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Dry leaves for Vietnamese lotus tea
Dry leaves for Vietnamese lotus tea

Traditionally, Vietnamese tea drinking is considered a hobby of the older, more learned members in households and in society in general, although currently it has been becoming more popular in younger demographics as well. Tea drinking would accompany aristocratic activities such as composing poems, tending flowers, or simply appreciating nature. Vietnamese people generally favor lighter teas with flower fragrance, such as green tea or floral-scented white tea.

Vietnamese teas are produced in many areas that have been known for tea-house "retreats". For example, some are located amidst the immense tea forests of the Lamdong highlands, where there is a community of ancient Ruong houses built at the end of the 18th century. Vietnam has amongst the world's oldest trees, dating back to 1000 years.[1]

Green tea is the most popular amongst Vietnamese people. In 2011 it accounted for over 63% of overall retail volume sales.[2] Vietnamese green teas have been largely unknown outside mainland Asia until the present day. Vietnamese green teas have a lower content of caffeine compared to Chinese green teas but higher caffeine levels than Japanese green teas.[3] Recent free-enterprise initiatives are introducing these green teas to outside countries through new export activities.

The Vietnam Tea Association (VITA) was founded on July 19, 1998, and their goal is to protect and inform growers, consumers, and business owners of Vietnamese teas.[4] Of the different regions, Thái Nguyên is considered to have the finest quality tea throughout Vietnam (and throughout Indochina by the French during colonization).[5][6]

Types

Statue of a teapot at Tân Cương commune in Thái Nguyên, a famed growing region
Statue of a teapot at Tân Cương commune in Thái Nguyên, a famed growing region

Other common types of Vietnamese flower-infused tea are chrysanthemum tea (trà cúc), aglaia tea (trà ngâu, tea infused with the flower from the Aglaia duperreana plant), and trà sói, tea infused with the flower from the Chloranthaceae family.

References

  1. ^ Wenner, Robert, "The Deep Roots of Vietnamese Tea: Culture, Production, and Prospects for Development" (2011). Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. Paper 1159. http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/1159
  2. ^ "Tea in Vietnam". Euromonitor International Ltd. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
  3. ^ Vuong, Q; V., Nguyen, V. V., Golding, J. B., & Roach, P. D. (February 2011). "The content of bioactive constituents as a quality index for Vietnamese teas". International Food Research Journal. 18 (1).((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ CHÈ VIỆT NAM, CHÈ VIỆT NAM. "Che Viet".
  5. ^ "Thai Nguyen - The Cradle of Vietnamese Tea". Vietnam Online.
  6. ^ "Thai Nguyen green tea – one of the most famous Vietnamese green teas". Tra Viet.
  7. ^ "Thai Nguyen - The Cradle of Vietnamese Tea". Vietnam Online.
  8. ^ "Artichoke Tea – A Sweet Stomach and Liver Relief".
  9. ^ Thuong, P.; Su, N., Ngoc, T., Hung, T., Dang, N., Thuan, N., & ... Oh, W (2009). "Antioxidant activity and principles of Vietnam bitter tea Ilex kudingcha". Food Chemistry. 113 (1): 139–145. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.07.041.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)