The winners of the Vietnam Specialty Coffee Competition 2021 have recently been announced in Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam’s coffee-making mecca. If you are a coffee person and you enjoy the way coffee is made here in Vietnam, then you may want to add these to your coffee wish list. 

Khe Sanh Arabica Coffee won the first prize in the Arabica category, followed by Quang Tri Specialty Coffee and Ngoc Linh Gingseng Coffee. As for Robusta coffees, Buon Ma Thuot’s Ea Tu Cooperative topped the list while the second and third prizes were presented to Mori Coffee and Phuc Minh Coffee respectively.

The competition was held by the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association in Dak Lak, a Central Highlands province famed for growing some of the best coffee beans in the country. This year’s prizewinners were selected from among 74 products submitted by companies from all across Vietnam, with the competition following global coffee-grading norms and procedures and run with the participation of internationally renowned judges.

Coffee beans ripening up in the Vietnamese sun / @Canva

According to the organisers, the Vietnam Specialty Coffee Competition aims to discover and honour local coffee products meeting international specialty coffee standards, but also to provide some extra motivation for coffee growers to improve the quality of their products. It is also a priceless opportunity for outstanding coffee to be promoted both domestically and around the world.

Specialty coffee is a term used to refer to coffee of the highest grade, its beans grown in most favourable micro-climates and possessing the finest flavour. It is often associated with the concept of the third wave of coffee, a view that coffee beans are an artisanal ingredient of a sensory experience which goes beyond just a cup of coffee.

First introduced to Vietnam by the French in 1857, coffee is now a significant part of the Vietnamese economy. Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee after Brazil, with Robusta making up around 96 percent of Vietnam’s total coffee production.