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Vietnamese Coffee Beans:
Main Types

There are several coffee types grown in Vietnam such as Robusta, Arabica, Weasel (Civet) coffee, Culi, and Moka. In this article we would like to tell you more about these Vietnamese coffee beans types and their main features.
Vietnam is the second biggest coffee producer in the world after Brazil. It has quite wide range of coffee beans that it can offer to the world. Vietnam is mainly known for Robusta beans, which mainly come from this country. However, there are some other coffee types grown in Vietnam such as Arabica, Weasel (Civet) coffee, Culi, and Moka. In this article we would like to tell you more about these Vietnamese coffee beans types and their main features.

Robusta coffee beans

The majority of 20% of the world’s coffee that is grown in Vietnam is Robusta. Robusta coffee beans production accounts for more than 90% of the total coffee production in Vietnam. It makes this country the leader in producing and exporting Robusta, contributing to 40% of worldwide Robusta production.

Compared with Arabica, the Robusta plant doesn’t require high altitude, less labor, and is less susceptible to different diseases. Robusta widely grows all around Vietnam as its plants can grow at lower altitudes (about 200-700 m) and can tolerate higher temperatures of up to 29 °C.

The altitude of growing can affect Robusta coffee beans flavor. Higher elevation makes them to develop more complex tasting notes. It is considered that Robusta beans that grow at altitudes of 1000-1500 m are high quality. Robusta plants grown at altitudes around 500 m have lower quality and used for producing instant coffee.

The Robusta plant has a smaller and rounder bean than the Arabica. Robusta beans caffeine content is twice as much as Arabica beans caffeine content. That’s why coffee made from Robusta has a darker and more intense flavor with notes of dark chocolate and nuts.

Read more about differences between Arabica and Robusta in our article.

Arabica coffee beans

Arabica plants grow mainly at high altitude (1200-1500 m) where the cooler air temperatures and fertile soils create a coffee bean which is rich in flavor. Because of these growing requirements, only 3% of the coffee beans grown in Vietnam are Arabica. But during last few years the Vietnamese government has taken measures to increase interest from coffee growers in Vietnam to produce more Arabica. It corresponds with the demand from foreign buyers, who mostly prefer Arabica.

Vietnamese Arabica has a chocolate and nutty flavor with a mild and medium-bodied profile.

In Vietnam, the Arabica beans are typically mixed with Robusta beans. This way, Vietnamese get balance between the rich flavor of the Robusta and the nutty notes of the Arabica.

Weasel coffee beans (or Civet coffee beans)

This coffee, known in Vietnam as Copi Luwak, is created by feeding coffee cherries to weasels or civets. The coffee beans are subsequently come out of these animals (as they cannot digest them) and harvested. Traditionally, it considers that weasels or civets can sense which coffee cherries are the ripest and most delicious, so these cherries are high quality.

Culi coffee beans

Culi – is Vietnamese name for Peaberry coffee beans. In Vietnam, they are considered as a different type of coffee beans, but according to the international standards this is not true. Culi is not a separate coffee variety; it is just a different way the coffee bean develops on the plant.

Regular coffee cherry has 2 coffee beans with their flat faces facing each other. A Culi (Peaberry) is a coffee cherry where only 1 of the 2 coffee seeds gets fertilized. It results in 1 coffee bean developing inside the cherry with an oval shape. Because there is only 1 coffee bean being nurtured by the coffee cherry, it is believed this bean gets more nutrients and a more intense and flavor profile.

Culi (Peaberry) is estimated to consist of around 5% of a coffee harvest in Vietnam. Almost all of Vietnamese Culi coffee beans come from the Robusta. That’s why they have the number of the Robusta characteristics. With double the caffeine content of Arabica, Culi has an intense flavor with a light body and sweet caramel and nut notes in its taste.

Moka coffee beans

The Arabica Moka coffee is grown in Da Lat, Lam Dong. In comparison to Arabica, Moka is more vulnerable to pests and requires a lot of attention. Besides, this coffee is quite rare and is more expensive than other coffee types.

Among other coffees, Moka’s slightly bitter and sour taste is particularly exquisite.

Vietnamese coffee beans from Mr. Viet

Mr. Viet is a coffee producer based in Vietnam. Our collection of coffee beans includes Robusta, Arabica, Culi, Moka, and others. We cooperate with Vietnamese farmers in Dalat region in order to connect them to the world coffee lovers.

Follow us to learn more about coffee and taste the real flavors of Vietnam!

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