My first cup of Vietnamese Arabica (Typica, Cau Dat, Lam Dong Province) that didn't offend my palate. Hiep, a friend of some friends of ours, operates a micro-batch roasting company out of his home in Ho Chi Minh city. He travels around the Central Highlands looking for Arabica that is well-grown and processed. Hiep is stoked on the potential for Specialty coffee in Vietnam and is even more stoked to talk coffee with other Specialty-minded folks.
Our friends with fi-lan-thro-pe, Michael and Cana, visit him when they're in Saigon, roasting, brewing and talking coffee for hours on end. Hiep is excited that more folks from the Specialty end are starting to explore the potential of Vietnamese Arabica, and is feeling less and less like a lonely island (more like an island in an archipelago now) thanks to connections like these. I am excited to meet with him next time I'm in the Big City, and can't wait to roast on a proper machine!
His coffee is available pre-ground and packaged (grinders are prohibitively expensive to average coffee drinkers, which is one of many hurdles to overcome... time, in due time) for sale in limited quantities on a personal basis (coffee, CSA-style). His company is called Hiep PK Cafe (email@example.com) and is yet another sign that my timing couldn't be better. It takes more than an "enlightened" individual who possesses all of the knowledge, but many people collaborating on a level that is bigger than any one person could accomplish. I of course wish him the best and hope that we can work together in the future.