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Our worldwide tour of new cafes under construction or recently opened continues with a look at Lacàph in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

As told to Sprudge by Timen Swijtink.

The 2021 season of Build-Outs is presented by Fellow. The series is sponsored by La Marzocco, Pacific Barista Series, Marco Beverage Systems, Dona, and Sustainable Harvest.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We are passionate about Vietnamese coffee, and we want to share our passion with the world. It’s embodied in the coffees we produce, blended from beans grown by our network of carefully selected smallholder farmers across four provinces of Việt Nam.

But our passion extends beyond producing excellent coffees.

Our mission is to share Vietnamese coffee and culture with curious people everywhere, so we take time to learn about the many communities who, together, produce our coffees. They are passionate about Vietnamese coffee too, and we want to share their stories, their culture, and their rich heritage with you.

Our coffees introduce you to these people, celebrating our shared passion, guiding you on an unforgettable adventure as you explore Vietnamese coffee and culture, one sip at a time.

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Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

Lacàph Space was designed to bring great coffee experiences to our guests and business customers, bringing them closer to our coffees and give us an opportunity to share the stories that the coffees help illustrate. Location-wise, it’s a bit of a “hidden gem,” as it’s hidden on the upper part of a residential house from the 1930s in the city center. Out of sight, but once you find it, there is a lot of learn and explore. We host our concept “Saturday Sessions” here, where consumers can learn the basics of making great coffee at home, demystifying the process, but we also host other events and training activities here aimed at business customers.

What’s your approach to coffee?

We aim to make great coffees for larger audience, and hence want to make what we do as approachable as possible. We connect people directly with coffee at Lacàph Space and often have our partner farmers down so they can work with us directly on product development, and meet the people that are enjoying their coffees from throughout the city.

Domestically, we communicate the values of “grow local, roast local, drink local” in an effort to promote and support the local supply chain amongst local coffee drinkers. Only through supporting the domestic coffee supply chain will it improve in quality and reputation.

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Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

We might be seen as a little strange in this regard, as we tend to stay away from special equipment as to not intimidate consumers. Save for our Rocket espresso machines, all our equipment can be considered “affordable” so guests can easily purchase and take home and rediscover great coffee at home for themselves.

The only “special” piece of equipment we have is our in-home developed Vietnamese Phin coffee brewer. It’s of incredible quality but, most importantly, features an optional fine second filter, which traditional Phin brewers do not have. This results in a cleaner, crisper coffee, with less sediment.

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How is your project considering sustainability?

Our company is part of the Dutch Business Association Vietnam, and through this membership we are working to gain more insight into bringing sustainable practices throughout our business and supply chain.

For Lacàph Space itself, 90% of wood used is reclaimed wood, and all lighting and air-conditioning has been optimized heavily for reduced energy consumption and reduced leakage. This might seem like a straightforward idea for many readers, but was a relatively new and special consideration, especially for such an old building.

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

I would like to make special mention of our architect and interior designer for Lacàph Space, who is now also having influence on our brand direction and other projects in the works at Lacàph: Đỗ Hồng Quân.

Thank you. 

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The 2021 season of Build-Outs is presented by Fellow. The series is sponsored by La Marzocco, Pacific Barista Series, Marco Beverage Systems, Dona, and Sustainable Harvest.