Going beyond a traditional beverage, Vietnamese lotus tea is a symbol of Vietnamese tea. The tea is meticulously crafted, with lotus petals carefully selected to create its delicate and elegant taste. It is now a very alluring beverage for tea connoisseurs worldwide. As a premium and notable product, lotus tea will be a quintessential Vietnam travel gift.
1. What is lotus tea?
Vietnamese lotus tea is one of the most popular Vietnamese tea types, combining green tea with the natural scent of lotus - a symbol of purity, beauty, and good fortune in Vietnam. It offers a refreshing flavor with a slight astringency, a fresh, mellow taste, and a sweet aftertaste.
Vietnamese lotus tea originated during the Nguyen Dynasty for King Tu Duc. The story goes that servants would row a boat to the lotus pond at night, when the nectar of the lotus was at its fullest, to fill the lotus buds with green tea. Then, they would tie the petals with silk strings and leave them overnight. By morning, the tea will have absorbed the sweet scent of the lotus. In the past, lotus tea was exclusively brewed for kings, earning its name as the "drink of kings."
In a modern approach, lotus tea is made by putting lotus stamens in a jar filled with green tea leaves overnight or baking them together. The quality of the tea determines the number of lotus flowers required, with up to a thousand used per kilo of lotus tea.
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2. What are Vietnamese lotus tea benefits?
Vietnamese often give lotus tea to esteemed guests as a way of expressing hospitality and respect. So, what are the benefits of lotus tea? Is lotus tea good for you? The answer is YES. If used properly, Vietnamese lotus tea can bring the following health benefits:
- Strengthen the immune system: The EGCG antioxidant in green tea can boost the immune system by increasing regulatory T cells.
- Reduce stress and anxiety: The alkaloid content in lotus flowers acts as a natural depressant to treat insomnia. Drinking 1-2 cups of tea a day promotes relaxation, calmness, and anxiety relief.
- Improve memory: Does lotus tea have caffeine? Vietnamese lotus tea has a low caffeine content (25–50 milligrams per 230 milliliters). Along with its L-theanine content, lotus tea helps you stay awake, boosts brain function, improves memory, and reduces fatigue.
- Prevent cardiovascular disease: 3 potent antioxidants in lotus tea, including tannins, flavonoids, and vitamin C, help prevent stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
- Controls blood sugar level: Drinking lotus tea may lower fasting glucose, A1C, and fasting insulin levels, while its potassium content supports sugar regulation in diabetes patients.
- Helps lose weight: Lotus tea enhances metabolism, prevents the absorption of fats, and reduces fat accumulation in the body.
- Slows down the aging process: Antioxidants like vitamin C and EGCG offer anti-aging benefits and promote vibrant, healthy skin.
3. How to make lotus tea in Vietnam?
Traditional lotus tea in Vietnam is made with high-quality green tea infused with the fragrance of lotus flowers. Find the detailed process below:
- Pick lotus flowers:
The best time to pick up lotus flowers is in the early morning, from 4 AM to 6 AM, when the buds covered in dewdrops just open their petals. Around 1,300 to 1,500 blooms are needed to produce 1 kg of tea. Afterward, the flowers are manually separated from the lotus rice for further processing.
- Prepare green tea:
Green tea is another crucial ingredient in making Vietnamese lotus tea. The first-class green tea mainly used is from Vietnam's famous green tea baskets: Thai Nguyen Province, Ha Giang Province, and Bao Loc City in Lam Dong Province. The leaves are selected—neither too young nor too old—and meticulously cleaned and dried before being blended with lotus rice.
- Mix and dry:
In this step, the green tea and the lotus rice are blended layer by layer for a couple of days. Then, the artists sieve to remove the rice and dry the tea. The scenting-drying process is repeated 5 to 7 times. The key to this step is drying the tea enough to ensure that it absorbs the lotus flavor without being overfired.
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4. How to enjoy Vietnamese lotus tea?
To obtain the finest aroma of lotus tea, rinse the teapot with boiling water and steep the tea leaves for about 3 minutes. The optimal temperature of the water is 80–85°C, preventing the tea from becoming too strong or bitter. This type of tea does not need to be re-infused.
To truly grasp the taste of Vietnamese lotus tea, a discerning palate is essential. Before indulging, bring the cup closer to inhale its captivating aroma. The invigorating scent of lotus intertwines with the tea's subtle bitterness, creating a memorable experience. Savoring tea with tea companions is a great way to experience the serenity of Vietnamese tea culture.
5. Where to buy Vietnamese lotus tea?
Vietnamese lotus tea can be found in supermarkets and grocery stores across Vietnam. West Lake lotus tea Hanoi is considered the best lotus tea brand in Vietnam. The rich taste of Tang Cuong green tea (Thai Nguyen Province) and the distinctive fragrance of Bach Diep lotus planted in West Lake create the most premium tea of all time.
Here are some reputable West Lake lotus tea brands:
- Ngoc Moc Store: 2A Alley, 431 Au Co, Nhat Tan, West Lake, Hanoi
- Ba Dan Lotus Tea: 33 To Ngoc Van, Quang An, West Lake, Hanoi
- Minh Cuong Lotus Tea: 135 Nguyen Ngoc Nai, Khuong Thuong, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi.
In addition to Vietnamese lotus tea, tourists should try other Vietnamese tea types, sample the aromatic local coffee, and savor the diverse and tantalizing Vietnamese food to truly immerse in the country's rich culinary culture.
Apart from its diverse cuisine, Vietnam offers a plethora of tourist attractions and entertainment options. To fully enjoy your stay, you should choose comfortable accommodations.
Vinpearl, the leading brand in tourism, resorts, and entertainment services in Vietnam, boasts a chain of hotels and resorts. All are located in renowned destinations such as Ha Long, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc. These luxurious properties provide a range of upscale amenities, including spas, restaurants, casinos, golf courses, and entertainment facilities. Vinpearl ensures to meet your demands and provide an all-inclusive experience during your Vietnam vacation.
Vietnamese lotus tea holds a special place in Vietnamese tea culture as a symbol of tradition and heritage. With its potential health benefits, sophisticated making process, and cultural significance, it has become an alluring beverage for tea enthusiasts worldwide. The delicate and soothing taste of lotus tea offers a delightful experience for tourists seeking Vietnamese tea culture.