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With Vietnamese Coffee Concentrate, Lucky Monkey Swings Into Production

Lucky Monkey coffee concentrate

Lucky Monkey coffee concentrate and non-dairy powdered creamer. All images courtesy of Lucky Monkey Coffee.

A New York-based Vietnamese coffee brand called Lucky Monkey Coffee recently launched with a novel bundle of products designed to pair convenience with traditional drink profiles.

Through a direct crowdfinding campaign, Lucky Monkey is selling pre-orders of its core 24x bottled coffee concentrate, made of 100% Vietnamese robusta. Alongside each bottle is a bag of sugar- and lactose-free powdered condensed coconut creamer.

Together, the concentrate and coconut creamer power are designed to fast-track the preparation of traditional-style Vietnamese coffee (cà phê), either hot or iced, without the need for a dedicated phin brewer.

The pre-sale campaign is designed to generate at least $35,000 in revenue for the new company, while “backers” can receive additional perks such as merchandise and access to events. Should pre-sales pass $250,000, all buyers will be entered into a raffle for a seven-day trip to Vietnam.

Shipping and normal retail sales are slated to begin in August, with coffee and creamer combo subscriptions starting at $39.99. The company declined to share a la carte pricing at the time of this writing.

Lucky Monkey coffee Dao

Lucky Monkey Coffee Founder David Dao.

Lucky Monkey Founder and CEO David Dao, a first generation Vietnamese American, told Daily Coffee News the company sources coffee directly from Vietnamese robusta producers for roasting in multiple facilities in the United States. The concentrate is produced by a co-packer.

“We source from multiple farms in Vietnam to not only allow a plethora of local farmers to grow and mature with our brand, but to also introduce redundancy in our supply chain,” Dao told Daily Coffee News. “Robusta coffee beans are heartier and can withstand stronger climate challenges, thereby making our supply chain more resilient than the traditional arabica bean.”

Dao started the company in New York City in 2021 with help from financial advisor Salmaan Qadir and public relations specialist Nick Alvarez-Staab, developing a supply chain, proprietary formulas, marketing assets and a go-to-market strategy.

Lucky Monkey coffee founder

For the coffee product, Dao looked inward, drawing inspiration from his own experiences with coffee growing up in Vietnam. The coffee is treated to a dark roast profile that Dao said extends well into the second crack for deep chocolate and caramel flavors combined with smokiness and some bitterness.

“It is part of the traditionalist character of Vietnamese Coffee,” said Dao. “We had many opportunities to take shortcuts with liquid smoke, South American arabica beans, artificial flavorings and spices to replicate the profile, but to provide new users with the true flavor profiles of Vietnamese Coffee and support the local Vietnamese farmers, we dedicated resources and time to perfecting our product.”

After starting his career as a pharmacist, Dao eventually took on business development and operations roles for health tech startups, including the pharmacy tech brand Capsule and birth control subscription platform SimpleHealth, which was acquired by Twentyeight Health last year.

Lucky Monkey coffee 1

Today, Dao says he is driven by a desire to share stories of culture through food and beverages, with Lucky Monkey as the vehicle. Following the full direct-to-consumer launch, Lucky Monkey will expand its focus to include grocery and business-to-business wholesale.

“We will continue to follow our mission and vision to condense cultures and distill deliciousness, one teaspoon at a time,” said Dao. “While we are focused on successfully launching our first Vietnamese coffee product, we have multiple products in early development stages that tell the untold stories of other underrepresented cultures.”

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