Drinking Tea: A Unique Culture Of Vietnamese People - VietNamTea
Drinking tea is a daily habit of old people in Vietnam. People often start a new day with some cups of tea in the morning to get more power for the whole day.
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Tea for Vietnamese people is a free-flowing and refreshing necessity. It is a way of life, not just energy to get you through the day.

Origin of Vietnamese Tea

According to historical records, tea, associated with Buddhism, was and originated in pagodas and temples. It was called “Tea Meditation”. This form of tea then quickly became popular in Vietnamese royal court. In the past, that sophisticated tea was enjoyed by the king, mandarin, aristocracy, and noble lineage. Differently, people at normal class simply picked green leaves from tea trees, washed them, softly rumpled, boiled and enjoyed it. In the course of contacts with the Chinese and European industrial approach for many years, Vietnamese people also learned, practiced and created prerequisites for the development of Vietnam’s own tea industry.

Tradition is out and modern is in, however, generation after generation, tea is not only part of Vietnamese everyday life, but also an essential part of the nation’s history and economy. No tea culture can be only expensive and rare. The basis of tea culture is its mass character, accessibility and integration into the daily and festive life of people.

When Do Vietnamese People Drink Tea?

Tea is often served at the start of business meetings, during weddings, after meals or as part of a gossip between friends. Of course, people drink tea at home, any time of the day and for no specific reason. Drinking tea is a beautiful custom in Vietnamese culture.

In cities, people usually drink tea commonly in “quan coc” – a typical of small street vendor – which can easily be seen everywhere, especially in front the gate of bus terminals, train stations, schools, office buildings, sidewalks or even in quiet alleys. There, people can spend a few hours to enjoy hot or iced tea and talk about the most updated news of the world! “Tra chanh” (tea served with ice, lemon and sugar) become an interesting modern trend of Vietnamese street culture for youngsters.

What Are Interesting Features of Vietnamese Tea?

1. Vietnamese people often put all tea cups together and pour tea in a circle so that tea can be delivered equally into all the cups. A standard Vietnam tea set includes a teapot, 4 or 6 small cups and saucers, a large cup or pot for straining or pouring. The best tea sets are from Bat Trang Pottery Village in the outskirts of Hanoi.

Photo Tra Bup Vang

2. Shan Snow Tea (Che Shan Tuyet), also called wild tea, grown in mountainous provinces of Northern Vietnam at 800 – 2,000m, can be re-steeped for over 10 times. It is also one of Vietnam’s signature organic green teas. Tea trees are mostly over 300 years old.

3. A good type of Vietnamese tea can make 3-4 servings by pouring hot water into it again. A shallow saucer should be placed under the teapot when serving tea to catch the overflow and keep warming the bottom of the teapot. With a cup of hot tea, you can sip it slowly to enjoy the flavor, and breathe in to enjoy the good smell. This is the way of drinking tea of Vietnamese people.

4. People living in Vietnam countryside still grow their very own tea trees in gardens. This fresh green leaves are processed differently with loose-leaf green tea mentioned above. People simply boil water and put fresh green tea leaves in. However, people should softly crumple leaves before boiling.


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