I didn’t just see hills covered in coffee plants during my motorcycle excursion through central Vietnam. I also witnessed just how the locals dry their beans. No, there are no big factories or warehouses with some sort of huge electrical dryers as you might imagine. The Vietnamese way isn’t quite so fancy or complicated. The locals just lay some tarp on the dirt in front of their homes, and shacks and they spread the beans out to dry in the sun. I learned about at least four different types of coffee plants and beans. There are probably more.
My guide said the best blends of coffee are the ones with a blend of beans. There’s got to be more to it than that though. Like I said before, Vietnamese coffee is among some of the best I’ve had. That’s probably why Vietnam is now the second largest exporter of coffee; second only to Brazil. Not to mention, coffee is no minor league export. TechnoServe, a company that helps businesses and entrepreneurs in third-world companies become more successful, says coffee is the world’s second-most widely traded commodity. Can you guess what’s number one? That’s right. Petroleum.