A Journey Through Vietnam’s Vibrant Tea Traditions

Vietnam Tea Plantation

Greetings tea enthusiasts! In today’s article, we’ll be exploring the dynamic landscape of tea production in Vietnam. While not as well known as Chinese or Indian tea, Vietnam has a thriving industry and a tea culture all its own.

Tea has been grown in Vietnam for centuries, but the modern industry took off in the 1920s when the French established large plantations in the northern highlands. Major cultivation areas are found in Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, and Nghe An provinces.

Fresh green tea

The tropical climate of northern Vietnam is ideal for growing tea. The main teas produced are green tea and oolong, along with speciality local varieties like lotus tea. Popular green teas include Shan Tuyet tea and Longjing-style teas grown near West Lake in Hanoi.

Vietnam’s oolong teas offer incredible diversity. Darkly roasted and heavily fermented varieties like Thang Long oolong contrast with the vibrant greener flavors of teas like the renowned Ngoc Thuy ‘Green Water’ oolong. Each region produces its signature style of oolong.

Beyond major plantations, much Vietnamese tea is still grown on small farms using traditional techniques. Picking is done by hand to select the most delicate buds and leaves. Tea is then gently processed to preserve fresh flavors.

Tea is deeply ingrained in Vietnamese culture and daily life. A typical family may start the day with chè xanh – an invigorating green tea over ice. Sipping lotus tea after a meal is believed to aid digestion. For social gatherings, a pot of fragrant jasmine tea greets guests. The tea traditions here showcase both refinement and communal joy.

With its ancient tea roots and continued innovations, Vietnam earns its place among the great tea cultures of the world. The diversity of terroirs and styles promises exciting discoveries for any tea lover. I hope this overview inspires you to explore the teas of this vibrant country. Please join me again next time as we journey to new corners of the tea world together!

Major Tea Regions

Chinese tea

Indian tea

Turkish tea

Japanese tea

Kenyan tea

Sri Lankan tea