Warner Bros. Discovery has aired the documentary “The Tao of Coffee” in Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, China, India, as well as other Asian countries and territories after its official premiere in Australia and New Zealand, marking the media giant’s recognition of Vietnam’s coffee culture and philosophy.
Warner Bros. Discovery, also known as the “world champion storyteller”, worked with Trung Nguyen Legend to produce and broadcast “The Tao of Coffee” on November 30, 2023, at 7:10 p.m. (SEA) and 6:10 p.m. (BKK/JKT) on the Discovery Channel, after over a year of research. Discovery is a globally influential American television channel with a viewership of over 2.2 billion across 230 countries and territories.
New aspirations in a changing world
The culture of a nation or people can be classified into two basic groups: civilization-building culture and civilization-absorbing culture. Vietnam, despite possessing a distinctive, resilient, and strong national culture, has historically fallen into the group of nations that absorb external influences, acculturating to other nations’ lifestyle while having difficulties in exporting its own culture through goods, services, science and technology.
Beyond showcasing Vietnam’s rich coffee heritage, the documentary delves into the nation’s aspirations to establish itself as a global cultural exporter. Inspired by the cultural export successes of nations like Japan and South Korea, Vietnam seeks to establish itself as the source of “the Tao of coffee”, akin to Japan’s association with the so-called chado.
The documentary “The Tao of Coffee” highlighted Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to build and refine its coffee culture, which is like building a new civilization, to make a positive impact on the ever-changing and complicated world.
After mulling over a selection of titles, Discovery settled on “The Tao of Coffee” for this multifaceted documentary. This title encapsulates the essence and ambitions of the Vietnamese caffeine revolution, which aims to spread globally.
Two solid foundations for the Vietnamese caffeine revolution
The first foundation is Vietnam’s unique coffee culture, with the iconic Phin (filter) coffee and iced coffee with condensed milk. The documentary showcases also heart-warming stories shared in coffee shops with vivid and emotional images, along with insightful commentaries from reputable experts and journalists.
The next foundation is Vietnam’s position as the world’s second-largest coffee exporter. According to Discovery, Vietnam accounts for more than half of the global supply of Robusta coffee beans. The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak produces over 30% of those beans. Fast forward to the 1980s when the Government introduced a series of coffee production programs to help kick-start the economy. The power of Vietnam’s coffee industry lies not just in quantity but also in the internationally acclaimed quality of Robusta beans from Buon Ma Thuot City.
Through authentic and emotional portrayals, Discovery captures the profound aspirations and innovative spirit fueling Vietnam’s coffee industry. The commitment from the Government, local communities, coffee growers, production businesses, distribution networks, and consumers collectively shapes Vietnam’s formidable global coffee presence.
The pioneer in the Vietnamese caffeine revolution
In its pursuit of a genuine narrative, Discovery dedicates time to showcase the activities and strategies of Trung Nguyen Legend, hailed as a leader of the Vietnamese caffeine revolution.
With expert storytelling techniques, Discovery masterfully guides viewers through G7’s product trial session, expanding into its diverse coffee ecosystem. Trung Nguyen Legend’s ambitious visions and distinctive ideas, nurtured over nearly three decades, come to life on screen.
The birth of the G7 brand embodies a spirit of daring confrontation and triumph against international coffee giants, driven by love and responsibility to “honor the world’s finest Robusta coffee from Vietnam,” where Robusta accounts for 95% of production.
For Trung Nguyen Legend, coffee transcends its physical form, turning into a societal and spiritual experience. The documentary shows the brand’s commitment to social programs supporting young entrepreneurs and efforts to transform Buon Ma Thuot City into the “Coffee Capital of the World.”
International audiences can immerse themselves in the captivating landscapes, artistic creations, and innovative projects that transform coffee into a cultural and artistic phenomenon. These endeavors, particularly prominent in Buon Ma Thuot, have captivated the hearts and imaginations of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.
The Tao of Coffee as the spiritual essence of coffee
Beyond the physical form of coffee, its unique social aspects, and the intrinsic coffee heritage, the pivotal element ensuring the success of the Vietnamese caffeine revolution is the spiritual essence of coffee—a distinctive philosophy that Discovery has spotlighted in its documentary.
This philosophy emerges from a comprehensive and insightful exploration of coffee’s history and, more importantly, its influence on the development and progress of human civilization.
Discovery has introduced a fresh perspective from Trung Nguyen Legend on the value of coffee: “The great accomplishments in civilizations are different before and after the presence of coffee”. Trung Nguyen encapsulates the essence of coffee’s cultural and intellectual achievements in three coffee civilizations: Ottoman, Roman, and Thien.
Among them, Thien coffee, a unique creation by Trung Nguyen Legend, blends Eastern philosophical principles, incorporating both stillness and motion, martial arts, and dance—a coffee-infused choreography. For Trung Nguyen, Thien defines the essence of coffee, and coffee embodies the essence of Thien. Thien is a philosophy that guides coffee drinkers to experience coffee with profound appreciation and mindfulness.
The documentary features visually stunning scenes depicting Trung Nguyen Legend Coffee World model that converges three coffee civilizations, 3D mapping bartending performances, World Coffee Museum, and coffee culture performances. “Trung Nguyen Legend is elevating its message of three coffee civilizations to an immersive history experience,” Discovery said.
Trung Nguyen Legend’s endeavor to distill, honor, and integrate the quintessence of the three coffee civilizations conceals a broader aspiration for “harmony and unity of human civilizations from coffee and through coffee.” In today’s world fraught with crises and risks, where global issues transcend the capacity of individual nations, organizations, or individuals to solve, the Tao of Coffee seeks to embody principles of enlightened conduct: harmony, respect, elegance, calmness, responsibility and enhancement.
“The Tao of Coffee, known as Cà Phê Đạo in Vietnamese, is a wakeful way of life stemming from the coffee philosophy created by the founder and chairman, Dang Le Nguyen Vu. Trung Nguyen Legend’s coffee philosophy aims for mindfulness in the present, recognizing one’s purpose in relation to the community and striving for values of righteousness, benevolence, and beauty,” said a representative from Trung Nguyen Legend in the documentary.
While absent as an interviewee in the film, the core spirit and encompassing vision come to life through the words of Trung Nguyen Legend’s founder and chairman, Dang Le Nguyen Vu: “Coffee is a treasure of the universe, a heritage of mankind and a solution for the future”.
To watch the television commercial for the documentary “The Tao of Coffee”, which is being broadcast widely by Discovery in countries around the world, click on the link below: