What Makes Vietnamese Coffee Different?
When you walk into your local cafe and choose a high-quality single-origin bean for your morning brew, Vietnamese coffee does not often feature among your choices.
This is in part due to a legacy of Vietnamese prioritizing high-volume production over high-quality production. The Robusta beans first introduced to Vietnam are prized for instant coffee due to their high caffeine content.
In recent years, some producers such as Belvico have recognized the potential for high-quality, specialty coffee in Vietnam. Here are just a few of the reasons that make Vietnamese coffee so different.
The Perfect Growing Region
Just like every fantastic coffee, it all starts with the perfect growing conditions.
Vietnam’s coffee industry can be found in the stunning Central Highlands region. This region features a high elevation, which ensures a year-round mild temperature perfect for growing coffee.
The rich volcanic soils in the Central Highlands are perfect for coffee cultivation, which was recognized early on by French colonialists.
Since colonial times, Vietnam has established itself as the second-largest coffee producer globally, with the vast majority coming out of the Central Highland region.
When growing high-quality beans for specialty coffee, the rich soils of this region impart a strong, nutty and chocolatey flavour to the coffee beans.
A unique feature of Vietnam’s coffee industry is the predominance of Robust coffee. The majority of specialty coffee is Arabica, which makes finding high-quality Robusta a memorable treat.
Arabica beans have light and often fruity flavors suitable for light roasts that are popular in many modern brewing styles.
On the other hand, Robusta beans have richer and deeper flavors, with typical toasting notes including chocolate and nuts. This is also combined with acidity and bitterness due to high caffeine content.
For a long time, Robusta was ignored as a specialty coffee due to its high acidity and bitterness, but that is beginning to change.
Producers such as Belvico recognized that if you start with high-quality Robusta beans and treat them right throughout the processing and roasting process, you can create stunning cups of coffee.
By working directly with producers to grow high-quality beans and then both processing and roasting those beans, Belvico has created some of the best Robusta coffee in the world.
A Unique Coffee Culture
Another interesting feature of Vietnamese coffee that makes it unique is the coffee culture that has developed within the country.
In many other coffee-producing nations, coffee is purely for export and not consumed locally in any significant quantities.
In Vietnam, coffee is what the country runs on! You can buy a fresh cup of Vietnamese coffee on almost every street corner, and the local brewing method is unique.
In Vietnam, pour-over has been king long before it hit the mainstream in trendy cafes. Using a small aluminum filter called a phin dark roasted and coarsely ground, Robusta beans are used to create a strong, concentrated cup of coffee.
This potent brew is traditionally combined with sweetened condensed milk, but now with the more subtle flavors of specialty Robusta coffee produced by Belvico, enjoying Vietnamese coffee without sweeteners is also a great option.
Try The Best Vietnamese Coffee for Yourself
If you haven’t tried this new wave of Vietnamese specialty coffee for yourself yet, it is time to get out and give it a go!
The perfect growing region, a unique variety of coffee and the care and attention of producers like Belvico will ensure that you will enjoy a unique and delicious cup of coffee.