End of the alcohol monopoly in colonial Vietnam (article)
Rice wine in Vietnam (article)
Neil Samson Katz, "Vietnam Culture by the Glass" New York Times, March 9, 2008.
Agent Orange narratives (dissertation)
From John Erlen via Dan Malleck:
Fox, Diane Niblack. "One significant ghost": Agent Orange narratives of trauma, survival, and responsibility
Ph.D. dissertation Washington: University of Washington; 2007.
Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2007. Section 0250, Part 0326 292 pages; Publication Number: AAT 3252855.
Alcohol monopoly in northern Viet Nam, 1897-1933 (dissertation)
from John Erlen via Dan Malleck:
Sasges, Gerard Henry. Contraband, capital, and the colonial state: The
alcohol monopoly in Northern Viet Nam, 1897--1933
Ph.D. dissertation California: University of California, Berkeley; 2006.
Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2006. Section 0028, Part 0332 379 pages; Publication Number: AAT 3254063.
Hanoi's coffee culture
For an article about Hanoi's coffee retailers, see here. There are hundreds of coffee shops in the Vietnam capital, deep in alleyways, on sidewalks, in posh hotels. The article provides pictures of a sample. Curiously, the article says nothing about the coffee itself, only that it is typically drunk with sweet milk and a little sugar. Apparently it is brewed, locally grown coffee. Except perhaps at the fancy hotels, there isn't the variety of espresso-based drinks common elsewhere.
Vietnam promotes cocoa production
Mostly tea-drinking Vietnam has become a major coffee producer and exporter in recent years. Now the Vietnamese government, seeking diversity and security against price swings, is promoting cocoa as an export crop. For more, see here. In the emerging globalized economy the traditional geographical distribution for these commodities has shifted from South America (coffee) and West Africa (cocoa) to parts of the world not identified with them.
Vietnam produces much coffee but drinks little of it
Although Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter (after Brazil), the Vietnamese people rarely drink coffee. Domestic consumption is only 5 to 7 per cent of production. Major coffee firms in Vietnam are now seeking a domestic market and are upgrading the coffee sold locally. For more, see here. The irony of coffee producing countries drinking little coffee--and when they do, drinking bad coffee--is not unique to Vietnam. It often is most extreme for the actual coffee farmer who sells all the good beans and keeps only the poor ones that have no market value and make unappealing coffee. In the case of Vietnam, tea is the traditional beverage and coffee exotic.
Vietnam, the world's second largest coffee exporter, prefers tea
In recent years Vietnam has become the world's second largest coffee exporter, but it consumes only about 5% of its coffee harvest. Vietnamese, including coffee growers, prefer tea. For more, see here.
Gourmet "Fairtrade" coffee and its problems
"This is a story about gourmet coffee and genocide. It takes place in Rwanda...," (London) Observer, 25 February 2007, is an article by Alex Renton. Although he argues that Western coffee drinkers should buy higher priced Fairtrade (or fair trade) coffee to help poor coffee growers and their poverty stricken countries, he acknowledges problems: the farmers only get about 10% of the premium in the price that the consumer pays, only a few farmers in a few countries are able to participate in growing high grade coffee, and the world simply grows too much coffee for the size of the market for it. For more, see here.
Coffee: who grows it? who drinks it?
India's Financial Times, 5 Feburary 2007, reports on who grows and who drinks coffee. Although there are 25 kinds of coffee grown, two varieties dominate, (mostly) Arabica and (secondly) Robusta. The major producers are Brazil (33.16%), Columbia (11.65%), Vietnam (10.61%), Indonesia (5.97%), Mexico (4.59%) and India (4.60%) that combined produce about 70% of the world's coffee. The major consumers are the United States, Canada, Japan. Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Spain. As an Indian newspaper, the Financial Times mentions that India consumes 30% of the coffee that it grows. For more, see here.
Frontwide World, May 2003, lists the top 10 coffee-importing countries, in order of amount imported, as the United States, Germany (less than half that of the USA), Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Netherlands. Per capita the Scandinavian countries drink the most coffee, with Finland averaging more than four cups a day per person. This website lists the ten leading coffee producers, in order of amount produced, as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ivory Coast and Uganda. Nearly 25 million farmers grow coffee in more than fifty countries. For more, see here.