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The Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve

Simon Reeve heads to Vietnam to uncover the stories behind the morning pick-me-up. He travels to the central highlands, where he meets the people who grow, pick and pack coffee.

Adventurer and journalist Simon Reeve heads to Vietnam to uncover the stories behind the nation's morning pick-me-up. While we drink millions of cups of the stuff each week, how many of us know where our coffee actually comes from? The surprising answer is that it is not Brazil, Colombia or Jamaica, but Vietnam. Eighty per cent of the coffee we drink in Britain isn't posh cappuccinos or lattes but instant coffee, and Vietnam is the biggest supplier.

From Hanoi in the north, Simon follows the coffee trail into the remote central highlands, where he meets the people who grow, pick and pack our coffee. Millions of small-scale famers, each working two or three acres, produce most of the coffee beans that go into well-known instant coffee brands.

Thirty years ago Vietnam only produced a tiny proportion of the world's coffee, but after the end of the Vietnam war there was a widescale plan to become a coffee-growing nation, and Vietnam is now the second biggest in the world. The coffee industry has provided employment for millions, making some people very rich indeed, and Simon meets Vietnam's biggest coffee billionaire. But he also learns that their rapid success has come at a cost to both the local people and the environment.

2 months left to watch

59 minutes

Audio described

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:00

    Supergrass

    Coffee In The Pot

  • 00:04

    Musicians Of The National Dance Company Of Cambodia

    Breu Peyney

  • 00:05

    Telek

    Midal

  • 00:07

    Jóhann Jóhannsson

    The Rocket Builder (Io Pan!)

  • 00:17

    Aphex Twin

    Nanou 2

  • 00:19

    Massive Attack

    Live With Me (feat. Terry Callier)

  • 00:24

    Mamer

    Kargashai

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Simon Reeve
Producer Andy Wells
Director Andy Wells
Series Producer Sarah Waldron
Executive Producer Sam Bagnall

Broadcasts

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