Vietnam has been dubbed the world’s number one fabricator and trafficker of coffee. They cultivate Arabica but their specialty is their famous Robusta coffee. It can be found in basically every store and mainly produced as a favorite for instant coffee. It has become extremely popular and has profited greatly in the market because of its low-cost. The low-cost is a result of the low quality of the coffee. The climate in Vietnam may be an advantage in the growth of the coffee trees but the humid wet environment had an effect on the coffee quality during the cherry drying processing before shipment. Although the quality is not so great, that gives them a good opportunity to make it cheap which makes it highly available for those who like to get their quick fix.
Coffee was introduced to the Vietnamese by the French in the 1800’s. Taking advantage of the Vietnamese climate, they were able to create large amounts of coffee plantations. In the mid 1980’s, the communist party had set a bet on coffee and surprisingly the economy profited, transforming from the horrible Vietnam war economic situation to a profitable new age. It grew in between 20 to 30 percent per year in the 90’s. A quarter of the United Kingdom now sips coffee cultivated from Vietnam plantations.
Traditionally the Vietnamese culture prefers to sip tea, but since the coffee industry has been introduced it has blossomed into their most essential economic booster and tea is now replaced with the popular bittersweet refreshment. There are many ways to brew and prepare coffee depending on personal taste and texture. There are two specific ways that are popular in the Vietnamese culture and is making its way to the western culture. Vietnamese people drink their coffee with condensed milk or make coffee with an egg which tastes similar to a cappuccino. Even though it had opened up many job opportunities employing an estimate of 2.6 million people, it has become a dangerous position to fulfill. 83 percent of the Quang Tri fields contain many hidden bombs underneath the ground. Also, approximately 40 thousand square miles of Vietnamese forests have been cut down and many people have been forced off of their land in order to incorporate the land for the massive coffee cultivation.
Besides the employment dangers of cultivating, the economy looks at it as benefitting the economy because of how quickly people around the world are adopting the Vietnamese style of drinking coffee. It was soon a new fun way to drink coffee as well as tastefully enjoyable and satisfactory once consumers have tried it the Vietnamese way. If someone wants to sip on a tasty beverage and fully experience the bittersweet coffee the proper way, the coffee bust be brewed using a Phin, a Vietnamese coffee filter.
Just put a few tablespoons of coffee into the filter and press it firmly. Then in a coffee cup, put a tablespoon or more of sweetened condensed milk on the bottom. Place the filter over the top of the coffee cup and slowly pour hot water into the filter, letting it drip into the cup. Once the cup is full, remove the filter and see the dark coffee inside. Slowly stir the coffee mixing it up with the sweetened condensed milk. The dark coffee and the creamy milk creates beautiful swirls and then combines with one another for an ivory creamy beverage. Some people pour it over a cup of ice making it a pleasant cold refreshment to sip on. Another way to prepare it is what they call “coffee with egg”. To make this, just take a spoonful of coffee and espresso and brew the two of them combined. Mix together an egg yolk and a spoonful of sugar and condensed milk. Stir the two concoctions together and enjoy a creamy Vietnamese cappuccino.
By Brittany Varner-Miller