The Special Lotus Tea in Hanoi

Published:  09:54 Friday - September 23, 2016

 The Special Lotus Tea in Hanoi

Lotus is considered as a national flower in Vietnam. The combination between lotus and tea makes a special tea that people can’t forget if have a chance to try one time. There are many regions in Vietnam produce lotus tea but lotus tea from West Lake, Hanoi has an unique flavor.

Hanoi has long been known for its lotus tea which the locals prepare and enjoy in an elegant manner. Hanoians are very proud of their tea, especially lotus tea from Tay Ho, which was once served at the royal court.

Lotus flower are easy to grow and can thrive almost anywhere. However, the lotus blooms found in Ho Tay have a distinctive fragrance. As such, locals even built a Buddhist pagoda named Kim Lien (Golden Lotus) in honors of this flower.

This kind of lotus is also known as the "lotus of a hundred leaves". It features a beautiful flower, large leaves and a distinctive fragrance that infuses deeply into tea.

On West Lake, the lotus bloom for just three months, between the fourth and the seventh months of the lunar calendar. This is the hard season for tea makers.

The lotus used to make the tea must be collected in the early morning, when the dew remains heavy, in order to ensure the tea's freshness. After being picked, the anther (the part of the stamen that carries pollen) is quickly separated from the flower before it withers and loses its fragrance.

Workers must rush and perform this job with great care.

Making lotus tea requires many steps, all of which require sensitivity and skill. First of all, the anther is taken from the flower and mixed with high grade dried green tea and tea from the Thai Nguyen Highlands is excellent, as is San Tuyet (Mountains, Sweet and not too acrid, these teas complement the lotus fragrance.

Scenting the tea is the most difficult phase of production. For every layer of tea, a layer of fresh lotus anthers must be laid down.

The mix is then stored in a closed environment for two days to allow the lotus fragrance to infuse into the dried tea leaves.

After two days, the lotus anthers are removed from the tea and replaced with fresh ones. This process is repeated seven or eight times over a span of three weeks or more. After this, the famous Tay Ho Tea will be ready for marker.

The tea leaves are very small, dry and crisp. It takes 1.5 to 1.7 kilograms of lotus anthers, or 1,500 lotus flowers, to make just one kilogram of tea. Each batch yields only five to seven kilograms of the finished product. As such, the entire family can produce roughly 100 kilos of lotus tea per season.

Ho Tay and the lotus growing areas are shrinking quickly, causing concern to both tea makers and fans of this special brew. The family of Mr.Tien has been devoted to this craft for many years. They are committed to preserving it as a tradition passed down from their ancestors and part of the culture of Thang Long Ha Noi.

The lotus is associated with Buddhism and purity. Both plants are employed in traditional herbal medicine.

A pot of Tay Ho lotus tea retains its fragrance and taste for several rounds. Anyone lucky enough to have tasted this special brew will recall its special sweetness and fragrance.

 

Hanoians are proud of their culinary traditions; of which tea drinking is an integral part sophisticated locals use morning dew to brew their tea. For generations, Hanoians have shared cups of lotus tea with their friends and admired the blooming flowers. A pot of lotus tea is associated with love, compassion and humanitarianism.

Ha Noi still retains many of its fine old traditions, stirring feelings of love and attachment in visitors.

 

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