If you walk into one of the million cafés in New York City, you’re bound to see the usual sights: hip patrons, fast-moving baristas, and shelves full of premiere coffee beans.
Brazil and Ethiopia are usually strongly represented; their coffee is what we’ve come to expect everywhere. But a new brand is stepping onto the scene, ready to change minds about the one of the world’s largest and most unsung coffee producers: Vietnam.
Begun in New York in November 2018 by restaurateur and storyteller Sahra Nguyen, Nguyen Coffee Supply was born out of a lack of authentic Vietnamese-sourced coffee. The daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Nguyen intimately understands the history behind her product. And as the country’s traditional coffee drink, served with condensed milk, began hitting the scene, she was excited to get her fix. But, despite the popularity of the drink, she couldn’t find actual Vietnamese coffee.
“No matter where I went, I saw cafes using lighter, fruitier coffees—that weren’t even from Vietnam,” Nguyen told Supermaker, noting that these roasts were different from the nutty, chocolatey Vietnamese coffees she knew and loved. “Some Vietnamese restaurants offered a familiar version of Vietnamese iced coffee, but then I realized they were using pre-ground, cheap coffee. ”