Vietnam, the next hot coffee origin?

Ube Iced Latte at Cafe Phin in New York. Wall Street Journal photo by Nico Schinco

Having lived in Southeast Asia and visited Vietnam a few times, when you say Vietnamese coffee I think of a sweet, delicious (but incredibly unhealthy) iced drink of instant coffee in sweetened condensed milk. Clearly I missed out on something very different.

So I loved reading this really interesting WSJ article on coffee from Vietnam – h/t to one of my legion of few regular readers (hi Dad!). And this post is an excuse to run the gorgeous picture which accompanied the article.

Lots to unpack here:

  • the whole article is a bit of a not-so-gentle poke at third-wave snobbery; let’s face it, guilty as charged
  • it’s also a challenge to one of the basic tenets of today’s high-end coffee, that robusta beans are low-grade and quality is found in arabica beans (interesting that the roasters are producing 50/50 blends)
  • a country that is the world’s second largest producer gets overlooked
  • all the roasters featured in the article are founded by and run by women, which is great for an often male-dominated industry

I’ll be keeping an eye out for cafes featuring Vietnamese coffees, and will have to order a bag from one of the roasters.

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