thuot city. AnThai Group consists of 05 member companies: 02 Coffee production compa...

Telephone84-8-54342053Address28 Le Thuc Hoach str, Phu Tho Hoa ward, Tan Phu dist, HO CHI MIN

HX EXP INT'L Company, would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves as one of coffee, tea suppliers.from Vietnam.Our products with special emphasis on quality to meet the entire satistaction of our customers.

Telephone84-8-35118826Address625 / 3 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh St, W. 26, Binh Thanh Dist, Ho Chi Min


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