The story behind Polished Robusta 16
Vietnam is a country of smallholder farms, averaging 1-3 hectares, and famers do not process their own coffee here but instead sell red cherry to wet mills, who process the coffee for export. Mercon operates several wet mills near Da Lat and has established strong quality programs at each of them.
This lot originates from a select cluster of smallholder farms in the Lam Dong province in the central highlands of Vietnam, at altitudes between 900-1,200 meters above sea level. Here the farmers sell only ripe red Robusta cherries to the local wet mill. After removing the pulp and drying, they are polished in a high-pressure environment to remove the silverskin, producing a cleaner appearance. Wet-polished robusta tend to be a higher quality as more attention is paid to processing, screen size, and defects than in conventional robustas.
Vietnam is the world's largest producer of Robusta, which is generally not considered specialty coffee. However, in recent years there has been a push to produce higher quality Robusta harvests, creating better coffees that can stand on their own in the specialty sphere.