In the days between the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter, when the first monsoon winds come, we enjoy a cup of tea together with our friends to better feel life and the outstanding cultural features in tea enjoyment by Hanoians.
For four thousand years, ancient Vietnamese knew how to scent tea with lotus, jasmine, aglaia, daisy and orchid to enrich the taste of this elegant pleasure. In the reign of Tu Duc, people packed tea into small-sized paper bags and put these bags into each lotus. At night, the lotus closed to cover the tea bag all night. When scenting tea in a great quantity, people picked up white seeds at the top of the pistil, also known as “lotus rice” and then mixed it with the tea and brewed it. When the lotus rice shrank, tea was dried with hot coals at a moderate temperature to keep the flower’s fragrance. To have tasteful tea, they had to be very fussy.
Developed during the late 12th century in Japan, tea enjoyment has become a typical feature in the culture of the land of the rising sun. From simple tea drinking, Japanese people studied the way of drinking tea and tea etiquette until it became an art. In the past years, this art has been introduced to Vietnam and has been quickly received by young people. Nowadays, it has been developed as a new trend. In Hanoi, there are many tea shops with new styles, meticulously combining Japanese tea enjoyment with Vietnamese teas to become a Vietnamese tradition.
The art of ancient Vietnamese tea drinking is summarised in two idioms: “First water, second tea, third cup, forth jar, five mates” and “alcohol should be drunk slowly but tea should be drunk immediately”. It means that once poured, tea must be drunk immediately so that you can feel its heat, its fragrance and its full taste. You should hold the cup of tea in your hands, slowly sip the tea and enjoy the tea with your soul and with your senses. A deliciouscup of tea shakes human intimate feelingsgently and in harmony with the sky and earth.
In the noisy urban atmosphere, Hanoians now like going to quiet tea shops to enjoy this elegant pleasure. At these tea shops, each room has wooden furniture for guests. Tea drinking is very suitable for groups of 3 – 4 people who need a quiet space to talk.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department