Tea in Vietnam: How its types and culture are

A popular drink presented anytime and anywhere in daily Vietnamese life is tea.

This unique drink plays a vital role in shaping the local culture and style of welcoming friends and visitors.

tasty tea in vietnam
A lot of tasty teas in Vietnam for drinking. ©Vietnamdrive

Let’s take a closer look at the aspects of Tea in Vietnam!

1. Tea Culture in Vietnam

Many people believe drinking tea habits came from China and entered Vietnamese life thousands of years ago. No one remembers when or where it started, only know that it is an essential part of eating and drinking habits in Vietnam.

A story that seems to be a legend tells about the tea origin: There was a man in the process of picking herb leaves in the forest. While resting and cooking water under a tree, accidentally, a leaf fell into the pot. He found the water became a beautiful color and a faint fragrance. Try drinking a few sips, and he felt refreshed. Then, he took this tree to plant and popularize it in the country. He called it “Tea”.

Nowadays, you will find the custom of drinking tea spreading around Vietnam and many Asian countries. For example, when you drink coffee at most coffee shops in Vietnam, a cup of golden water is served for free. Many foreign tourists mistake it for beer when they first see it, but it is tea.

vietnamese tea
Tea is served with a coffee cup at a cafe. ©Vietnamdrive

When you visit a local family, they often serve you a few cups of tea because the people think that tea is the beginning of all stories.

Tea has become important in spiritual culture, so it also appears in Vietnamese weddings, called a “Tea Party,” served with cakes and fruits. This small party is a part of welcoming guests, friends, and relatives to attend the wedding. While waiting for the main ceremony and party, the “Tea Party” will warm everyone’s heart.

prepare vietnamese tea party
Prepare tea for a party. @tinhngovandl

To serve more tea customers, many tea shops in Vietnam were built, supplying different types of tea, from affordable prices to very high rates for a wide range of customers.

In short, tea is part of spiritual life and culinary culture. You can see Vietnamese people drinking tea at any time of the day, regardless of morning, noon, or night. Tea is not only for themselves but to invite guests and friends.

2. Various Types of Vietnamese Tea

Compared to Vietnamese coffee, tea is no less rich. You will find many different types of tea in shops, markets, and even famous supermarkets in Vietnam.
Here are a few popular Vietnamese teas to try.

2.1. Green tea

green tea in vietnam
Green tea in Vietnam comes from fresh tea leaves. @nttb0712

Green tea, also known as fresh tea, ranks first among teas in Vietnam. The aroma of this tea is very light, and the smell of green leaves creates a feeling of freshness.

This tea is easy to cook and drink and suitable for different ages. This drink is cooked directly from fresh tea leaves, not processed or marinated.

You need to wash the tea leaves and boil them in a pot. You can add a few slices of fresh ginger or lemongrass for extra flavor.

2.2. Dry tea

This tea type is processed by drying green tea leaves when owners cannot sell them all.

With increasing demand, many tea farms are growing to collect the leaves, and then the owners process them into dry tea.

Thai Nguyen Province in North Vietnam and Bao Loc District – about 120km from Da Lat City (in Lam Dong province, the Central Highlands) have become famous tea growing and processing areas.

You will find dried tea has two types: One is original dry tea, which means that only green tea leaves are dried and then preserved for long-term use. Second, dried tea is marinated or mixed with other flavors, such as jasmine or chrysanthemum.

To drink this dry tea, you simply need to put it in a cup and add boiling water, and you will have a flavorful cup of tea.

2.3. Chrysanthemum tea

Chrysanthemum tea
Chrysanthemum tea with many yellow flowers. ©Vietnamdrive

In the group of dry teas, chrysanthemum tea is also processed by adding tiny chrysanthemum flowers to tea to create a flavor – mildly fragrant and lightly sweet.

If more chrysanthemum flowers are added, this tea will become a sleep drink that can support sleeping.

Chrysanthemum tea is usually enjoyed in the afternoon or autumn when baby chrysanthemums are in full bloom.

2.4. Jasmine tea

This type of dry tea is popular all around Vietnam because it is carefully packed, easy to transport, and has a long shelf life. So you will find them at grocery stores in Vietnam.

Besides the light scent of jasmine flowers, this tea kind can create mild or strong bitter tastes depending on the amount of tea, more or less.

Just like how to make dry tea, you put it in a cup and add boiling water, and that’s it. You can boil it, but this method can reduce its flavor.

2.5. Lotus tea

lotus tea
Tea comes from lotus, called Lotus tea. ©Vietnamdrive

Lotus tea has a more sophisticated way of marinating and processing, considered one of the most elegant teas in Vietnam.

Tea makers will choose high-quality dry tea, put it in the blooming lotus flowers, and tie it to let the lotus aroma permeate into the tea.

There are two ways to marinate lotus tea:

  • First, every late afternoon, tea is put into the blooming lotus flowers in the lake. The next morning, when it is still early morning dew, the owner comes to collect tea from each lotus. In this way, lotus flowers can also bloom.
  • In the second way, the tea makers cut the lotus flowers and put tea in the lotus. They can then dry the lotus flowers and pack them to sell to users.

2.6. O Long tea

O long tea is made from green tea leaves like the ones above. However, the processing method is different, especially the fermentation process to create enzymes for tea.

This tea has a different taste from regular teas, with light sweetness, gentle aroma, and golden tea water.

2.7. Hue royal tea

hue royal tea
Royal tea in Hue has many herbs. ©Vietnamdrive

A special tea dates back to the Nguyen Dynasty in the Imperial Citadel of Hue. This drink is a typical herbal Vietnamese tea because it combines various herbs into one.

The tea taste is sweet with a slight fragrance of flowers. The effect of Hue royal tea is to create a feeling of coolness in the body, helping to sleep well.

This tea is packaged in bags and sold in many places in Hue. You can buy royal tea in Dong Ba market or supermarket.

3. A few famous tea brands in Vietnam

Many companies are producing and trading tea in Vietnam. To help you find the right tea products, we recommend a few well-known Vietnamese tea brands below:

3.1. Loc Tan Cuong Tea

loc tan cuong tea
O Long Ngoc Thanh Tam ©Loc Tan Cuong Tea

A tea brand of the Thai Nguyen region, headquartered in the Thai Nguyen province, is Loc Tan Cuong Co., Ltd. The company specializes in producing premium teas according to VietGap standards and thoroughly tested.
Currently, the company provides more than 15 different types of tea to domestic and foreign customers. The company has representative offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Company name: Loc Tan Cuong Co., Ltd
  • Address (Manufacturing Factory): Nam Hung Hamlet, Tan Cuong Commune, Thai Nguyen City, Vietnam
  • Phone: 0933 862 589
  • Website: https://loctancuong.com

3.2. Tan Cuong Xanh Tea

Tan Cuong Xanh Tea
©Tan Cuong Xanh Tea

This tea brand is one of the reputable companies producing and processing Thai Nguyen tea. However, the company has its head office in Hanoi and branches in Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang cities.
Tan Cuong Xanh has over 30 different tea products for customers to choose from. The company’s featured products include Dinh Tea, Hook Tea, and High-Quality Tan Cuong Tea.

  • Company name: Tan Cuong Xanh Co., Ltd
  • Address: No. 2, Lane 31/26 Tran Quoc Hoan, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Phone number: 0983412602
  • Website: https://tancuongxanh.vn

3.3. Bao Tin Tea

bao tin tea
©Bao Tin Tea

Bao Tin is a famous Vietnamese tea brand in Bao Loc, Lam Dong province, Vietnam. The company is situated in the famous tea-planting area in the southern mountains of the Central Highlands. The company takes advantage of fresh ingredients to process into tasty tea packages.

This company has 6 main products, including pure green tea, canned tea, boxed tea, jasmine tea, lotus tea, and panda ginseng tea.
In general, Bao Tin’s products are usually aimed at ordinary customers, so the price is relatively low.

  • Company name: Bao Tin Tea
  • Address: 526 Tran Phu Street, Loc Tien Ward, Bao Loc District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam
  • Phone: 0913 181 808
  • Website: www.baotintea.com

In addition to the tea brands listed here, you will find many names in the tea industry in Vietnam as you explore the country.

4. The ways to discover tea culture in Vietnam

Learning about growing, processing, and drinking tea is an exciting activity for your Vietnam adventure.

visit tea farm
A girl visits a tea farm in Bao Loc (Lam Dong Pro.) | @trang.le.huyen

There are two famous tea-growing regions that you can refer to add to your program, including the tea-growing area in Tan Cuong (Thai Nguyen Province), located in the northern region of Vietnam, about 90km north of Hanoi.

The second tea-growing area is Bao Loc City in Lam Dong Province, situated on a famous tourist route from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat, about 205km from Ho Chi Minh City and 120km far from Da Lat.

Coming to these areas, you will have the opportunity to see the vast green tea fields on the hills, lined neatly. Fresh cups of tea will be served for guests to enjoy.

However, if you don’t have the opportunity to go to these areas. Then, you can enjoy tea cups in big cities like Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Hue City. You can taste it at shops specializing in the tea business.

In my opinion, drinking tea at tea shops is more interesting than going to the original tea-planting regions. Going to the tea fields is just to visit, to know tea trees and how tea leaves are.

These farms do almost all tea-growing and processing businesses. However, they do not specialize in serving beverages, so the service at this location is not excellent.

visit tea farm in tan cuong thai nguyen
Visit a tea farm in Tan Cuong, Thai Nguyen. @quynhhxuu1804

FAQ about Vietnamese tea

Where should I buy tea in Vietnam?
Although tea is sold in almost all shops in Vietnam, we recommend you buy it in supermarkets that can offer fair and clear prices.

How much for a tea bag?
Customers often check tea with a gram even though it is in the bag. You will check how many grams are in each bag.

A normal tea can get a price of 20,000 VND per 100 grams. A few unique teas can cost from 100,000 VND per 100 grams.

Thus, tea price is flexible depending on the gram and tea quality.

Do the shops sell hot or cold tea?
At specific tea shops specializing in selling tea, they usually serve hot tea. This way can keep its original flavor and taste.

In coffee shops, you often find cold tea. They add normal ice into a tea to make it cool, so you need to pay attention to this feature because almost all ice comes from tap water.

Can I use tea as a gift to Vietnamese people?
Yes, of course. But, most young people like other things more than tea because there are various tasty drinks in Vietnam, such as milk tea or fruit juice.

It means that tea is suitable for older people, from 50 years old.

In short, tea is a common beverage for Vietnamese people. Green tea can be served freely in a coffee shop or a small eatery.

If you want to enjoy high-quality teas, you should go to shops that specialize in tea drinks.

When you are an international visitor to Vietnam and want to buy tea as a gift, the supermarket is a good place where you can easily choose a variety of teas at affordable prices.

Do you want to enjoy Vietnamese tea? Give us a call to have a cup of tea together when you and I are in the same city in Vietnam.

Please fill out the form to contact us for any requests! Or WhatsApp +84 934 889 667 to our phone! Thank you!


    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.