Discovery Kit Subscription

Disocover all of our products and at the end choose your fav

Subscribe now

Create Your Subscription

Create for yourself or as a gift for your loved ones

Subscribe now

The perfect bean

Me and mom just enjoyed the Nguyen phin drip experience. Wow. Proud of your work. We without hesitation enjoy the Vietnamese coffee and recommend your products. Thank-you to the Nguyen staff and tradition. From Canada eh!

Marc B

Verified Customer


May 22, 2024 4 min read
Nguyen Coffee Supply Vietnam Sahra Nguyen 2024 Trip

When we set out to champion robusta coffee in 2018, people told us robusta was inferior and didn’t belong in specialty coffee. They told us a premium robusta coffee wasn’t possible and didn’t belong in the coffee rotation. Robusta coffee is 40% of the global coffee production, which meant that robusta coffee was widely utilized and consumed; however, due to the stigma against robusta, most companies never mentioned their use of robusta, contributing to lack of transparency and care for robusta. 

In 2018, Vietnamese robusta coffee was priced at $2.40 a kilogram. Many companies relied on the low price tag of Vietnamese robusta coffee, pushing the industry to focus on volume over quality. Because of its low cost, many attributed the low cost to express that the bean was inherently low quality. But that’s simply not true. Cost and value of an agricultural product are related to human-made systems. So we set out to change the system. 

As of May 2024, conventional robusta coffee in Vietnam reached a 30 year high at $5.25 per kilogram! This is literally robusta rising!

Nguyen Coffee Supply Vietnamese Coffee Robusta Rising

At Nguyen Coffee Supply, we’ve been investing in our direct trade relationships to improve the quality of robusta, so we pay 26% more than the price of conventional coffee (close to $7/kilogram). Additionally, the demand for robusta in Vietnam has gotten so high, that for the first time ever, the cost of our specialty robusta is 10% higher than the price of our specialty arabica from Vietnam.   

So, why is the cost of robusta coffee rising and getting more expensive? 

Nguyen Coffee Supply Vietnam 2024 Coffee Farm

From day one, we focused on quality and it started with the process. In partnerships with our growers, we asked them to spend more time and resources to products a delicious cup of robusta coffee. Our farmers:

  • Focus on handpicking the coffee cherries at peak ripeness. 
  • Use organic practices and biofertilizers. 
  • Transition from a natural process to a full wash process post harvesting – this requires more water, electricity, labor and time, which impacts the price of the coffee bean. 
  • Conduct a round of manual sorting, where they hire a team of folks to evaluate and handpick out discrepancies so that we can produce a consistent and clean cup of robusta coffee (after the coffee is fully washed and dried).

From growing, harvesting and post-harvesting, we focused on improving the quality of robusta coffee, and we were willing to pay the price for it, thus providing a specialty robusta coffee on the market. We began to change minds and shift perceptions one cup of coffee at a time.

Since we started in 2018, companies have followed suit to popularize robusta coffee, which led to higher demands for the coffee bean than before. Additionally, climate change has been negatively affecting arabica crops worldwide, leading to a decrease in arabica coffee output globally. This led to many companies turning to the robusta market to fill their need. It’s typical supply & demand dynamics on the global market. Though we’re seeing progress, there are still many folks in the industry who refuse to pay an elevated price for robusta due to the decades-long stigma against robusta.

What does the rising price of coffee mean for the industry and consumers?

Robusta coffee prices have reached a 30 year high. In April 1994, the price of robusta coffee was $1.58/kilogram. As of May 2024, the price of robusta coffee was $4.23/kilogram – growing 268% (based on Robusta Coffee Futures). As of May 2024, the price of Vietnamese robusta was $5.25/kg – 24% above the international trading market. Since these prices relate to conventional coffee, we take it a step further with our premium coffee beans.

At Nguyen Coffee Supply, we import green coffee beans from Vietnam and roast fresh in Brooklyn, New York.  Our robusta coffee beans are direct trade, single origin, 18 screen, hand-picked, fully ripe and fully washed…making our specialty robusta coffee 26% more expensive than conventional robusta in Vietnam!

And because we have been investing in improving the quality of our fresh roasted robusta since 2018, the cost of our robusta coffee has increased 275% since our very first order.

Our cost of goods increased nearly 3x since we started our mission to write a new narrative about Vietnamese coffee and create systems of change around robusta. 

With the price of robusta and Vietnamese coffee going up and demand increasing, this is a major WIN for the coffee  community. While rising COGS is typically not the trendline we look for in a business, at Nguyen Coffee Supply, we are focused on the long term mission to elevate robusta coffee and bring economic empowerment to the global coffee growing community. While we invest in specialty coffee production, we believe that all coffee growers, including conventional coffee producers, deserve to elevate their livelihoods as well. For context, over the last 29 years (since 1995), the average price of (all coffee) only increased 15%. Meanwhile, the average price of wine has increased 192% since 1995.  Thus, we need the global price of coffee to rise dramatically, so that all communities and origins can benefit, from conventional coffee growers to specialty coffee growers.  Since 2018, this is exactly what we set out to do - to build directly with the growers at origin, to help improve the quality of Vietnamese coffee and to champion robusta coffee globally. Through shifting the narrative, we shift the system, and with this ripple effect, we strive to help elevate the livelihoods of coffee growers everywhere. 

The rise of robusta prices is a huge win for farmers worldwide! We’re changing the world together and designing a more sustainable coffee future for the environment and for growing communities. Cheers to the people’s grind!!

Previous blog Post