This article considers the biopolitics of coffee in contemporary Vietnam. Drawing on Vietnamese food safety manuals and coffee processing educational materials, ethnographic research, and recent food safety scandals covered in state media, the article argues that for the Vietnamese state, managing coffee and its microbial matters is about managing people rather than the environment, infrastructure, or export standards in the Vietnamese coffee industry. Commodity coffee production and industrial processing perpetuate food safety scandals, becoming part of the state’s biopolitical strategy to maintain order, safety, and composure in the industry.

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