Your Vietnam travel will not be complete without experiencing the diverse foods and drinks here. Among them, Vietnamese tea is a prominent highlight. This article will give you a thorough guide to have a better understanding about the local tea, as well as how to plan for your best tea-exploring journey.
1. The fact about Vietnamese tea that you may not know
The origin of Vietnamese tea culture began thousands of years ago, in the era of the Hung Kings. However, tea production in Vietnam only started around the 1880s, when French colonists established the first Vietnamese tea plantations in the area around Phu Tho, northwest of Hanoi. Today, Vietnam is the seventh-largest global producer of tea and ranked 5th in terms of global tea exports.
In Vietnam, tea drinking is a fairly informal practice, without complex etiquette rules as in some other countries. Nevertheless, it still plays an essential role in the daily life of Vietnamese people.
Tourists may come across their first experience of tea culture through having meals at eateries since lots of Vietnamese foods are served together with tea. Vietnamese tea can also be served at the beginning of a meeting, after a meal at the restaurant, or at a street vendor while hanging out with friends. “Trà chanh” (Vietnamese lemon iced tea) has become an icon when it comes to the street culture of Vietnamese youngsters.
Moreover, having a cup of tea after dinner is a habit of many Vietnamese households, when all family members can gather and share what they have done during the day.
2. Some prominent benefits of drinking Vietnamese tea
Besides cultural values, drinking Vietnamese tea also has numerous benefits on your health.
- Keep your body hydrated
Drinking Vietnamese tea keeps your body hydrated since tea has a higher water content than other beverages. In addition, drinking tea every day is also beneficial for the skin and hair, promotes metabolism, and helps all body systems to work properly.
- Slow down aging
Vietnamese tea contains numerous antioxidants, which help eliminate toxins from the body, slow down the aging process, and nourish the body from the inside.
- Reduce stress
Vietnamese tea contains caffeine, which can reduce stress and improve short-term memory. Since tea has less caffeine compared to coffee, it is better for the nervous system.
- Prevent some common illnesses
Drinking tea regularly has been proven to help reduce blood clots and blood pressure, thus helping prevent heart diseases. In addition, tea also helps prevent prostate cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer in women.
3. The 5 most popular Vietnamese tea types to taste once
Vietnamese tea varies in scent and taste. However, one common feature that is found in all types of Vietnamese tea is the light and delicate flavors. Listed below are the 5 most popular Vietnamese tea types recommended for tourists.
3.1. Vietnamese green tea (Tra xanh)
Green tea can be found in every corner of Vietnam. If you try some random tea at a random street vendor, that is probably Vietnamese green tea. The tea is usually light green or yellow in color, with a mild taste. Green tea is produced without the oxidation process. Therefore, it contains the most antioxidants among all Vietnamese tea types.
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3.2. Vietnamese black tea (Tra den)
Vietnamese black tea is a type of tea that is completely oxidized. Usually having a strong flavor, some black teas are extremely heavy. The colour of black tea can vary, often from light brown to deep red.
3.3. Vietnamese oolong tea (Tra oolong)
Vietnamese oolong tea takes the most time to produce. The oxidation and rolling processes in oolong tea production are repeated several times, resulting in an outstanding aroma and various flavours. Its clean and buttery taste is the reason why oolong tea is most suitable for beginners in tea culture.
3.4. Vietnamese ginger tea (Tra gung)
Ginger, with its medicinal ingredients, has numerous health benefits. Therefore, adding ginger to hot tea is a method widely used by Vietnamese people to create a drink that is effective in terms of dealing with nausea, flu, cold, or stomachache. If you often suffer from car sickness or seasickness, drink a cup of ginger tea 1 to 2 hours before the trip and it would help you a lot.
3.5. Vietnamese flower tea (Tra uop hoa)
Flower tea is a unique example of Vietnamese tea culture. The natural scents of flowers are carefully transferred into the tea, creating various blends of flavors.
- Vietnamese lotus tea
Vietnamese lotus tea (Tra sen) is traditionally prepared by putting high-quality green tea leaves in a lotus flower and leaving them to absorb the fragrance overnight. Lotus tea should be kept in the fridge for at least two months before consuming, as the longer it stays at a low temperature, the more flavorful and fragrant it will get.
- Vietnamese artichoke tea
There are two kinds of artichoke tea. One made from artichoke flowers is sweet, nutty and has a yellow colour. The other, made from artichoke stems, is black and has a bitter taste.
- Vietnamese jasmine tea
Jasmine tea in Vietnam is made by repeatedly layering jasmine blossoms between fresh-harvested green tea leaves. With an intense aroma, jasmine tea offers a strong tea-tasting experience.
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4. Where to buy the best quality Vietnamese tea?
If you are planning a trip to experience the best Vietnamese tea, it is recommended that you visit these 3 most famous tea-growing areas of the country: Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen, and Lam Dong. There, tourists have a chance to buy the best quality tea as well as explore marvellous tea plantations.
For each destination that you intend to visit during your Vietnamese tea tour, you should plan where to stay in advance to have the best experience. Take a look at the hotel and resort system of Vinpearl - the top-rated accommodation brand with high-class services in Vietnam. Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Hoi An, and Vinpearl Da Nang are consistently among the most recommended places to stay during your trip to Vietnam.
Vietnamese tea is way more than just a common drink to the people of this S-shaped country. It is likened to the soul of their daily life and is definitely a special part of Vietnamese culture that tourists should not miss out on. Plan your trip to Vietnam now in order to get the best experience out of this delightful treat!