I love a canned coffee product—always have, always will. There’s just something about the satisfaction of opening a well-stocked fridge of cold brew, or shotgunning a can of sparkling coffee on a hot summer’s day. New coffee convenience products lumped into the “Ready To Drink” category are coming out each week, and for good reason! Gen-Z can’t get enough! Fortune Business Insights reports the category was valued at $22 billion in 2019—and will nearly double by 2027. That’s huge!
With so many RTDs coming out of the woodwork, it’s so much fun when you’re pleasantly surprised by how good a new product is. When me and fellow co-founder Jordan Michelman opened up some cans of Sang (stylized SANG) on a recent episode of the Coffee Sprudgecast, we simply couldn’t hold back our delight.
Vietnamese-American entrepreneur Lan Pham of New York City founded Sang (Vietnamese for “bright”) in 2020 and here in 2023 offers five distinct canned coffee flavors. The coffee is Robusta sourced from Vietnam and the line-up is really quite tasty. Saigon Cinnamon Latte was a favorite, along with the Straight Black with Vanilla, which features just a hint of vanilla and a super clean coffee profile.
We spoke digitally with Lan Pham, founder of SANG, to learn more!
Tell us about Sang, how it started, and its mission!
SANG all began one hot summer afternoon in 2020, when we were all in lockdown and I was really missing the taste of an authentic cà phê sữa đá fresh off the streets of Saigon. If you’ve never tried Vietnamese iced coffee before, you’ve been missing out! The flavor is so unique because it’s strong yet sweet, and it’s really addictive!
Vietnam is overflowing with delicious flavors, but, like most traditional dishes, they can be a bit daunting to approach—especially if you’re not from the same culture. I wanted to share these amazing culinary traditions of my homeland with the world, in a fun and convenient way while still staying true to the authentic flavors.
So, I launched SANG, a celebration of Vietnam’s bright and bold culinary traditions. Our first range of products is a collection of RTD “Vietnam-ease” iced coffees.
Tell us about the product line!
Our canned coffees come in five fiery flavors:
Traditional: The O.G. Vietnamese coffee. This RTD cà phê sữa đá combines strong robusta coffee with sweetened condensed milk.
With Oatmilk: My dream with Sang was to make these traditional flavors more accessible, which meant having a non-dairy version of a cà phê sữa đá. We use a proprietary oat milk blend that we make in-house with monk fruit extract to get that authentic flavor.
Straight Black with Vanilla: I know you guys really enjoyed this one! This SKU is a homage to a Cà Phê Đá (iced black coffee) with the subtle sweetness of vanilla essence.
Saigon Cinnamon Latte: For this, we give a bright twist on a tired latte. It’s strong and indulgent, with a fiery kick from the cinnamon. At Sang, we like to think of this coffee as the Anti Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Saigon Cinnamon Oatmilk Latte: This is our dairy-free latte. Like the original, it’s strong, sweet, and a little spicy. It’s just as indulgent thanks to the proprietary oat milk blend that we make in-house.
Who designed the branding/packaging?
When I first thought of SANG, I knew the brand had to be bright (which is actually what Sang means in Vietnamese), bold, and fun. I wanted our product to stand out so that people will immediately want to try it, while still having some traditional touches. I was lucky enough to work with my amazing design partners, Lakuna Design, who have been there with me from day one.
The coffee is delicious! Can you tell us about who grows it?
Thank you so much! We really wanted the powerful flavor of the robusta coffee beans to shine. All our coffee beans are sourced from small-scale family-owned farms in Vietnam.
How is the coffee/beverage prepared?
So, traditionally Vietnamese coffee is brewed using a phin. This coffee filter is placed on top of a cup and once hot water is poured the coffee slowly brews and drips through the filter—the result is a STRONG cup of coffee. All our coffees are prepared using Vietnamese robusta beans which have been roasted and brewed in America.
Where is it available?
We’re available nationwide via our website and currently retailing on the East Coast. You’ll be able to find us at Citarella, Westerly Market, the Tin Building in New York, and Fairway. But definitely keep an eye out for us because we have some major retail news dropping soon!
What’s next for Sang?
Right now our main focus is on retail. We’re hoping to expand our network of retailers this year, so that you can find us in stores across the country. However, further down the line, I would love to create other flavor-packed ‘Vietnam-ease’ treats, but that’s not for some time!
Thanks so much!
Ready To Drink is a feature series on Sprudge Media Network. Got a canned coffee or otherwise “Ready To Drink” product you’d like to see featured? Get in touch!