Vietnam Lotus SHG

Welcome to July and the chance to do something different with your coffee of the month.

After Brazil, which country produces the most coffee in the world?

Vietnam.

Parts of the country are plenty high, so put away any visions of sweaty jungle settings. The arabica beans you’ll sample this month are SHG – Strictly High Grown – in  2.5 – 7-acre farms between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level.

There’s no strip-picking for these farmers on the Langbian Plateau in the area of Dalat, Lam Dong province. They pick only ripe beans, which increases the weight to volume ratio of their coffee cherries and earns the coffee high ratings and better prices on the coffee market.

Vietnam Lotus coffee has lots of body and an intensely stimulating aroma. Sippers taste chocolate creme, nuts, honey, and toffee.

But on to the fun part. In Vietnam, coffee is drunk strong and sweet. It’s typically brewed with a Phin filter and served  in combination with sweetened condensed milk. “Bloom” the grounds first with a bit of hot water, then continue to drip through the filter. Pour it over ice for another popular beverage.

Or go whole hog and make:

Vietnam Egg Coffee

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
At least ¼ cup dark-roasted coffee, espresso ground
1 liter hot water

Beat egg yolks and condensed milk on high speed for about 10 minutes. It’s beaten enough if a small amount floats when spooned on top of water.

Brew coffee, reserve half a cup, and divide the rest among four cups. It’s traditional to set each cup in a small bowl of hot water to keep it warm.

Spoon some of the whipped egg mixture onto the top of each coffee.

Pour a bit of the reserved coffee through the foam, then serve.