Trai Ham, a 2.4-hectare coffee farm, was established in Da Lat Town more than two months ago by Ho Chi Minh City resident Nguyen Quoc Minh, who has reportedly invested US$2 million in the venture.
The farm would cultivate coffee plants, raise civets, a weasel like rodent, and produce "civet coffee," considered a delicacy.
Trai Ham has already become a new, interesting destination for those who travel to this beautiful city, not just because it is the first civet coffee farm in Da Lat, but because the entire process of making the coffee is demonstrated.
Visitors to Minh's farm will first walk through a green pine forest to reach the coffee garden, which is said to produce organic coffee, free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the cultivation process. Then they will be guided to an area where 120 civets, both female and males, are raised.
The coffee making process goes like this: First, ripe fruits of the coffee plants are offered to the civets. They eat the fruits happily, but the seeds are not digested. They are defecated.
But when they are in the civets' stomach, they get worked on by some enzymes that help ferment the seeds.
The civet feces with embedded coffee beans will then be cleaned with water, dried and covered tightly in big jars before they are roasted and ground into powder.
CÀ PHÊ CHỒN TRẠI HẦM
135E Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Ward 10, Da Lat Town
Trai Ham's owner said he estimated that the farm can produce around 400 kilograms of civet coffee per year. He expects to sell it for VND20 million per kilogram.
At the end of the tour, guests will be offered civet coffee, roasted, ground and brewed on the premises, ensuring its authenticity.
In fact, the coffee is made right at guests' tables using the siphon coffee maker, which uses the principle of expansion and contraction of water vapor to brew a full infusion style of coffee and filter the grounds efficiently.
Finally, as evidence of the visit and as a memoir, each guest is given a porcelain cup which has her/her picture printed on it.