Vietnam is famous for its coffee production. Vietnam is one of the largest sellers of coffee in the world. In this article, we will talk about the process of making coffee beans in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Mostly, Robusta coffee beans are grown widely in most of the areas. Also, in some regions, Arabica coffee beans cultivated as well. As Robusta coffee plant’s seeds are cheaper than Arabica, that is why farmers of Vietnam prefer it. Now let’s talk about the steps of making coffee in Vietnam.
In 2018, Vietnam still exported more than 3.5 billion worth of coffee by value, making it the world’s second largest exporter.
1. Plantation and Growing
Coffee plants are unique and have some similarities with tea plants. Just like the tea plants, coffee plants also need sloping plain for growing. If the water of rain gathered in the area, then coffee plants cannot grow and die. Coffee plants can grow up to 6feet tall, but they usually grow around 2 to 3 feet. Before sowing the seed, the ground needed to plow three to four times. After planting, some of the farmers use a different kind of fertilization to make the plant grow more quickly. After the plantation, the soil needs to stay moist, and it also required high humidity to develop correctly. As the plant grows, more coffee cherries appear on the plant. Those cherries contain coffee beans.
2. Processing of Coffee Beans
After planting, growing, and harvesting, the coffee cherries go through the final process to take the coffee beans out from them. There are two processes to available coffee beans from the coffee cherries: the dry and the wet.
The Dry Method
- In this method, the coffee cherry first placed in a large sieve where they are safe from the rocks, dirt, or any other undesirable objects which can do by winnowing. Winnowing is an agricultural method to distinguish grain from the straw.
- Then they are placed on big mats or concrete pads to dry in the sun. It can take a month for coffee cherries to dry correctly, and it is essential to rotate the cherries more often to ensure they dry properly. On more massive plantations, machine drying commonly applied to speed up the process. If the cherries over dried, then the coffee becomes brittle. If the cherries are not appropriately dried, it will be too moist and exposed to fast deterioration caused by the onslaught of fungi and bacteria.
- After the drying process is complete, Outlying shells removed from each cherry. After removing the shell, two green coffee beans pop out per cherry. Hulling machines more often but also many other production houses of coffee in Vietnam do this process by hand before sending the coffee beans to the market.
The Wet Method
- This method grants coffee beans to distinct from the cherry pulp through a process of washing and soaking directly after harvest. The cherries then make their way into a de-pulping machine, which wrings the bean and outer layer of pulp together, finally separating the two.
- After this step, the coffee beans stocked in large containers where they ferment for up to 2 days. The fermentation process needed careful monitoring to ensure that the coffee does not acquire undesirable sour flavors.
- During the fermentation process, the pulp’s enzymes crack up the remaining bits of paste on each bean. For most coffees, mucilage removal through fermentation takes between 8 and 36 hours. It relies on the temperature, thickness of the mucilage layer, and concentration of enzymes. After the fermentation completed, then the coffee beans washed with clean water in tanks.
- Once the final layers of flesh removed, the beans taken to a large patio of a raised table where they dry.
3. Storage of Coffee Beans in Vietnam
After taking out the coffee beans, the workers start to pick the crushed beans, which considered bad quality beans. They take them apart from the finest quality beans. After that, they take all the good quality coffee beans to their home or the place where they store all the quality beans. Storage is essential because if the seeds don’t store in a perfect location, then the quality of beans can deteriorate.
4. Exporting coffee from Vietnam
After they store all the coffee beans, the process of exporting coffee is not that easy. The export of standard coffee beans based on a lot of factors issued by the government, the first thing they do is a sampling of coffee beans. A sampling of coffee beans done according to TCVN 5702-1993. After the sampling is complete, They analyze coffee beans. In the analysis, the coffee beans ranked in division 1,2,3. Divison 1 coffee beans are the best in quality. After this review, the coffee beans than sent for packaging. After the packaging, all the sacks then gathered in a safehouse. From that safe house, the bags of coffee beans then sent to airports, harbors, and railway stations to transport them to different countries.
5. Vietnamese coffee : good or bad idea ?
As we mentioned already, Vietnam is one of the largest exporters of coffee globally. Many people in Vietnam are dependent on coffee for their living. And coffee is one of the essential things for starting the day for many Vietnamese people. The process of making coffee in Vietnam is very similar to other parts of the world.
Movetoasia team helps you to source and export premium coffee in Vietnam. You can reach them or learn more on this in-depth guide to source coffee in Vietnam.
The weather of Vietnam is mainly dry, so the workers mostly choose the dry method to bring out coffee beans from the cherries. Also, in Vietnam, mainly Robusta coffee beans are produced, and Robusta doesn’t need washing to distinct the beans from the cherry. The dry method can also do by hand, so it is cheaper than the wet method. The storage and export are also essential, as Vietnam doesn’t have that modern infrastructure. They have to rely on their laborers to handpick the excellent quality of coffee beans.