Good-Bye Bali, Good Morning Vietnam!

| June 4, 2014

With Bali behind me, it was now Vietnam I was going to spend a short week visiting.

Vietnam is the 2nd largest producer of coffee today, they produce mostly Robusta but have developed Arabica plantations in the last decade.

Today, Arabica volume represent about 3.4% ( 1 million 132.28 lb. bags ) of the total 29.2 million bags of annual production in 653.000 hectare.

The exportable volume reaches actually 26 million bags and Europe is the main buyer followed by the US of A.

Vietnam’s internal consumption is also quite important, they consume about 7.1% of their production (2.08 million bags).

The Internal consumption model was the focus of my interest during my stay in Hoh Chi Minh City/Saigon and I have never seen more coffee shops per urban block elsewhere!

Not to mention the ” Street Coffee ” is offered in every corner of this 7.4 million inhabitant Metropolis, Street Coffee mostly tasted OK, very sweet and cold as Ice Coffee is King throughout the year.

The Coffee Shop environment is quite sophisticated with various USA and international retail chains such as Starbucks, Coffee Tea & Bean Company, Dunkin Donuts and many others.

Local retail chains are also abundant and draw a constant 18 hour long excellent occupancy, they are all serving the traditional ice coffee preparations but recently have added local and imported Arabica beans to the menu.

The Arabica single origin and blends are a big hit in Vietnamese coffee shops, they are prepared with different added natural flavors, condiments or herbs or served the European / Italian ways.

Considering that Vietnam is increasing its planted area, renewing 20% of its trees every year and promoting both exports and internal consumption, we should not be surprised that they get closer to the Brazilian average production volumes in the next decade.

Hopefully, for the sake of balanced world coffee prices Vietnam will remain promoting its internal consumption, for now it surely looks as so.

Christian Wolthers


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