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This World: The Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve (BBC Two Saturday 25 November 2023)

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This World

This World: The Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve airs Saturday 25 November 2023 on BBC Two.

What is this episode about

Journalist and adventurer Simon Reeve travels to Vietnam in search of the history of the country’s favourite breakfast beverage. Even though we consume millions of cups of coffee every week, how many of us are aware of its origins? Surprisingly, it’s Vietnam, not Jamaica, Brazil, or Colombia. Vietnam is the largest supplier of instant coffee, which accounts for 80% of British coffee consumption rather than fancy cappuccinos or lattes.

Following the coffee trail from northern Hanoi into the isolated central highlands, Simon encounters the farmers, roasters, and packers of our coffee. Most of the coffee beans used in popular instant coffee brands come from millions of small-scale farmers, each tending to two or three acres.

After the Vietnam War ended, there was a massive plan to transform Vietnam into a coffee-growing nation; today, it ranks second globally, up from a tiny percentage thirty years ago. As Simon meets Vietnam’s biggest coffee billionaire, he learns about the industry that has employed millions and made some people very wealthy. Unfortunately, he finds out that the locals and the environment have paid a price for their quick success.

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When can we see the episode

This World: The Coffee Trail with Simon Reeve airs Saturday 25 November 2023 at 6:30pm on BBC Two

Featured Image Credit: BBC Two


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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