A Coffee Lover's Guide to Vietnamese Coffee
Every coffee lover is familiar with the major growing regions in the world, such as Brazil or Colombia, and might even be able to identify the unique characteristics of these beans when they drink a cup of coffee.
One major growing area that has avoided this attention and hype is Vietnam. Even though Vietnam is one of the largest producers of coffee globally, very few people are familiar with Vietnamese specialty coffee.
However, several Vietnamese producers, such as Belvico working hard to improve the reputation of Vietnamese coffee among lovers of coffee around the world.
They are doing this by [producing high-quality Vietnamese coffee and bringing it to the world.
However, for any coffee lover to truly understand Vietnamese coffee, they need to be aware of the long history this drink has in Vietnam, its unique characteristics, and how it has changed over time.
A Long History of Coffee Cultivation
Similar to many other premier coffee growing regions, coffee is not a native species in Vietnam. There is still a long and rich history of coffee cultivation in the country.
Large-scale coffee cultivation in Vietnam did not begin in earnest until the Fench colonisation in the late 1800s.
This was to meet the growing demand for coffee globally. However, growing areas uniquely suited to coffee cultivation led to coffee becoming an integral part of Vietnamese culture long after the end of French colonisation.
The Premier Coffee Growing Region of Vietnam
Looking for a break from the often oppressive tropical temperatures in the South of Vietnam, French officers and government officials often retreated to the mountainous areas of the Central Highlands for rest and relaxation.
They soon realised that the milder temperatures at these higher altitudes were perfect for growing coffee and introduced primarily Robusta coffee to the farms in the region.
The Central Highlands are more than just the ideal climate. This region also features high altitude plateaus and rich volcanic soils that impart a unique character to Vietnamese coffee.
To this day, the Central Highlands centered on the city of Dalat is responsible for producing the bulk of coffee for domestic use and export in Vietnam.
You may have noticed that Vietnamese coffee does not often feature in specialty cafes, and this is primarily due to the Robusta variety that is most commonly grown in the region.
Arabica, rather than Robusta, is used for espresso and pour-over coffees due to its milder, less acidic taste.
Despite producers like Belvico increasingly focusing on high-quality Arabica beans, the coffee culture of Vietnam is shaped around the unique character of Robusta coffee.
The Development of a Unique Coffee Culture
Vietnamese coffee culture represents a unique blend of French techniques with a local flair. Using dark roasted Robusta beans that have been coarsely ground, Vietnamese coffee is brewed using a pour-over method.
The traditional method involves a small metal filter called a phin that is placed over your cup. Ground coffee is introduced, and then the entire filter is filled with hot water and allowed to drip through slowly.
Due to the unavailability of fresh dairy locally during colonial times, sweetened condensed milk was added to this invigorating and robust brew.
This is a coffee preparation that is wildly popular in Vietnam to this day. You can buy traditionally brewed coffee day and night at roadside stalls.
Times are changing, though, and while the traditional methods are still the most popular, there is an ongoing revolution in Vietnamese coffee culture.
What About Modern Vietnamese Coffee?
Coffee consumption in Vietnam is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and espresso drinks and other pour-over techniques are finding their way into cafes around the country.
While many also make use of high quality, locally grown robusta beans, many have been looking for a source of local Arabica as well.
While Arabica has always been grown in the Central Highlands in small quantities, some producers like Belvico have begun ramping up production of this highly sought after variety in response to this changing demand.
It is now possible to find Vietnamese Arabica beans that have been grown, processed and roasted with care that are perfect for use in a wide range of cafe drinks.
Buy The Best Vietnamese Coffee
Are you ready to try the very best Robusta and Arabica coffee Vietnam has to offer?
Whether you want to try the traditional Vietnamese brewing method or a range of more modern styles, Belvico has a roast profile and blend that will suit.
If you want to get acquainted with the best Vietnamese coffee, look no further than the premium beans from Belvico. With this coffee, you will taste the heart and soul of the Central Highlands in your cup!