Elevating the value of coffee (08/03/2023, 06:40)

(Elevating the value of coffee)

To begin a new day with a cup of coffee has become a routine for many people, irrespective of their age, occupation, or living environment. However, each individual enjoys their coffee in a different way. Some prefer the rich, delicious taste of machine-brewed coffee, while others would sit back and watch as drops of coffee slowly fill their cup through a filter.

Having grasped the demands of their consumers, coffee manufacturing and processing companies have invested in relevant technologies and diversified their products to suit the taste of different customers and areas of consumption, so as to bolster competitiveness and promote the growth of Dak Lak’s coffee brand.

 (A cup of coffee “forged in flame”)

Despite the lack of air-conditioners and fancy “check-in” corners, Tho Dung wood-roasted coffee shop, located on Nguyen Huu Trac (Cu M’gar District) has been frequented by a great many guests.

 

Visitors would seek out this coffee shop to enjoy a pure, traditional cup of coffee to kick off a new day, or simply to satisfy their yearning for the taste of wood-roasted coffee. Many people in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai, among others, have become frequent customers at this coffee shop.

(Many guests who visited Ms. Nguyen Thi Tho’s coffee shop advised her family
to brew coffee using technology instead, so as to cut down on manual labor and save time.

To that, she replied with a smile: This is my “style”!)

There are a wide range of industrial coffee machines that can provide excellent assistance in roasting - the most important step in coffee processing. However, for Ms. Tho, wood-roasted coffee offers a unique taste that cannot be replicated by any machine! A stable temperature is of utmost importance in ensuring this distinctive flavor. Thus, the wood used for wood-roasted coffee has to be coffee wood.

Good coffee beans are those cooked from the inside out. The fire used for the roasting of coffee can determine its flavor. If coffee beans are roasted using electricity, they will be cooked faster. For coffee roasted on a fire, it will take around 3 to 4 hours. During the process, it is necessary to keep a stable, consistent temperature and ensure that the coffee beans are suitably cooked. Thus, Ms. Tho always has to remain beside the flame to keep it going.

 

Coffee wood has a number of distinctive features. It has a high heat yield, catches on fire quickly, and can burn for an extensive duration. Such characteristics can help ensure a stable temperature throughout the roasting process. Another advantage is that coffee wood does not create a lot of smoke, and thus does not irritate those in charge of the roasting process.

(It is hard, yet exciting work. When I roast coffee beans with a woodfire,

I can fully feel the transformation in these coffee beans.

Such is no different from the enjoyment of a tasty coffee cup of “true” coffee fans.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Tho, owner of the Tho Dung wood-roasted coffee brand.)

 

Ms. Tho stated that there are a myriad of sounds, fragrances, and colors in the smoke throughout 3 to 4 hours of coffee roasting that can hardly be put to words. Around 20 to 25 minutes into the roasting process, the coffee beans will start to pop, as though they are joyfully dancing around in the pan. These sounds will eventually die down, and the smoke will gradually dissipate. By this time, it is as if the coffee beans are entirely focusing on absorbing the heat of the fire. The fragrance at this stage is also very unique, with a hint of honey-like sweetness.

Next, the roasting pan will once again come to life with dry, quick pops, which are different from the sounds it emanates in the early stages. When the beans are roasted to an optimal level, they will stop ‘dancing’. Based on the smoke and the fragrance of coffee, Ms. Tho can determine when the coffee beans can be removed from the oven. They will quickly be removed from the pan to cool down.  

“It is hard to describe the admiration for the batch of coffee you just roasted yourself. The beans seemingly “swell up”, with a deep brown color and alluring fragrance. When these beans are grounded, they will shine a shade of light brown, and bring about a pure, remarkable scent. The taste of wood-roasted coffee is not too rich and robust. Rather, it is able to retain its traditional, gentle flavor, bringing about a sense of bliss for coffee drinkers.” Ms. Tho elaborated. 

Ms. Tho’s meticulous attention in every stage of the coffee roasting process reflects her passion for wood roasting. Her devotion to the taste of coffee roasted in the traditional manner is akin to caring for a “young child” - as she puts it - and it is that dedication that can ensure the best quality for the resulting products.

(There are customers who have frequented Tho Dung wood-roasted coffee shop for over 8 years, and ordered a cup of coffee there every day. They are the joy and motivation for Ms. Tho to keep up her trade, and maintain her passion for extracting every bit of flavor from these coffee beans, true to the aspiration since her early days in this occupation. Customers would come to Tho Dung for the full, pure taste of coffee without the addition of any other agricultural products. This is why while there are various brands of coffee in the market at present, Tho Dung wood-roasted coffee will always hold a special place among consumers.) 

 

In Dak Lak - the so-called “coffee capital” of the country, one can always order a pure, hot cup of coffee, with an elegant taste anywhere, from luxurious cafes to street coffee vendors. However, in an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle, the youth are less inclined to choose a cup of espresso or filter coffee, for the enjoyment of such coffee is rather time-consuming. Instead, they will often swing by a café, and order a readily brewed coffee for takeaway.

Thus, thanks to a sharp and modern mindset, apart from its traditional coffee powder and beans, Anh Coffee Ltd. (Tan An Industrial Cluster, Buon Ma Thuot) also introduces a variety of instant coffee products to meet the demands of those who wish to enjoy a cup of coffee wherever and whenever they need in their busy working days, and the diverse likings of consumers.

Anh Coffee Ltd.’s coffee products take into account the routines and preferences of Vietnamese coffee drinkers. Thus, the company was able to come up with different blends in line with the needs of different areas and groups of consumers.

Back in the days, instant coffee was made from coffee, cream powder, and sugar. At present, the company instead opts for a wide range of ingredients for instant coffee products, so as to fulfill the increasing demands of consumers. These include instant coffee with lotus essence, mint, matcha, or ginseng. In addition, the company also introduces “2-in-1” black coffee with a rich, robust flavor, and “3-in-1” fragrant black coffee that retains its traditional rich taste of coffee from Buon Ma Thuot - Dak Lak.

To produce high-quality coffee beans, Anh Coffee Ltd. underwrites the outputs for an ingredient growing site spanning over 50 hectares in Ea H’leo District. Coffee farmers in this area are committed to growing coffee in an organic manner. Following harvest, coffee beans are treated to remove impurities. They will then be preliminarily processed, dried in glasshouses, and fermented in accordance with Anh Coffee’s standards, so that they would be 90% ripe and preserved in suitable conditions. 

 

 

(Based on analyses regarding the demands, routines, preferences, and mindsets of consumers,
the company has introduced 7 blends of instant coffee. This year, Anh Coffee plans to increase
the number of its instant coffee products to more than 20, including coffee for
people with diabetes or those currently on a diet, among others.

CEO of Anh Coffee Ltd. Pham Hoai Nguyen Anh.)

 

 

 

 

Packaged in small, portable boxes that can be brought along during travel or gifted to friends, acquaintances and partners, instant coffee is a suitable option for coffee lovers who lack the time to enjoy a cup of filter coffee every morning or during the day. By grasping the demands of modern consumers, last year, Anh Coffee was able to distribute its instant coffee to Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai, among others.

The coffee farm titled Aeroco Coffee (in Ea Kao Commune, Buon Ma Thuot) is striving to develop a coffee brand that focuses on “quality” rather than “quantity” to enhance its competitiveness and add further values.

Mr. Le Dinh Tu, the farm’s owner, had the idea of connecting farmers, consumers and coffee enjoyers through a closed process, which encompasses growing, processing, and consuming high-quality coffee. As he fully understands the value of coffee beans, Mr. Tu is realizing his aspiration to elevate the value of this product, with a view towards a clean agricultural industry.

To produce high-quality coffee, with a distinctive taste that can “satisfy” true coffee fanatics, it is necessary to adopt changes in the growing process.

The coffee farm does not use any plant protection product. 95% of the fruits are ripe upon harvest. These fruits are dried on drying racks, and advanced technology is used in preliminary processing and preservation. In particular, management of the fermentation process is the “key” in invoking the flavor of the coffee beans, and seeking different fragrances and tastes that can create distinctive characteristics for these products.

“The growing process accounts for up to 70% of the quality of coffee beans. Thus, it is necessary to pay close attention to this process, and pursue sustainable coffee production, so as to meet the high demands of strict markets. This will be the “driver” for Buon Ma Thuot’s coffee to achieve further growth,” said Mr. Tu, owner of this coffee farm.

At present, Aeroco Coffee has over 10 export coffee products for different markets. Its coffee products have been exported to Germany, Japan, and the US, all of which are markets with strict demands regarding quality and food safety.

At the moment, Aeroco Coffee has over 30 hectares of coffee growing areas at different altitudes, and connections with more than 10 households in Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum and Lam Dong.

According to the assessments of households that are cooperating with Aeroco Coffee in growing coffee, organic and nature-based farming is offering a multitude of advantages in the production and consumption of agricultural produces. Apart from economic sufficiency, garden houses are not affected by the adverse impacts of plant protection products, and can help preserve land resources and the garden’s ecosystem.

 

Amid climate change, promoting clean coffee can bring about excellent potentials, both adding values to coffee and promoting tourism development.

Aeroco Coffee is also a destination for tourists to visit and participate in the sowing of coffee seeds, harvesting of its fruits, drying, grounding, and enjoyment of coffee. Through such experience, tourists can better understand coffee trees and the work involved in growing, caring for, harvesting, and processing high-quality coffee, as well as the values offered by such products. This is also a means to provide transparent information and added values to tourists in these localities.

 

 

Hoang An - Nhu Quynh - Do Lan

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