About Caphe VN vietnamese tea and coffee suppliers
Vietnamese coffee dates back to French colonial IndoChina in the late 19th century
Initial plantings were expanded after Vietnamese independence in 1975 and the coffee industry has now expanded to become the world’s second largest exporter of coffee after Brazil. Most of the production goes into instant, or espresso blends all around the world, but little is marketed and sold as Vietnamese coffee outside Vietnam.
The domestic coffee scene in Vietnam is massive and exciting - most Vietnamese men do little else than drink coffee all day! The coffee itself has evolved into a unique Vietnamese drink, typical coffee roasts are nutty, chocolaty, rich and strong and dripped through aluminium or steel individual filters.
White coffee is typically super strong espresso with rich and creamy condensed milk, served hot in little glasses with a shot of tea on the side, or in a highball or half pint beer mug packed with ice. Vietnamese men drink theirs black and strong with sugar.
In Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City or any Southern Vietnamese town there are streets of coffee shops varying from a few plastic stools or deck chairs on the street to super expensive and elaborate themed coffee shops, some with internal lakes and other features. Coffee shops are open from very early morning until very late at night. The Vietnamese drink with food only and choose to spend their leisure time in coffee shops, not bars.
Ca Phe VN's founder Rob Atthill first went to Vietnam, and prompted by the enthusiasm of Antony Bourdain , the American chef and food writer, tried Vietnamese coffee and was so impressed that he looked in to importing it to the UK. Eventually, with wife Tuyen Hong , Rob started importing domestic Vietnamese Coffee to the UK, introducing a unique and unknown product .
Rob and Tuyen sourced an entire Vietnamese cafe from Saigon and started trading on the streets of London, after launching their business at the Hay on Wye Book Festival and the Abergavenny Food Festival in 2006. They traded everywhere they could, often facing indifference from the unsophisticated British coffee drinking public, weaned on instant coffee or Costas, including Brick Lane, Exmouth Market, Whitecross St, before finding their spiritual home at Broadway Market Hackney in March 2007.
Ca Phe VN supply their own brand coffee to over 60 cafes, restaurants and shops UK wide, and are credited with launching the current Vietnamese street food and cafe scene. 3 years ago, with proteges Banh Mi 11, Ca Phe VN introduced Vietnamese banh mi/baguettes to London, now a craze that has gone main stream with corporate high street players cashing in on the scene's popularity.
Ca Phe VN is soon to launch its own retail brand, and to organise the inaugural UK Vietnamese Food Awards and database.