Lotus tea is a quintessential gift of the Hanoians. Back in the day, only noble families and the royals could have lotus tea. Nowadays, Ho Tay lotus tea remains a precious gift and is the most expensive line of Vietnamese tea. We can take you on a custom tour of Vietnam and show you the best places that grow tea. Some of these places used to be in Vietnam battlefields which you can visit in our tours.
The ancient Hanoians found a way to bring lotus into the art of tea. Tea marinated from lotus must be of premium quality. Lotus flowers used to marinate tea have to be flowers blooming in West Lake (Hồ Tây) in Hanoi. It is called Sen Bách Diệp, which means “hundred petals lotus.”
People pick up lotus blossoms in the early morning, before sunrise. Then, the petals are removed and the pistils (also called lotus rice) are filtered out.
In order to marinate 1kg of tea, need 1,400 fresh lotus flowers are needed. While marinating the tea, the lotus rice is mixed with the tea. The mixture is left to compost for 3 days. The artisans then dry the tea using their secret traditional techniques.
The tea, after having marinated for the first time, will have its old lotus rice sieved out and a new batch of rice will be used to marinate again. On average, each kilogram of Ho Tay lotus tea must be marinated with lotus rice from 5 to 7 times throughout 3 weeks for the scent to be strong and long-lasting.
One only needs to use water boiled at 90 degrees Celsius. The tea may become too hot if boiled at 100 degrees. Do not stir the lotus tea because you may reduce the scent.
Hold the tea for 30 to 60 seconds, then pour it into another pot. After that, pour the tea into smaller cups for drinking. The purpose of the pot is to balance the tea so it will not get too intense or too light when poured into cups.
After the first batch of tea, continue to pour the second batch into the pot in the same manner as the first. Add a few extra seconds during the tea-holding process.
The above is the correct way to brew ho tay lotus tea. It’s neither too complicated nor too sophisticated to have a cup of lotus tea that is excellent in its color, scent, and taste.