Rae Tran , Co-Founder
Karmic Circle Coffee was founded after a series of trips back to Vietnam, the land of my birth, from my new home in the U.S.
In leaving Vietnam, I left behind a sense of relative privilege and support, feeling terrified yet exhilarated at being all alone in a very different country from the one I was used to. This journey has led me to new independence, self-reliance, and autonomy. Also significant to my new perspective is my determination to do good–elevate others where I can–and to do well. I came to America to complete my degree, having spent three and a half years studying at a U.S. based university in Vietnam. My parents, who were, born and raised during the Vietnam war, never had the opportunity to further their education, so they worked hard to give me the chance to fulfill the dream. Completing my studies at a small liberal arts school on the East Coast inspired me to ask philosophical as well as practical questions which few in Vietnam have the luxury or inclination to ponder. I realized I was passionate about living a meaningful life helping people.
In 2015, the fortieth anniversary of the Peace, I was invited back to Vietnam to assist in the making of a documentary, examining the perspectives on America held by Vietnamese who experienced the war, as compared to those (like myself) too young to remember. Our interviews indicated that the rift between the two countries, Vietnam and the U.S., was rapidly closing. The film crew continued to explore Vietnam seeking to understand more about the inspiring process by which countries which had engaged in total war could become the closest of friends. I felt newly appreciation for the wonderful, creative chaos of my home city of Saigon. I knew I was ready to take on the challenge of starting a social enterprise business in America which would connect the two countries for the benefit of both.
Daniel Woodman, Co-Founder
I come from a long and varied history within the product design field. Then I went to Vietnam for the first time, and tasted the most satisfying coffee I had ever experienced. My travel partner Rae, (Now Business Partner) and I, met a coffee roaster named Quoc, (who used to be an architect. Intrigued, we sampled his coffee, and ended up bringing home a suit case full.
And because good coffee is best paired with good conversation I shared it with my friends. The result was them attempting to buy up my precious supply. I soon ran out. I was already planning to go back to Vietnam, but not for another year. So I ordered more Vietnamese coffee over the internet. But again and again, we failed to find anything near the quality we had found, in that first bag of magic beans. Hand carried, straight from the roasting machine.
We found their mediocre quality to be unusual, given that Vietnam possesses the most fertile coffee growing soil on earth. We discovered that most companies exporting coffee to the U.S., are either mass market brands that care about flavor, no more than and other brand that comes in a tin can. While the smaller brands from Vietnam lack the resources to select the best beans and ensure they are given proper attention in the numerous steps that must be perfecting during processing and roasting. But our friend and roaster Quoc goes to the coffee farms and hand selects each allotment beans, ensuring both uniqueness, and consistency.
We decided to serve this coffee in blind tastings to strangers, to get their feedback. Ultimately after thousands of cups were given away, and a few tweaks here and there, we knew that Karmic Circle coffee was born.
We resolve to buy the highest quality beans grown Vietnam, sourced and delivered, with respect for all people that make Karmic Circle Coffee possible.
Tuan Hoang; Web Designer
Tuan Hoang is a cross-platform designer who was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam. Passionate about simplicity and functionality, Tuan creates his work in combination of emotion, balance, with strong type and image.
Tuan studied software engineering and graphic design in Vietnam, and he worked in the local industry for years. Currently, Tuan is pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Texas, with expected graduation in 2021.