Sweetened condensed milk is commonly enjoyed with coffee in Vietnam. But condensed milk is not the determining factor of “Vietnamese coffee” beverages. Many people in Vietnam also enjoy their coffee black.
Most importantly, they should be using coffee beans from Vietnam to call it a Vietnamese coffee beverage. Otherwise, we feel that it becomes unfair to erase the labor of farmers in the actual coffee-producing origin if for example, people use an Ethiopian bean, add condensed milk, then advertise it as Vietnamese coffee. We also feel that it is unfair to Vietnamese farmers who don't benefit from the transaction that leverages their culture without their labor or product, and it is unfair to the actual farmers from Ethiopia. For all of these reasons, we believe all farmers around the world deserve transparency, representation and visibility.
Mythbuster: some places add condensed milk to their house coffee (using a South American or African bean) and call it “Vietnamese Coffee” … but this is not correct! That's just their coffee with condensed milk. Many countries including Spain, Malaysia, and Indonesia also enjoy coffee with condensed milk.
Mythbuster: While Cafe Du Monde is a common and affordable "go-to option" in the immigrant Vietnamese community, it is actually not a Vietnamese brand and it's unclear where they get their beans. In fact, most people in Vietnam have never heard of Cafe Du Monde.
Mythbuster: Cafe Du Monde has a popular brand that adds chicory to their coffee (as a filler to cut the bitterness). In Vietnam, it is not traditional or common to add chicory to their coffee.