The Vietnam Record Organization published the list of 50 gift specialties nominated by localities, tourism agencies, domestic and international tourists. The main ingredients include dried tea leaves and water. Other parts depend on the type of tea, which would be different flowers (lotus, jasmine), fruits, or herbs. The countless methods in which to prepare and enjoy them are very interesting to discover.
1. Green tea (Tra Xanh)
Green tea is the most popular tea type in Vietnam.
The most famous green tea is from Tan Cuong District (Thai Nguyen Province). Green tea is made of 4 steps: picking buds, wilting, cracking and drying. To prevent oxidation, when the tea buds are picked down, the process of wilting is carried out promptly, and the oxidation is immediately prevented by stir-frying or steaming. High temperatures will cause enzymes in tea leaves to stop working.
It therefore contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. Green tea fibers are shaped by rubbing on hands, pressing on a pan, rubbing or rolling, creating many different shapes. Green tea may help prevent a range of ailments including cancer and lower cholesterol.
Vietnamese green tea can be served in many styles, including boiled fresh leaves (the simplest way), loose leaf green tea brewed in hot water and added ice, sugar or lemon. Tea water is usually green or yellow.
2. Oolong tea (Tra O Long)
Vietnamese Oolong tea has a different taste from same kind of Chinese.
Despite the origins from China, Vietnamese Oolong tea has a different taste from same kind of Chinese.
Cao Son Oolong is the only popular Oolong tea in Vietnam so people often misunderstand that Oolong is a kind of tea. In fact, it is a group of teas (besides green tea, black tea) including any teas that is partially oxidized from 8% to 80%. Oxidation is reflected in the color of the tea from amber to sepia. It takes so long time to produce Oolong tea. The process includes all 5 basic steps mentioned below, in which the step and oxidation are repeated many times. After each process, people keep the tea leaves rested to oxidize, then do it again many times in a few days.
3. Scented tea (Tra uop huong)
Vietnamese lotus tea always brings a pleasant and mild taste among other common scented teas.
Beside green one, teas with the scent of flowers such as lotus, jasmine and grapefruit are unique examples of Vietnamese tea culture. The whole process is made by hand, in a very careful manner to transmit the natural scent (aroma and taste) into the tea. Scented tea allows the creation of a variety of blends, flavors and quality.
Among the common scented teas, lotus tea is represented as the national soul of Vietnamese tea culture. To produce the finest lotus tea, flowers of lotus must be picked when they have just bloomed and kept fresh. Lotus flower buds are very carefully peeled back, the petals preserved without a single rip or tear until the fresh green tea is put into. Once lotus buds are full of tea and rewoven, people keep them overnight and then, the process is reversed.