In this present age of specialty, third-wave coffees, I can find and purchase delicious whole bean coffees from a number of my favorite coffee roasters. I can get an excellent Ethiopia Yurgacheffe from a number of roasters. I can bring home an outstanding Guatemala Huehuetenango from a couple of different coffee shops and groceries in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. But, every once in a while, something really special comes along in the coffee world that I haven’t seen offered before. Equiano Coffee Company’s small farm, Vietnamese “Typica” varietal is one of those coffees.

Organic, Bon Mua, Vietnam, "Typica" varietal coffee. Equiano Coffee Company.

A uniquely smokey-sweet coffee, this Bon Mua Vietnamese Typica tastes of Lemongrass, Cinnamon, Carob, Molasses & spice. As an avid home roaster, I’ve had the good fortune to experiment with this small farm coffee over the past year, roasting to differing degrees and using both gas and wood fire heat and have never been disappointed. But, in the hands of a masterful roaster like Okon Udosenata of Equiano Coffee, this specialty grade Arabica Viet Nam coffee is truly something special to taste.

A staple of Equiano Coffee’s tasting room in Eugene, and their online store @equianocoffee.com, you can stop into their little cafe in the Whiteaker neighborhood next door to Vanilla Jill’s and enjoy a single cup pour-over of these uniquely delicious beans, take them home in bulk to brew up yourself or order online.

The coffee pros at Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers give these additional cupping notes: Sweet, Full Bodied, Bright, Graham Cracker, Toasted Almonds, Lemon Peel, Bread, Snickers Bar.

Organically grown Typica variety coffee cherries growing on a small farm in Vietnam's Bon Mua region.

Intrigued yet? Just wait ’til you taste the Coffee

Lan Marberry is the tiny powerhouse behind Bon Mua Oregon, the exclusive importer of this special coffee, headquartered in Salem, Oregon. Lan grew up on the small family farm in the highlands of Southwest Vietnam that still produces the coffee to this day. Lan and her Father who is still the principal farmer at their family’s operation in the Bon Mua region of Viet Nam often visit Equiano’s tasting room to hand-deliver their raw green coffee beans whenever he’s here in the States visiting his daughter.

Certified Organic Coffee

This Arabica coffee is certified organic by the village and hamlet where the farm is located. “My father went through a 3 to 4-month process to be proved and certified by the Chief of Justice Office District”, says Marberry.

This Typica varietal is one of the few in Vietnam grown exclusively at an elevation of 1550 meters (5,085 feet). Marberry’s family is careful and particular about selecting only the ripest berries, which contributes to the coffee’s full-bodied and nuanced flavor. “We’re very excited to be able to roast and offer this amazing coffee”, says Okon Udosenata, roastmaster at Equiano Coffee.

Vietnamese Coffee

Viet Nam has grown into the second-largest producer of coffee in the world, second only to Brazil. While Viet Nam is best known for it’s lower-grade “Robusta” coffees that many larger commercial coffee roasters tend to add to their coffee blends to offset the cost of more expensive Arabica beans, this Bon Mua Typica is an organic, specialty grade Arabica, full of pronounced flavor characteristics that one would expect from a small farm, single varietal coffee from Equiano.

Okon, Equiano Coffee’s roastmaster has found an optimum degree of roast to bring out the coffee’s unique flavor characteristics, leaving the roasted beans with a golden-brown sheen. And if you’re just starting out on your palate-development journey and still tend to enjoy a darker roast coffee that necessitates the addition of cream or other sweeteners to make up for the natural flavors being roasted out of it, you may get lucky and find some darker roasted Bon Mua, Viet Nam beans for sale on the tasting room shelves at any given time.

Enjoy tasting a "flight" of three coffees side-by-side at the Equiano tasting room. Located at 300 Blair Blvd., Eugene, Oregon

Bon Mua, Viet Nam: Available In-Person or Online

You can also taste this wonderful coffee next to two other Equiano Coffee offerings of your choice with a 3 coffee “Flight”, available at the tasting room. Your friendly Equiano Barista will help you choose three coffees from their bulk, whole bean shelves and steep-brew them side-by-side for you to slurp and taste “cupping” style like the coffee pros. A fun experience and a great way to begin to explore the world of flavors inherent in expertly roasted, specialty grade coffee varietals!

Equiano Coffee tasting room. 300 Blair Blvd., Eugene, Oregon.

Anyone that has enjoyed a cup of this unique coffee knows it’s truly something worth shouting about! Click on the link here to get your hands on some of this wonderful offering from Vietnam or stop by the Equiano Tasting Room at 300 Blair Blvd. in Eugene, Oregon to experience this local favorite today.

[This article is an updated and revised version of our blog originally published October 4, 2017]

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