Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country that has been the world’s second-largest coffee grower for decades, is clearly doing something right.
Indeed, there are a variety of reasons why Vietnamese coffee is among the most highly sought-after in the world; many of these have to do with the agricultural process(es) and culture that surround the country’s most cherished product.
Vietnamese Coffee: A Brief Overview of Its Origins
Vietnamese coffee was first brought to the country by French colonists in the nineteenth century.
Around the year 1890, the French were successful in establishing a thriving coffee industry in the Annam region, which continues to this day (a long stretch of mountainous plateau extending through several countries). By 1950, a commercial processing factory had been developed, and Vietnam had taken a major interest in the coffee industry. Vietnamese coffee has surpassed the production of other Southeast Asian countries (such as Laos and Cambodia), and has risen to become the continent’s most important producer.
Although the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the country’s economic situation remained precariously precarious. After several years of adversity, the government implemented rigorous agricultural reforms to improve its situation. By the 1990s, the Vietnamese coffee industry was once again thriving.
The country’s economy is thriving as a result of the country’s thriving coffee sector. In recent years, Vietnam has had a significant population inflow, with many individuals migrating to the country in search of work in the country’s famed coffee industry. More than 2 12 million people are employed in Vietnam’s coffee production industry now!
Several coffee bean varietals may be found in Vietnam, and this diverse selection of coffee allows Vietnamese coffee manufacturers to create unique multi-origin blends that are not available anywhere else in the world. In the country’s coffee production, Robusta varietals account for 97 percent of the total.
This plethora of variety can be attributed to the fact that growing zones are dispersed throughout the country, allowing for the utilization of a wide range of growing temperatures. Large-scale studies of the topography of the Annamite Plateau, for example, have revealed that it is strategically positioned in such a way that it supports a diverse range of microclimates.
As a result of the abundance of possibilities available, it only makes sense for the country to offer a diverse selection of unique coffee blends that are unique to the region. The end result is a combination of improved taste, bolder flavors, and a delightful aftertaste that lingers for a long time.
Vietnamese coffee roasting preferences have been established for many years, with a variety of various processes being used around the nation.
Historically, Vietnamese coffee beans were roasted in a caramel-like oil (which was often blended with sugar, vanilla, and/or chocolate), which coated the coffee beans with a sweet coating, imparting a rich, distinctive flavor to the coffee when consumed. It also helped to darken the color of the beans while they were being roasted, rather than burning them, which resulted in an overall more uniform appearance and flavor across the batch of beans.
Instead of using the above approach, modern-day Vietnamese coffee growers roast their coffee beans in “butter oil,” which helps the beans roast more uniformly and quickly.
Vietnamese Coffee Culture
The majority of coffee served in restaurants or cafés is served in large portions, encouraging customers to sit, relax, and sip for an extended period of time. There is no such thing as a “to-go” coffee; if you order one, expect to be there for an hour or two at the very least. I know what you’re thinking: I’ll twist your arm.
There is a healthy mix of classic and modern coffee shops, each with their own distinct charms, in this neighborhood. Traditional Vietnamese coffee houses, where older people might spend the entire day reminiscing and playing endless games of checkers, attract a more mature clientele, whereas updated coffee houses, which have a more eclectic creative ambiance, attract a more youthful clientele.
If you want the best of both worlds, Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, is the place to go. There’s even a coffee street called “Coffee Street,” which has more coffee shops per square block than anyplace else in the country, making it the best of both worlds.
It makes no difference whose coffee house you choose; you can be sure that there will be a wide variety of Vietnamese coffee available.
If you tell a Vietnamese individual, ‘I need coffee!’ they will respond positively. They don’t think about espresso, cappuccino, or any other form of coffee at all; they just think about Phin, and nothing else. It is the only one and the best one in the world to them.
How to make a serving of Phin, often known as Vietnamese iced coffee.
- 30 g of sweetened condensed milk
- 25 g of coffee beans from Vietnam (Trung Nguyen Coffee, grind size: French Press)
- Iced cubes
- Phin — a Vietnamese filter ($7-$9)
- Fill a glass or a brewing dish halfway with condensed milk.
- Fill the pour over with freshly ground coffee.
- Shaking the brewer a little bit can help to flatten the bed.
- Metal covers with holes are placed over the coffee bed to keep the coffee at the bottom of the brewer while it’s being ground.
- Pour the water in two batches as follows:
- The first pour is 10 g of 90°C water to allow the coffee to bloom.
- The second pour contains 100 g of water.
- Allow the coffee to trickle until it is finished (approximately 10 min)
- Combine the coffee and milk in a mixing bowl.
- Serve with ice cubes.
In order to try Phin, or Vietnamese Iced Coffee, you should go to a Vietnamese coffee establishment where you can easily find both the brewer and the coffee. If you’re drinking this in the winter, we recommend a hot version of it. Despite the fact that it is not the most delicate filter coffee you’d expect to find in a specialty cafe, it is a rich, full-bodied, and sweet beverage that will provide you with a proper kick on a snowy afternoon in the city. Try it out and see what happens!