Coffee has been grown in Vietnam for almost 2 centuries, first introduced by the French in 1857. Vietnam, is famous for its robusta coffee which is widely grown on huge monoculture farms. Impact Berry, however, has found a beautiful village in the Vietnamese highlands on more than 1450 metres above sea level where arabica varieties grow.
Due to the climate at this altitude, we rather find forest, than jungle. The coffee trees grow in between pine trees and native lemon bush species, which give the coffee its distinct flavour profile. Unique to Hong Kong, Impact Berry is delighted to bring this specialty coffee to you.
Please meet some of the incredible people that we are working with.
Say hi to Vong! He and his girlfriend Kim know their coffee trees inside out, and take meticulous care of them. “We make sure the branches start a minimum of 50 centimetres above the ground, out of reach of pests” Vong says, in a calm, patient tone, gesturing at the bottom of the plants. “And we only let our coffee trees grow a maximum of 270 centimetres high, so the cherries get most of the nutrients.” He shows us that the best coffee cherries grow around the middle of the trees, where the most nutrients are. We love the pride he takes in his work - his passion for coffee rubbed off on us! Fun fact: did you know you can get 3 seeds in one cherry, instead of 2? It’s caused by a rare mutation of the cherry itself. That’s another fact we learnt from Vong!
Meet Trung. Always with a camera in hand, Trung reminded us to stop and smell the roses- or in this case a beautiful ginger flower we’d never seen before. As well as growing and harvesting coffee, he also participates in the processing of it. If you’ve ever wondered why handpicking coffee is better than machine harvesting, here’s what Trung says: “Machines shake the branches to make the cherries fall off. But the shaking is so violent, it actually disrupts the natural growth of the plants and can sometimes even kill them.” The machines also disrupt the soil, not unlike an earthquake does. So Trung and his team pick every cherry by hand, being kind to the plants and encouraging them to grow stronger. This also provides work for 44 people every harvest.
- Written by Sonja, edited by Timo and Mel