Beautiful Vietnam
Hanoi’s lotus tea-making art
  • | | July 02, 2016 09:08 AM
 >>  Young Hanoi women enchanted by lotus blossoms

Hanoians make an art of their precious lotus tea. Many people may think the price of VND7 million a kilo is high, but even a glimpse of the production process is enough to prove its value for money.

It takes up to 21 days and 1,200 lotus flowers to make just a kilo.

For a long time, people in old villages near the West Lake in Hanoi have been famous for their lotus tea.

West Lake lotuses stand out from those grown elsewhere in the country thanks to their enormous size and pure, special flagrance.

However, with limited access to these lotus flowers, many of Hanoi’s tea artisans have had no choice but to give up on their long-standing craft, which has been passed down over several generations.


During the lotus season, Luu Thi Hien in Quang An Commune, Tay Ho District, often has to wake up at 4 am to pick the lotus flowers. Previously, she used to take the lotuses from areas around West Lake, but in recent years, as the lotus growing area in West Lake lotus has shrunk she has had to search further.

The lotus sellers can make more profits by keeping the lotus flowers in the lake and charging people who want to take photographs at the photogenic ponds. Hien and her husband had to hire a pond in Tu Liem District to grow the famous Bach Diep lotus.





Hien said that lotuses should be picked early in the morning so that their scent can best be kept.


After being picked, the lotus flowers are kept in small tent set up on a bank to preserve their scent.


Hien said that making lotus tea requires patience and delicate skills. Most of people she hires for the tea production have ample experience.



First, the lotus stamen is separated and cleaned to be used for scenting tea 

A layer of tea and a thin layer of lotus stamen are staggered and then wrapped in moisture-proof paper or in lotus leaves in order to keep both the flavours of the tea and the lotus stamen.

After three days, the mixture of tea and lotus stamen is separated and the process is repeated seven times. A batch of lotus tea is completed after 20 days. The preserved tea is later dried with a special kind of coal and stir-fried to retain the lotus aroma for as long as possible.



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