Coffee was introduced to Vietnam along with Christianity by Jesuit Monks in the late eighteenth century
Following colonisation by the French, the coffee trade grew until coffee from Vietnam made the cafes of Paris famous arround the world. Unfortunately the golden era of high grade coffee production in Vietnam was shattered by the wars of independance, and Vietnam became a minor player in the coffee world.
Nothing changed the Vietnamese love of their own indigenous coffee culture however, and the art of growing and processing fine coffee remained, preserved by the ethnic minorities in the Tay provinces who have always provided the best coffee for local consumption.
The Vietnamese diaspora that eventuated out of the misery of war resulted in a pool of young Vietnamese who were educated and gained business experience all over the world.
Among those who returned to Vietnam after the breakdown of rigid central economic control in the 1990s, was David Thai.
David saw the opportunity to bring western expertise and capital to the land of his birth to create a new fusion of ideas to invigorate the coffee industry.
Highlands Coffee began with Vietnam’s first modern coffee shop on the shores of Hoang Kiem Lake in Hanoi and quickly expanded to create the chain of arround eighty company owned stores thyat dominate the CBD of most major Vietnamese cities.
By controlling the chain from the grower, through processing and derving this premium coffee in his own shops, David revolutionised the coffee industry in Vietnam.
The coffees produced under the Highlands label are a far cry from the green beans grown and exported to meet the demands of the multinationals who want the cheapest feedstock for their instant coffee factories.
These Highlands blends are the product of those who maintained the traditions of the golden age of Vietnamese coffees, improved by modern methods of processing and packaging that enhance rather than compromise the exceptional flavour of the finest Vietnamese green coffee beans