My trip to Vietnam and the incredible discovery of the most impressive story about love and organic coffee cultivation.
One of the most amazing countries I have ever visited.
A country, beeing relatively poor compared to how we live and at the same time, being extremely rich in so many aspects.
Rich in people who talk with their heart,
rich in cultural diversity,
rich in religious diversity,
rich of a long and turbulent history,
rich in people who feel connected with nature,
rich in ethnic minorities,
rich in incredibly good meals,
and especially – so extremely rich of such an impressive number of food plants that grow here.
Vietnam teached me so much. Not only about the way of how people deal with a dramatic history, about the connection to nature, about ethnic diversity, about a country which is developing but also about….. – food plants!!!
It has been an impressive journey for me to see and explore how the products that we consume every day look like in their most natural way (as plants!), where they come from, how they are grown and how they are processed.
Products like pepper, tea, cashew nuts, curry, rice (are we ever thinking about a plant when we see this on our plate?!)……….
…..and about coffee!!
Yes, coffee. Vietnam is the 2° biggest country in the world to export coffee. Who might have ever thought that the coffee that we drink every day comes from Asia??
Before I visited Vietnam, I would have thought about South America (probably not even about Africa) or I would not have spent a thought at all about this question.
While we eat or drink anything are we always asking ourselves what exactly we are consuming ? What it is? Where it comes from? How it was grown? Who the people were that worked for us?
Coffee for me was something related to Italy. To the mediterranean coffee culture. To Espresso, to bars, to get-together, to have a chat with others and to wake-up.
While drinking coffee, I never realized in my mind that…….
…… this coffee that we consume every day in the office, at home, in bars and restaurants or that we buy in the supermarket – comes from a fruit which is grown on a tree in an asian (!) country.
….and that the jungle, this beautiful paradise of green trees that I saw, is more and more cut down in order to plant new coffee plantages. Because of the high request from western countries.
….that the French were the ones who brought the plants from Africa (Ethopia) to Asia (Vietnam).
….that some poor vietnamese farmers from the past suddenly became millionaires as coffee dealers. Their houses, nice and big modern villas are recognizable in the middle of old traditional, „poor“ houses built of bamboo.
….and I never imagined that there was so much to learn about coffee!
K’HO Coffee farm
Also, I would have never imagined to discover a place like the K’HO Coffee farm which has been entirely inspiring to me.
I feel very grateful that I had the chance to get to know Rolan, the young owner of the farm – and her husband Josh, who are developing the coffee farm with the traditions of Rolans‘ ancestors. They practice all in all organic agriculture with a deep love towards their plants and to nature. With each bag of coffee that they sell they support Rolan’s local ethnic community.
After my visit to the farm I was that much inspired by Rolan and her project, by her history and background, by the methods of how they cultivate and treat the trees, that I searched for more information on the internet and what I found were these videos that I absolutely recommend you to watch to get a better idea of who they are and what they are doing.
This K’HO Farm is not only about coffee but also about the most incredible true love story I have ever heart about. Only the love story by itself would be worth to make a movie! (I am thinking of Walt Disney and remember movies like Pocahontas or The Jungle Book).
What is unqiue about K’Ho Coffee?
It’s the real love and passion of Rolan and her family towards their activity, their farm, their plants, the jungle they are surrounded with and their ethnic group which is worth to be recognized and supported!
It’s also the visionary mentality they have for their ethnic minority group while at the same time they stick to the family tradition and maintain their local culture.
Now – after my experience in Vietnam and on the K’Ho Coffe farm – whenever I drink a coffee (Espresso) – I am watching the beans in the mill, I look at the cream, I smell the aroma and try to identify whether it tastes sour or bitter.
And I think of the plants in Vietnam, the people, the K’HO Coffee farm, the work that is related to growing/cultivating/harvesting/processing.
And I ask myself how this coffee in my small hot cup was cultivated?
Will it ever have been cultivated as the one from K’HO?
Who might have participated in the long chain to get it from the plant into my cup?
How will the plants and the fruits have been treated?
Will it be from Vietnam?
Who knows? All that I can read on the label of the Lavazza blue coffee pack is „100% arabica coffee“. And the price, 14 €.
Who/where/how – I do not get an answer.
I look into my cup and in my mind I say „thank you“ to whoever might have contributed in harvesting, drying, processing in a far-away country.
And silently I hope it was someone with the same mentality as Rolan and her husband from the K’HO coffee farm.
Back home, for sure what I will not forget, is that for every coffee I order here in a bar, there is somebody on the other side of the world, cutting down the next piece of jungle, to make sure that also tomorrow I can drink a coffee to wake up.
Let’s enjoy each cup of coffee
being aware what exactly we are consuming,
whom we support with it
and to whom we can say