Dung K'No Lam Dong, Vietnam
Look for herbal, pepper, baking spice, citrus notes when roasted for filter; Anticipate notes of amaretto, cherry, and tobacco when roasting for espresso
Producer: Various small producers, Dung K’No Commune, Lâm Đồng Province
Elevation: 1500 masl
Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in the 1800s and was grown on many French-owned colonial plantations. Due to civil unrest for most of the 20th century, Vietnam did not begin to flourish in coffee production until recently. In 1990, Vietnam was responsible for only 1% of global coffee trade. Due in part to the increase of individual land ownership and demand for coffee exports, Vietnam is now second in volume of coffee production, just behind Brazil. However, approximately 95% of the country’s production is robusta. Although arabica coffee production has been increasing in recent years, it still accounts for very little of the overall coffee production in Vietnam, roughly 3%.
The Dung K’No commune is a small village of approximately 500 people in the central highlands of the Lam Dong Province. For most coffee growers in this community, coffee is a cash crop to supplement other income. Coffee is often grown alongside maize, fruits and other subsistence crops, on parcels of land that average 2 hectares. During the harvest season, the growers will harvest their coffee by hand and sell it at various collection points, operated by the Duc Trong wet mill. At the collection points, each individual bag of coffee cherries is evaluated for quality and growers are paid cash for their coffee; growers are paid premium prices for the highest quality coffee cherries.
At the end of each day, the harvest is transported by truck from Dung K'No to Duc Trong wet mill. At Duc Trong wet mill, the coffee cherry will be de-pulped using an Ecopulper, lightly washed and then dried on raised beds for 4-10 days. Once dried, coffee is then dry milled and sorted into separate lots, based on quality of flavour and physical characteristics.
The wet mill is also a source of education and resources for the growers in Dung K’No. The Sustainable Management Team at the wet mill regularly provides hands-on training in plant propagation, fertilisation and natural pest management. Due to the proximity of Dung K’No to the Lang Biang Biosphere Reserve, training on forest management and conservation are also regularly taught.
We look forward to hearing more from this region, as the volume of arabica coffee production grows. The training implemented by the Duc Trong mill is quite telling of some big things to come from this non-traditional specialty coffee origin.
When roasting this semi washed coffee for filter, the recipe begins with a steep rise in inlet temperature. This steep rise allows for the coffee to begin yellowing at 2 minutes, 30 seconds and begin the colour change and development of sugars at 3 minutes. First crack begins at 4 minutes, 30 seconds, and there is a slight dip in inlet temperature right before, to ensure that the first crack is not too rapid. Once the first crack begins, there is a slight decline of inlet temperature for the remainder of the roast, to prevent any roast defect. The roast ends at 6 minutes, with 1 minute and 30 seconds spent in the development phase. Expect flavours that may remind you of grapefruit, almond, and herbs.
The espresso recipe has an even steeper rise in inlet temperature than the filter recipe. This allows for the coffee to begin the colour changing and sugar browning phase earlier on in the recipe. However, the sharp decrease of temperature once yellowing begins, allows for an elongated period spent in the sugar browning, also known as malliard reaction. First crack begins at 4 minutes and 40 seconds, and is gradual and steady. The recipe ends at 7 minutes and 30 seconds, with 2 minutes and 50 seconds spent in development. Anticipate flavours of almond, amaretto, black tea and tobacco.