BeanScene

Making Tracks

There are two traditional types of barista in Vietnam according to Han Tran: those that work in street vendors selling roadside coffee that’s “dark, dense, and bitter Robusta” or in male-dominated cafés that are attracted more to the female baristas than the overpriced beverage in front of them.

When Han told her parents she wanted to pursue a career in coffee, naturally, she says, you can imagine their disapproving reaction.

“They were against it,” she says. “Barista work had a bad reputation because of the stereotypes. A barista was not considered a profession in Vietnam. It was not respected. My parents were worried for my safety and that I would not earn a secure income.”

If only they had a crystal ball to predict the future. They need not have worried.

Han never believed her career path would be coffee focused.

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