Vietnamese Lotus Tea, a quintessence gift of Hanoi
- on Jan 3, 2018       By: Hai Anh
If England has English breakfast and Japan is famous for green tea, in Vietnam we are proud to serve our own unique tea flavor. As in the previous article, we have introduced you three most popular tea of Vietnam, known as Green tea, plain black tea and scented tea. In this article, Authentik Vietnam will call up your taste bud with the fragment sense of lotus tea.
♦ Inspiration from the pellucid fragment of lotus flower
Tea leaves scented with lotus blossom
It’s not came out of the blue that Lotus has become Vietnamese national flower, a symbol of beauty, purity and good fortune in consider of Asian ancient concept. Lotus can be found everywhere in this S-shaped nation, but ones in Hanoi West Lake was regarded to be the best which nowhere else could ever compare. Not less interesting, Lotus has only a few layers of petals with yellowish nectar, unlike its siblings from the West Lake, which was called “Sen Bách Diệp”, means hundred petals Lotus. The scent of West Lake Lotus is also different from other, yet it’s subtle, but linger-able and especially unforgettable. The ancient Hanoian had found the way to bring all the quintessence of this flower into the art of tea, by making fresh, premium green tea naturally embalmed with the fragrance of Lotus.
♦Story behind Lotus tea
Lotus tea served with mooncake has become a symbol of Vietnamese quintessence
Vietnamese lotus tea or so called “trà sen”, “chè sen”, and “chè ướp sen” is a type of green tea produced in Vietnam and has been served as an important part in many national celebrations. The most original and famous tea making can be found in some old villages situated around the bank of West Lake. The people in Quang Ba, Tay Ho and Nghi Tam village are famous for being the best Lotus tea embalmer in Hanoi with inherited family’s secret receipts for hundred years. In the time of monarchy, Lotus tea was served only to high-class nobles or the Royals hence it was considered luxury and opulent, therefore only limited amount was produced. Later on, Lotus tea is still regarded as precious tea, which is used in special occasion or ceremony only, to express the host’s hospitality.
Lotus was originally created in the Nguyen Dynasty during the 19th century, in dedication of King Tu Duc. At night when the nectar was at its fullest, the servants would row out in the lake where the lotus blossoms grew. Very tenderly and gently, they would peel back each fragile petal of the blossom and fill it with green tea. Then the flower was closed up, and the petals bound with ribbon or silk string, keeping the tea safe and dry as it absorbed the scent of the lotus overnight, but that not the end, early in the morning, they rowed out again not only to collect the tea but also to gather nighttime dew, just enough for a single tea pots. Using a high-grade green tea base from the highland of Vietnam, the Lotus will scent the tea with its luscious fragrance, produces a lovely, sweet aroma, with hints of vanilla tea.
♦ Lotus tea at present time
This traditional method of embalming by wrapping tea inside Lotus blossoms is still used yet no longer popular; only 30 families are using this ancient method. Tea makers nowadays prefer to pick the Lotus blossoms right after it started to bloom than fill them up with tea every night. However, the making procedure of Lotus tea is still very complicated and required a lot of meticulous work from the tea makers. Early in the morning, about 4-5pm before the sunrise, people have to row out in the West Lake to pick up Lotus blossom, this process has to be done quickly in order to get the scent at its finest of freshness and lusciousness. Expert tea centers then choose the best Lotus blossoms and disassemble them, using care, they gently and quickly peeled “Lotus rice”, the small organ that fragrant the blossoms known as stamens. With Lotus petal, they use them as initial scenting process; tea will be embalmed with these petals for 2 days then dried up and passed to the next step with Lotus stamens, which is the most important part in scenting Lotus tea.
♦ Value of the tea
1000 Lotus blossoms deliver only 7 - 8g of stamen, enough talk about how rare and precious this scenting material is. Nevertheless, it does not mean that 1000 Lotus blossoms can provide enough stamens for scenting 1kg of Lotus tea. Just 2g of stamen is enough for scenting 1kg of tea. However, we all have known that the scent of Lotus is just subtle, then this scenting step require to be repeated again and again 7 -8 times to make the tea fully embalmed with the fragrance of Lotus, which mean 1,4 – 1,6kg of Lotus stamen is needed, at least 1400 Lotus blossoms to scent a kilo of tea. Such an enormous number! No surprise that a kilo of this meticulous tea could cost up hundreds dollar per kilo, now you’ve understand why, it worth every penny.
Lotus tea is jade green in color, with tightly twisted leaves and with a pale, amber colored infusion. It has a crisp, clean flavor, vanilla hinted and the great scent of Lotus blossom lingering in the mouth. If you want to taste this legendary tea, wait no longer because we have already restocked this noble tea in our tea product range. Find out about Lotus tea in our website. Premium green tea manually embalmed with the scent of famous West Lake Lotus blossoms.
By its careful consideration in each step of the dainty, time-consuming process, Lotus tea is considered as an indispensable art form of the Hanoian.
Jan 2, 2018
It is amazing but the taste is a bit bitter I think.
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