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Why are Nha Trang people fond of coffee? A short introduction into the fascinating world of coffee.

Exclusive Interview with Mr. Luong The Hung, chairman of the board of Mê Trang Coffee Joint Stock Company, which is Nha Trang's leading coffee company.

The company's head office is at 66 April 2nd Street, Vinh Hai Wd, Nha Trang city. Tel.: 0084 - (0) 58 3 831 525. Website:


What is striking for foreign visitors is that so many people in Nha Trang drink coffee throughout the day. Why did people get to like coffee that much?

Luong The Hung: In Vietnam, people do not drink coffee on the run. They brew their coffee leisurely and in single servings using no paper filters nor other devices but a simple metal filter called Phin. It’s true in Nha Trang people consume hot and ice-cold coffee at any time at their homes, in restaurants and in the streets. The popularity of coffee here has something to do with the proximity to the highlands in southern Vietnam where the coffee is cultivated that are rather close and can be reached in just a few hours by car. The topography of the Annamite Plateau in Daklak with its regional microclimates have been most ideal to exploit a large diversity of bean species and varieties. While other coffee-producing regions in South America and elsewhere focused more on single origin blends based mostly on the Arabica variety Vietnam has opted for a multi-origin blend which most consumers prefer. It has become, after Brazil, the world’s second largest coffee producer.

And what else made Vietnamese coffee so popular here and across the globe?

Luong The Hung: The quality and the taste of coffee, like wine, depends on a variety of factors. It’s the native soil, the climate, the elevation and the methods of harvesting and processing including roasting that makes the difference, not just the species of the coffee bush. Since the French introduced coffee in Daklak in the18th century, our coffee producers have built up an enormous wealth of know-how and experience which was turned into a remarkable commercial success. More coffee blends from Vietnam will delighten consumers all over the world. Visitors to Nha Trang would miss out on a part of our culture if they did not try Vietnamese-style brewed coffee.


The main coffee varieties:

  • Arabica is assumed to have originated in the plateaux of Ethopia from where it spread over the centuries to the rest of the world. The popular coffee is complex and aromatic. There are many different varieties and cultivars of Arabica coffee, all with differing characteristics and tastes. Arabica is rather difficult to grow as it is fussy about soil, climate and elevation. Unlike other varieties the Arabica coffee 'cherries' fall to the ground when ripe requiring careful harvesting beans as they ripen. For this reason, Arabica coffee tends to be somewhat more expensive than other varieties.
  • Robusta is a stronger plant and can be grown under a wider variety of conditions than Arabica. It has a broad, fragrant and chocolately taste. Its caffeine levels are usually 30 – 40 % higher than those of Arabica. Robusta is also very tasty when blended with Arabica.
  • 'Chari' is a French name for the variety Coffea liberica 'dewevrei', and is also known as 'Excelsa' Coffee. It differs from Arabica and Robusta, and accounts for only about 1% of the world coffee production. It is a large strong tree, up to 18 meters in height, with large leathery leaves. The beans have a bright and fruity flavor and little or no caffeine. As it does not give a 'balanced' cup of coffee,  it is blended with lower-caffeine varieties of Arabica to generate a low-caffeine blend.
  • Catimor is an Arabica cultivar whose beans are quite bitter and sharply flavored. They are used to "punch up" the flavor of multi-variety blended coffees. It is the favourite coffee of those who love an extra strong coffee.


Cafés in Nha Trang can be found here


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