| Dominik Osele

Trâm Anh Coffee – A Travelogue (Part 2)

In our first part of the travel report we already told you a lot about the history and development of Trâm Anh coffee. In this part we will go into more detail about the Ahn's working methods and the roasting of the coffee.

In addition to conventional roasting machines, we were able to Tram Anh You can also see a real rarity: an ancient roasting machine used to roast coffee over an open fire. Exactly 43 years ago, in 1977, Vũ Hùng Anh came up with the brilliant idea of ​​welding a stove pipe to a roasting machine in order to be able to smell better when the coffee was perfectly roasted. You can see the first roasting machine that Mr. Anh converted in our pictures. It is still in operation today. And since this crazy construction has been in operation, not a single kilo of coffee has been roasted at Trâm Anh without the direct involvement of the company founders - at Trâm Anh, roasting is a matter for the boss!

The described roasting machine with stove pipe

This is why an attempt by the wealthy competition to imitate the special Trâm Anh coffee failed. Vũ tells us with a mischievous smile that a large Vietnamese coffee company, whose name we will not mention here, recruited several of its employees to imitate the traditional Vietnamese coffee with Bretel butter and rum. But since roasting is the boss's job at Trâm Anh, the delinquents were unable to produce coffee anywhere near the same quality.

Mother Anh at work

Thị Ánh Tuyết, Trâm An's mother, seems very relaxed when she tells us that she loves Vietnamese coffee. She prefers to drink it traditionally prepared from Café Phin and not from the machine. The coffee has come from the same two plantations for more than 60 years, she continues. The coffee is picked by hand and fertilized exclusively organically with soy and rice husks. The harvested beans dry in the wind for a year, which is at least twice as long as usual. She proudly reports that she turned down an offer to move to the USA with her family so that she could continue roasting coffee every day. A satisfied smile spreads across the face of the youthful and charming 61-year-old lady - she knows that she made the right decision. All five children now work in the family business. She has been roasting coffee for 43 years and her husband for 60 years.

The Trâm Anh roastery, which has been located at the same location in Bảo Lộc since the company was founded in the 1950s, is a true idyll. Trees, plants, flowers and bushes grow everywhere. Artichokes dry on bamboo trays, birds sing and locals relax in the in-house café.

We are the first partners to be allowed to enter the company premises. Never before have strangers been allowed to watch how Trâm Anh coffee is made. Bananas, boiled peanuts and green mangos are sold in front of the narrow entrance. The company premises are not very big. There is no quick money to be made here through mass production. Trâm Anh is about passion for Vietnamese coffee, tradition, sustainability and quality. And you can taste it!

The entrance to the Trâm Anh family's company premises.

The roasting process with one of these ancient roasting machines takes just over an hour. The necessary heat energy is provided by a fire. This requires real expertise. The roasting master has to pay meticulous attention to ensuring that the coffee beans reach exactly the desired degree of roasting and do not burn. It is not enough to simply run a pre-programmed program. When we ask what kind of wood is used for the roasting, we are amazed when Mother Anh explains to us that the coffee is roasted over wood from coffee bushes. The strong structure of the coffee wood is particularly suitable for regulating the temperature. When the coffee has a slightly reddish color, it is perfect and is swirled in large bamboo bowls to cool.

After roasting, the coffee cools in large bamboo bowls.

As mentioned above, the roasting machine has been in use for 43 years. It holds around 20 kg of green coffee and processes it into around 16 kg of delicious Vietnamese coffee. There are four other roasting machines with welded stovepipes that are still in use.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you how the rum and butter work at this point - it's a trade secret, of course. We took a lot with us from our trip to Bảo Lộc. New impressions, new friendships and new types of coffee. The warmth with which the Anh family welcomed us and the passion with which they talked about themselves, their coffee and their company convinced us that we want to work more closely with these people in the future. That's why we will be adding new products from Trâm Anh to our range in the near future. We hope that these products convince you as much as they convinced us and we look forward to your feedback!

Your VietBeans Team

Tags: Reisebericht