If you have ever tasted instant or freeze dried coffee, chances are it has been made from the Robusta coffee bean, which is primarily found in South Africa. Southeast Asia is also a top producer of the easy to grow plant, with Vietnam being the second exporter in the world next to Brazil, which holds the number one spot.
The Robusta bean is considered a lesser blend of coffee than the Arabica bean, which takes four to five years to harvest compared to two to three years for Robusta. If you are not a coffee connoisseur and prefer to stick to a budget, then the latter blend is what you will find in grocery stores and coffee cans. One can also enjoy higher caffeine content in the Robusta coffee.
Over the last few years Vietnam is steadily increased its exports of Robusta coffee, producing around 1.17 million tons each year. Coffee plantations are prolific in the small country, which exploded in growth after a decline during the Vietnam War.
It was the French who originally brought the Robusta plant to the country in 1857 and the Vietnamese have had a love affair with it ever since. Some popular drinks include Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which is a rich combination of sweetened condensed milk and Robusta coffee and Trung Nguyen coffee, commonly prepared in a coffee press.