A man in Hanoi is trying to maintain the traditional craft of making tea from lotuses specifically grown near West Lake.
Nguyen Quang Man is the third generation in his family to make lotus tea.
Early each morning Man comes to the West Lake area to select the best lotus flowers for the tea production which bloom just slightly to ensure a strong scent.
Despite trying different kinds of lotus, he likes those grown near West Lake the best for its special taste and premium quality. His grandparents and parents also used West Lake lotuses for making tea.
After having the lotus flowers, Man and his wife classify their parts such as sepal, stamen and petal. They then gently and quickly peel the small fragrant stamens.
This selection is considered the most time-consuming part of the process and is vital to ensure the tea quality.
Each kilo of lotus-scented tea requires around 1,000 lotus flowers. Currently, a kilo of lotus tea is priced at VND7-8 million (USD304.34-347.82).
Tea drinking has been preserved by many generations of Hanoi people. Lotus in Hanoi’s West Lake is fragrant with hundreds of nice pink shaded petals and a subtle distinctive scent. Lotus tea is jade green in colour, with tightly twisted leaves and with a pale, amber-coloured infusion.
For many people, tea is not just a drink. Tea drinking has become an elegant hobby enjoyed by many Vietnamese people and Hanoians in particular.
For a long time, villages around the West Lake in Quang Ba, Tay Ho and Nghi Tam in Hanoi have been well known for making lotus tea. It is the scented tea that forms the delicate art of enjoying lotus tea- a special gift of Hanoians.