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Vietnamese woman’s journey to bring local coffee to Australia

Vietnamese woman’s journey to bring local coffee to Australia

Wednesday, April 05, 2023, 10:14 GMT+7
Vietnamese woman’s journey to bring local coffee to Australia
Vo Ngoc Nhu Quynh and her father have visited many farms to initiate their journey to bring Vietnamese specialty coffee to Australia. Photo: Supplied

Vo Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 26, residing in Australia, and her father visited famous coffee farming areas in Vietnam, chose coffee beans, and brought them to Australia with a desire to promote Vietnamese coffee to the world.

Quynh said she used a coffee registration service in Australia to discover specialty coffee from across the country but never received a Vietnamese coffee package.

Therefore, she initiated her journey to realize the 'Viet Coffee Project.'

Seeking specialty coffee

In April last year, Quynh began seeking Vietnamese specialty coffee.

Visiting some coffee shops in Sydney, she found no Vietnamese coffee with the shops’ explanation of 'low coffee quality.'

She did not accept that answer as Vietnam is the second-largest coffee exporter in the world.

She remembered the great taste of cups of coffee in her motherland.

“I want to change their awareness of Vietnamese coffee, so I rolled up my sleeves to conduct the Viet Coffee Project," Quynh said.

“[My job is to] make more people aware that Vietnam produces not only a large volume of coffee but also high-quality specialty beans. [The country] should be listed among premium coffee producers.”

Vo Thanh Hai, Quynh’s father, has supported her a lot.

Before Quynh returned to Vietnam, Hai from Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam traveled to the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, a coffee farming area, came to each farm there and asked if they wanted to join hands with him to export coffee to Australia.

After getting the agreement of farm owners, Quynh got back to Vietnam in late 2022 and visited many coffee farms with her father.

She asked farm owners many questions to understand their coffee production process.

“We require that farms be green ones which do not do harm to the environment and offer good salaries and accommodations to employees,” Quynh said.

She collected unroasted coffee samples from farms, and tried and assessed them under a 100-point marking scheme.

Farm owners enthusiastically welcomed the girl as they expected Viet Coffee Project would open up opportunities to export their coffee berries to Australia.

Over the past year, Quynh has traveled between Australia and Vietnam to seek specialty coffee. Photo: supplied

Over the past year, Vo Ngoc Nhu Quynh has traveled between Australia and Vietnam to seek specialty coffee. Photo: supplied

Launching specialty coffee brand

Coffee was checked carefully before being exported. Quynh spent a lot of time testing the taste and different ways to roast coffee beans at a facility in Sydney.

She decided to roast coffee seeds in Australia to maintain their quality and taste.

However, the specialty coffee market in Australia is fiercely competitive. During nine months, Quynh focused on branding by designing packages to distinguish her product from other brands.

She created an Instagram account to attract people to try Vietnamese specialty coffee.

Luckily, Australian people are keen on discovering and experiencing new products. 

In addition, Vietnam is not unfamiliar to them. Many Australian people have traveled to Vietnam and enjoyed 'ca phe sua da' (iced coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk). 

Therefore, when the Vietnamese woman introduced Vietnam’s specialty coffee, they were excited and wanted to try it.

“Compared with coffee brands in Australia, our difference may be stories about coffee. When customers access Viet Coffee Project, they will have an opportunity to learn about the coffee industry in general and Vietnamese coffee in particular, and listen to our experiences with farmers when we return to Vietnam to visit farms,” Quynh said.

She said she was working on a new website to boost the online sales channel.

The website is expected to begin running this month to introduce Vietnam’s specialty coffee to the international market.

Quynh is working in the information technology sector in Australia which seems unrelated to coffee. 

"It is true that information technology and coffee are unconnected, but my job helps me develop many necessary skills to carry out my coffee project,” she said. 

She has more knowledge of business, market access, and technology application. 

Her biggest desire is to contribute to promoting and developing Vietnam’s specialty coffee brand through her project, Quynh added.

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Thanh Ha - Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre News

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