So far, three different flights and 24 hours in the air or in an airport, but finally made it to Da Lat to check out La Viet Coffee and K’Ho Cofffe. They are specialty coffee producers in Vietnam that focus on Arabica not robusta, and this has many distinctions on taste, flavor and quality.
After checking into the AirBnB and taking a quick power nap, I met up with two friends traveling through Southeast Asia and we headed off to La Viet café just a few kilometers away. We sat down and were treated to a few cold brews and a V60 pourover and chatted about their journey and the coffee cultures they have experienced during their journey so far. As we connected, I was looking around at their lab and the ambiance they created. The industrial warehouse has seating up front with their lab and coffee roasting in the back, with a sleek and modern décor.
We got there late on the first night, so we enjoyed some cold brew and purchased a bag of their light roast coffee to take back and do some sample R&D cold brew with over night.
The next morning I woke up early and sampled the cold brew from La Viet, and even with a rudimentary set up, it was delicious. After a few hours of email and computer time, I headed back over to La Viet to get a coffee and then headed out to K’Ho Coffee in Langbiang, just 30 minutes north of Da Lat. I walk into the building and instantly greeted by Josh, who is the head roaster and agronomist at K’Ho. We started talking and checking out his coffee roasting equipment and then headed into the farm to get a coffee and talk about K’Ho with his wife, Rolan, whose family has owned the farm for four generations. After a pourover and espresso shot, we wondered over to the drying patio and the wet processing area.
The farm is absolutely stunning with panoramic views of the Langbiang Mountain and surrounding valleys. I joined Josh for an hour of roasting and packaging of their coffee before heading out into the town to get pho. After lunch, we were joined by Pasteur Street Brewing from Ho Chi Minh City and ventured back into the field to pick some ripe coffee cherries to be processed later that day. After an hour of picking coffee, we went into the village to check out a local brewery and then get dinner.
The next day I was able to meet up with Quang from La Viet Coffee and get a tour of the mill facility and check out their operations. La Viet currently has a set up to separate the green coffee by size, density and color in order to reduce the defects in their green coffee and earn their specialty grade for green coffee.
After the mill, they have several production roasters to use ranging from a 10kg to 70kg. While going through the tour, they were roasting several batches on their 10kg roaster.
What was amazing to see was the attention to detail that La Viet put into their production. Quang explained that their focus was to continually develop their processes and increase quality for all the coffee farmers they currently work with, and help bring Vietnam into the mix with specialty grade Arabica, not just robusta production.
This was our third origin trip so far, and absolutely love the perspective we get, and continue to gain knowledge about the farming process. For our "farm to can" philosophy, this is the most important set, to work with coffee producers to make sure we are getting the best coffee possible to bring back and share with all of you.
Where should we go to next?