What ever preconceptions you have of coffee in Vietnam, be prepared for a shake up. After Black Market Roasters visited Vietnam in 2014, we found a vibrant, innovative and growing market.
The world knows that Vietnam grows coffee and a lot of it. Most of the coffee is Robusta, a typically lower quality, high yielding, resistant coffee plant that is used for instant coffee as well as consumed by the Vietnamese domestic market.
This may be changing though as the world searches for more supply avenues of the arabica varietal and Vietnam may be starting to listen. In Da Lat a growing city of 200,000 people, on the cities outskirts are vibrant, healthy coffee farms with a new way of looking at the coffee market.
When the French first came to Vietnam they brought with them pine trees, their cuisine and arabica coffee plants, among other things. These were farmed by the Vietnamese and the locals took to consuming it in their own way. As the French retreated in the 1900’s German farmers moved in and to satisfy their love of coffee, planted the higher yielding, more pest resistant robusta varietal. It can be grown at lower altitudes and the Vietnamese community seemed not to complain to omuch, just adding more sugar.
Sensing a growing market, the locals planted more and more robusta to service demand and to this day plant much more robusta than arabica.
There are many people, often young and well travelled looking to show the Vietnamese how good coffee can taste. The younger and the very old locals are slowly taking to it. Black Market Roasters are researching the area and the small availability of arabica to see if there are any opportunities for Australian consumers to taste some of this sweet, spiced cherry acidity coffee. We are a wholesale coffee supplier in Sydney, who deliver fresh roasted coffee to the Australian market. If you are interested in hearing more, contact us on our wholesale roasters page.