Founder Sahra Nguyen spoke with Bettina Makalintal for Munchies by Vice on her vision for the trajectory of Vietnamese Coffee. Read some main takeaways below:
- Vietnam produces over 3.6 billion pounds of coffee per year, almost all of which is exported. Many coffee drinkers don’t know they’re sipping Vietnamese beans; in many imaginations, Vietnamese coffee refers to dark roast swirled with sweetened, condensed milk—not respected, specialty beans.
- Historically, Vietnam’s coffee hasn’t ended up in production streams that pride visibility: instead, it’s shuffled into instant coffee or mass-market mixes. Unlike the vast majority of specialty coffee beans, most of Vietnam’s beans are robusta, a coffee varietal that’s cheaper than the more-popular arabica but sometimes considered to be lower quality.
- “I wanted to show people that there's so much more to Vietnam than instant coffee.”
- For Nguyen, NCS isn’t just about raising the profile of the beans, but uplifting the people around them through transparency and fairer pay. By connecting with people, Nguyen also hopes to foster community within the Vietnamese diaspora—a byproduct of the Vietnam War, which spread refugees including her parents all over the world.
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