Khong ai co the lam sach tam hon chi voi nuoc
One does not cleanse the mind with water
Thich Nhat Hanh
By a paddy field in Long Hai near Vung Tau.
Taking a drinks break at Ho Coc, Xuyen district.
A north Vietnamese style house built in south Vietnam.
This house is in a very small town 20 km from the mountains and the first tea terraces. You can buy freshly picked tea leaves and roasted green tea here easily. You can also find floral, white aka milk oolongs here.
In nearly all of Vietnam black tea and dark oolongs are just not drunk and nguoi here will sip it politely but always refuse a second cup. That is not to say that both those teas are unavailable. Black tea is fashionable for the young. Anyone between 4 and 30 years old will drink it but nearly always with ice, small candies and thick, sweetened milk.
In Ho Chi Minh City it is easy to buy every tea right through to artichoke tea.
See post on Japan's best tea - Gyokuro from Kyoto here
Neighbours visit to drink the light green oolong
Approving noises are made throughout.
This is a tea grown in the mountains of south Vietnam. Taiwanese growers work with Vietnamese owners in the commercial development of this tea - the fragrance of this oolong is my reason for drinking this tea. The bouquet from this tea is one of my favourites. The tea has that smoothness which remains through all steepings. Even if you forget the tea and leave it brewing there is no bitter taste.
It is a fine tea that you can steep six or seven times easily. I used three grams in a 150 ml red clay teapot from Bat Trang. The brewing here was around one minute at 95 degrees C.
Son, coy, by the lotus ponds. An excellent place to pick lotus to make lotus green tea known here as tra sen.
In the other direction lie the southern mountains where this oolong is grown.
Phuong, Son's elder sister with lotus flower behind her and in the background the highlands.
Happy tea drinking!