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Vietnamese Coffee and Its Cultural Background

Coffee is a globally known beverage but can be made in different ways depending on the roasting styles of different places. If you are a coffee drinker you are probably familiar with French roast, Italian roast and Spanish roast coffee. These are all popular types of roasts that we may enjoy here in the United States, but have you ever heard of Vietnamese coffee? 

I was scrolling through Twitter and saw a Los Angeles Times Food article titled 5 Vietnamese coffees to try right now. As an avid coffee drinker, I was intrigued by this because I had never heard of Vietnamese coffee and it seemed to be becoming increasingly popular in Southern California cafes. 

With Vietnamese coffee becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. and being an avid coffee drinker myself, I wanted to learn more. Below are questions I had about Vietnamese coffee and the answers I found. 

What are the origins of Vietnamese Coffee?

Vietnam actually holds the title of the second-largest producer of coffee across the world and is responsible for 18% of coffee exported worldwide, according to Copper Cow Coffee. France sparked coffee production in Vietnam in the 19th century when first introducing the caffeinated beverage to the Vietnamese. Therefore, Vietnamese coffee is naturally influenced by the darker flavors of the French roast. 

What are Vietnamese Coffee Beans? 

Vietnamese coffee is made with a special kind of coffee bean, called a robusta bean. Robusta beans are known to have more caffeine than your average coffee bean, according to Coffee Hyper. If you need an extra caffeine kick, try Vietnamese coffee.

Where is Vietnamese Coffee Grown?

In Vietnam, coffee is typically grown in temperate environments, like the Central Highlands in Vietnam, according to Copper Cow Coffee. This environment provides several key ingredients in the growth of Vietnamese coffee: basalt soil, cacao, and pepper.

What is the Brewing Process of Vietnamese Coffee? 

The brewing process of Vietnamese coffee is also unique; it is a slow but dedicated mechanism. Brewing this coffee consists of using a phin which is a metal cup with a filter that covers the top of a traditional coffee mug, according to Copper Cow Coffee. After brewing, the coffee comes out as a more thick texture than normal black coffee and is meant to be poured and served over ice. This is known as drip coffee.

What is Vietnamese Coffee Typically Served With?

Sweetened condensed milk is the perfect addition to Vietnamese coffee. The creamy, sweet, and coolness of the milk perfectly juxtaposes the dark, strong and bitter flavor of the coffee. The milk is a substitute for creamer. When served in the U.S. or other Western cultures, you will almost always see Vietnamese coffee served with sweetened condensed milk. 

I hope you know more about Vietnamese coffee culture and look for the nearest cafe to you to try it out!

Gillian is a third-year at Cal Poly SLO. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child Development. Gillian is an editor and writer for Cal Poly Her Campus this year. She enjoys writing about sustainable fashion, social media trends, and activism. Even though she is planning a career in psychology, she loves being a part of Her Campus because it allows her to have a creative outlet and continue her passion for writing.
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