Frenchmen, Their Coffee and Vietnam

The French left many memories of their years as colonists in Vietnam, and probably the best gift they left was a developing coffee industry. During the 19th century, the French spread coffee plantations throughout the fertile soil of the central part of the country. Erin Meister states in a recent article that Vietnam today is one of the world’s biggest coffee-producing nations. Robusta is the major species grown. The brewing system is unique and also French inspired. Brewed in single servings right in the cup, Vietnamese coffee is “smoky and bittersweet, with a distinct toastiness from the roast adding deep chocolate notes to the elixir.” A special filter, a “phin” is used. The most interesting part has to do with the special milk used, also because of the French. It seemed they really liked their milk, a commodity not readily available in Vietnam. The one kind that was at hand was the canned sweetened condensed milk. So out of necessity, the only milk around came to define the uniqueness of Vietnamese coffee. It looks quite dramatic when the coffee is brewed in a glass cup and the milk is poured in and curls through the brew. It’s simple, it’s perfect for the times when only one serving is desired. Transportable, it’s the ideal camping coffee maker. ROASTe has both the coffee makers – in various sizes - and great Vietnamese coffee.

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