When most people think of coffee they do not usually think of Vietnam. Few realise that the Southeast Asian nation last year surpassed Brazil as the world’s biggest coffee exporter. However, almost all of the output is low-quality robusta beans with high caffeine content, used mostly to make instant coffee.
Dang Le Nguyen Vu wants to change the country’s reputation as cheap coffee bean supplier, offering a luxury brand that appeals to both domestic and export markets.
Mr Vu’s involvement with coffee began in 1996 during his senior year in medical school, when he visited a home-stay in Buon Ma Thuot, the regional “coffee capital”. What struck him was the poverty of the local people and the low revenue the world’s second largest coffee producing country was receiving for its products.
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