Area: 332, 559 square kilometres
Population: 93 million
Currency: Vietnamese Dong
Annual Production: Estimated at 1.758 million tonnes, 97% Robusta
Coffee Producing Area: X
Producing Regions: Central Highlands – DakLak, Gia Lai, Kontum, Lam Dong, Buon Me Thuot. Southeast – Dong Nai, Ba Ria–Vung tau, Binh Phuoc
Coffee Varietals: Arabica: Bourbon Typica, Catura Amarello, Mondo Nova. Excelsa: Chari. Robusta: Central African Republic in origin
Terrain: Mountain ranges, central plateau and costal plians.
Altitude: 500 – 700 MASL for Robusta
Soil: Deep, red, rich soil
Harvest: Arabica: December – January. Robusta: January – March
Coffee in Vietnam began at the end of the 19th century with French colonists in the mid 1800’s. Growing began with large colonist owned plantations. The country has had to weather major conflicts from the Second World War to its own deeply divisive and destructive war that only ended in 1975. Following the end of the war and unification of North and South Vietnam, all coffee farms were state owned and operated as co-operatives. In 1986, reforms were introduced that allowed privately owned enterprises. Robusta coffee production surged, Vietnam at the time was ranked as the world’s 21st largest producer, in 2016 it is the 2nd largest producer. It remains the largest Robusta grower with Arabica only accounting for around 4% of annual production. Many farmers are now being encouraged to focus on quality Arabica’s, currently a work in progress with overseas traders, government and foreign companies.
Vietnam has an interesting mix of Arabica varietals and from the classic Bourbon Typica Cuba to Excelsa Chari. While Robusta’s continue to be the dominant crop, Arabica development will be confined to farmers willing to innovate and experiment with a focus on creating a specialty/microlot style coffee.