Top 25 Moments of the Vietnamese Coffee Movement in 2021
The Vietnamese Coffee Movement saw new highs in 2021. As the first importer and roaster of specialty Vietnamese coffee in the United States, Nguyen Coffee Supply’s mission to bring Vietnamese coffee to all and transform the coffee industry skyrocketed in 2021. Along the way, we’ve seen other Vietnamese coffee companies and cafes open across the U.S. – a testament to the future of the coffee industry growing to become more diverse, inclusive and culturally relevant!
From the East Coast to the South to the Midwest and to the Pacific North West, we’ve seen the Vietnamese coffee movement proliferate nationally on a scale unlike any other year. Here’s a select (but not exhaustive) list of the top moments of the Vietnamese Coffee Movement in 2021:
1. HELLO EM OPENS IN SEATTLE
The co-owner of Seattle’s renowned Pho Bac rang in 2021 with the opening of Hello Em, a Vietnamese roastery and cafe that sources beans directly from Vietnam. Hello Em joins an ever-evolving coffee scene in Seattle and seeks to put the Little Saigon neighborhood on the map!
2.CICADA COFFEE BAR OPENS IN BOSTON
From pop up to store front, Vinh Le opened the doors of Cicada Coffee Bar to the Cambridge and Boston communities in January of this year. With a refined food menu and full Vietnamese coffee menu using Nguyen Coffee Supply beans, this designer-cum-chef’s dream to bring a piece of Vietnam to Massachusetts has been realized!
3. CRAFT VIETNAMESE COFFEE IN THRILLIST
For years, Vietnamese coffee and specifically the robusta bean have been overlooked by the entire industry. Thrillist did a deep dive to shine a light on the emergence and championing of bold Vietnamese coffee from producers all around the country (including Nguyen Coffee Supply).
4. READY-TO-DRINK VIETNAMESE COFFEE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Vietnamese coffee in the New York Times, need we say more?! We’re so proud of OmniBev for using their work to amplify Vietnamese coffee culture!
5. SEATTLE’S BOOMING VIETNAMESE COFFEE SCENE
Seattle has been known to be a craft coffee hub in the nation for years, and Vietnamese coffee and coffee culture is finally getting its due. In 2020, we were proud to be part of Seattle’s very first Vietnamese cafe, Coffeeholic House, as their inaugural roast partner. In 2021, the Vietnamese coffee scene in Seattle grew exponentially! With the proliferation of the movement comes the opening of multiple cafes and roasteries in the area. We couldn’t be more excited to see this!
6. THE PHIN FILTER GETTING ITS DUE
For Vietnamese people, the phin filter has been around and beloved for generations. It’s finally getting its due in the United States– we’re grateful for outlets like Food Network for spotlighting this traditional brew tool.
7. NGUYEN COFFEE SUPPLY ON THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW
Nguyen Coffee Supply had its national television premiere on The Drew Barrymore Show! Founder Sahra Nguyen chatted with Drew Barrymore about Vietnamese coffee, our mission, and how to be an AAPI ally over cups of coffee. To bring Vietnamese coffee, culture & activism to a national daytime television stage was a true milestone for the movement and for representation.
8. PORTLAND CA PHE OPENS IN OREGON
Another female-owned Vietnamese coffee shop opens in the United States, Portland Ca Phe in Oregon. As more Vietnamese coffee shops & roasters open, Vietnamese coffee becomes simultaneously more specialized and commonplace– a win for us all!
9. COCONUT WHISK OPENS IN MINNEAPOLIS
A vegan Vietnamese cafe opens in the Midwest to immediate acclaim and reverence. With Vietnamese coffee as the primary coffee option available, the movement continues to grow in all its cultural integrity.
10. NGUYEN COFFEE SUPPLY’S FIRST LIVE TV INTERVIEW
Our Founder Sahra Nguyen appeared on a live TV segment of Cheddar News to talk about the business of Vietnamese coffee, our mission to uplift producers and our future with the beloved robusta bean. With every media placement and appearance, representation and visibility are further cemented to bring Vietnamese coffee–and the communities behind the product– to the forefront of the industry.
11. ONE OF THE BIGGEST VIETNAMESE COFFEE COMPANIES OPENS IN THE U.S.
King Coffee opens its first store in California! One of the biggest Vietnamese coffee companies in the world (based in Vietnam), King Coffee’s presence in the United States signifies the growing importance and relevance of Vietnamese coffee domestically and globally.
12. PHIN COFFEE SHOP IN SEATTLE ELEVATES THE PHIN FILTER
Phin, a Vietnamese coffee shop in Seattle, emphasizes a part of our mission in Eater: Vietnamese coffee is about more than just the beans– it’s about the producers, the culture, and the history.
13. ON THE COVER OF FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE AS AN INDUSTRY “GAME CHANGER”
Our Founder, Sahra Nguyen, was featured on the cover of Food & Wine magazine as an industry “Game Changer.” This epic media moment is the first time in over 7 years a person has been on the cover and the first time ever for an entrepreneur. In a category often called “crowded”, with Vietnamese robusta beans explicitly excluded from specialty conversations and with a 1st generation Vietnamese woman being represented on a national magazine representing American food & beverage culture, Nguyen Coffee Supply elevates Vietnamese coffee & culture to new heights in the United States with millions of readers being reached across the nation.
14. TI: CAFE TA OPENS IN DENVER
With the opening of Ti: Cafe Ta, the Vietnamese coffee movement continues to grow in farther reaches of the United States. With premium Vietnamese coffee beans and a commitment to uplifting traditional coffee culture, this cafe exemplifies the changing coffee industry and movement!
15. SANDWICH HAG OPENS IN DALLAS
Our partner, Sandwich Hag, is among the first to spotlight and feature premium Vietnamese coffee in the Dallas area. With her feature in D Magazine, Chef Reyes Duong marks a turning point in Vietnamese food and coffee culture in Texas.
16. FAT MIILK EMERGES IN CHICAGO
Purveying premium Vietnamese coffee and phin filters, Fat Miilk grows the Vietnamese coffee movement in the Midwest with its presence in Chicago. They even had a presence at the Renegade Craft Fair in 3 major cities, a major moment for visibility for Vietnamese coffee!
17. VIETNAMESE COFFEE ALL OVER SOHO BILLBOARDS, NYC
Nguyen Coffee Supply took over SoHo, twice, in at least 10 billboards in the iconic neighborhood. First, Shopify selected Nguyen Coffee Supply as 1 of 4 merchants to be featured in their “New York is” campaign across wild postings in lower Manhattan. Nguyen Coffee Supply was among the first vendors to be featured in the physical Shopify store launch on 131 Greene St. Second, Facebook featured us in their Good Ideas Shop on the iconic Broadway and Bond St, featuring larger than life billboards of our Phin Filter.
18. COPPER COW COFFEE IN FORBES
The founder of Copper Cow Coffee, Debbie Wei Mullin, gives an extensive interview on Vietnamese coffee and culture in Forbes, paving the way for the continued growth of the movement.
19. A NEW WAVE OF VIETNAMESE COFFEE ROASTERS
Various Vietnamese coffee roasters including Nguyen Coffee Supply are featured in USA Today. Each founder discusses the Vietnamese coffee movement and the fourth wave of coffee culture in the United States!
20. ROBUSTA BEAN JOINS INSTAGRAM
Our beloved Robusta Bean joins Instagram to celebrate National Coffee Day! With the proliferation of Vietnamese coffee, we are witnessing the future of coffee unravel before our eyes and firmly believe that Robusta Bean will influence our future.
21. CAPHE ROASTERS SHINES IN PHILLY
Thu Pham’s Caphe Roasters expands their roastery to a full-fledged cafe with an extensive Vietnamese coffee menu and food. Through her company’s expansion, Pham continues to elevateVietnamese coffee culture in the United States!
22. CAFE CA PHE GETS THE SPOTLIGHT IN FORBES
Our partner Jackie Nguyen at Cafe Ca Phe in Kansas City, Missouri talks to Forbes about pivoting from a decade-long acting career to uplifting Vietnamese coffee and culture in the Midwest. At Cafe Ca Phe, Nguyen serves our premium Vietnamese coffee while uplifting local minority and woman owned brands along the way!
23. THE PHIN FILTER DEBUTS IN BON APPETIT
Writer An Uong discusses everything you need to make a Vietnamese coffee in Bon Appetit. A spotlight on the variety of Vietnamese coffee companies around the United States, this piece illuminates how far the movement has come!
24. VIET FIVE COFFEE LAUNCHES IN CHICAGO
From online orders to pop ups to an eventual physical space, Viet Five Coffee is coming to make a splash in Chicago’s coffee scene! With premium and directly sourced Vietnamese coffee beans from founder Tuan’s family farm, this company’s launch advances the momentum of the Vietnamese coffee movement.
25. VIETNAMESE COFFEE ON NATIONAL DAYTIME TELEVISION
Our founder chats with Good Morning America about entrepreneurship, Vietnamese coffee, and culture! A major moment for visibility and representation, this segment pushes the Vietnamese coffee movement forward to help us make shifts in the industry for more equity, transparency, and cultural integrity!
This year has seen incredible moments for small business owners, Vietnamese American entrepreneurs and Vietnamese coffee culture as a whole. We are truly blessed to be living in a time of such diversity and visibility. These moments are a reflection of the passion and hard work of all those behind the Vietnamese coffee movement. While we reflect on what 2021 brought us, we look forward to more growth and game-changing culture-shifting moments in 2022!