Vietnamese-style Brewing


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Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby karmaplace » Feb 1st, '11, 13:02

My boyfriend is Vietnamese (from around Ho Chi Minh) and likes his tea grossly overbrewed. For example, he will let a Taiwanese oolong steep for 30 minutes to an hour and then drink it like it's water.

He claims that tea is usually brewed in this manner (or at least has that strong of a flavor) in Vietnam.

I'm curious to know if this is true or if my boyfriend is just unique. :roll:
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby Chip » Feb 1st, '11, 13:16

:lol: I bought tea from a Vietnamese store one time ... likely never again. No matter what I did, it tasted like it was waaaaayyyy overbrewed, coincidence? :shock:
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 1st, '11, 13:30

When I had tea in Vietnam, it was served alongside Vietnamese coffee at various coffee stands. The leaves had probably been steeping for a long time, but were also likely used all day. The water was lukewarm and the tea was very, very weak.

In restaurants, I never received tea without asking.

When wandering around the central highlands region, where some of Vietnam's tea is grown, the only gongfu tea I drank was at a Taiwanese-owned tea farm that produced "gao shan" oolong for export to Taiwan.

By the time I made it to Ho Chi Minh/Saigon at the end of my month in Vietnam, I knew enough to order coffee instead of tea. Sounds like I missed out on some high doses of caffeine, from what you're saying. :cry:
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby rdl » Feb 1st, '11, 13:51

karmaplace wrote:I'm curious to know if this is true or if my boyfriend is just unique. :roll:

this is the 'national" drink and your boyfriend is not alone. family ties to vietnam has allowed me to drink a lot of tea in vietnam, and usually i make a quick prayer that there is hot water around to dilute this, in my non-vietnamese opinion - highly bitter overly steeped tea. but not to the vietnamese. when i prepare thai nguyen tea at home i pour it off. but that's not the true method: let it steep let it steep let it steep.
i can go on and on because i still will have the sensation come back to me even though i haven't had it prepared like that for quite some time.
however - i will say the hollow coconut husks that are used as tea pot warmers are great. especially the old ones that you can see in temples.
vietnamese teas (thai nguyen and bac thanh are my prefered) are really nice teas. i highly recommend them! but i prefer a 1-2 minute steep.
the weak tea that was refered to being served with coffee, is intended to be weak and cool; as the greeks serve a glass of water with a cup of coffee, the vietnamese will serve a weak cup of tea with coffee. just to refresh, not to compete with the coffee taste.
i am less familiar with how tea is prepared in the north of vietnam - where it is grown, as the food and tea culture is very different. but if you're in the south - learn the words hot water so you can dilute your tea that you will be so graciously served where ever you go.
Last edited by rdl on Feb 1st, '11, 14:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby karmaplace » Feb 1st, '11, 14:00

Thanks for all the information, rdl!

I've been trying to get him not to overbrew, at least for my cups anyway. :lol: His verdict on "my style" brewing (brewing for the recommended amount of time) was, "It's good...but I like my style better." :shock:
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby rdl » Feb 1st, '11, 14:14

karmaplace,
in my opinion, you'll never win :lol: . maybe that's for the best, it keeps the tradition.
i will be very curious to know if you can ever develope a taste for his "style."
until then, if you can get to the pot to pour some into your cup after a minute or so, i think you'll really like the vietnamese teas. thai nguyen iced in summer is a real treat as well.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby wyardley » Feb 1st, '11, 15:33

Is he ethnic Chinese? A lot of ethnic Chinese in Vietnam and SE Asia are from around Chaozhou.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby rdl » Feb 1st, '11, 21:45

by the way, it is the year of the cat (vietnam doesn't have a rabbit).
what does the cat signify? well, i am told all years are good years! so...
Chuc Mung Nam Moi = happy new year (cat or rabbit) to all those who celebrate now.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby karmaplace » Feb 4th, '11, 10:24

wyardley wrote:Is he ethnic Chinese?


He's Kinh Vietnamese. :)
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby Michael_C » Feb 11th, '11, 13:39

The Vietnamese bodegas in my neighborhood sell a loose tea that's awful - Au Jasmine, I think, in a little yellow tin - they all sell it (there are three Vietnamese markets next to each other a few blocks away). It brews so astringent and sour that it almost doesn't taste like tea at all. Yikes!
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby Chip » Feb 11th, '11, 13:54

Michael_C wrote:The Vietnamese bodegas in my neighborhood sell a loose tea that's awful - Au Jasmine, I think, in a little yellow tin - they all sell it (there are three Vietnamese markets next to each other a few blocks away). It brews so astringent and sour that it almost doesn't taste like tea at all. Yikes!

+1, this was the "tea" I purchased from a Vietnamese market as well ... as I described above. Putrid stuff.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby rdl » Feb 14th, '11, 01:37

Michael_C wrote:The Vietnamese bodegas in my neighborhood sell a loose tea that's awful - Au Jasmine, I think, in a little yellow tin - they all sell it (there are three Vietnamese markets next to each other a few blocks away). It brews so astringent and sour that it almost doesn't taste like tea at all. Yikes!

yes, $2 tins of tea are not so good. but it is clear there are vietnamese (not teas - from china! - that are sold in vietnamese stores) teas that are superb. here is something from the tao of tea web site for thai nguyen tea:
Origin: Thai Nguyen, Vietnam

Plucking Season: Spring

Introduction: Tea has been growing in northern Vietnam for over 2000 years. The hilly terrain and ideal tea-growing climate are home to some of the oldest varietals in existence. Teas made from these plants have a character all their own. They are as distinctive and elegant as Vietnamese culture itself.

Thai Nguyen Tea
For the purist, unscented green tea from the mountains of Thai Nguyen is considered the best choice for savoring the intricacies of Vietnamese tea. The soil and climate of this region are ideal for producing a flavorful, aromatic brew.

Ancient Traditions
Similar to China and Japan, Vietnam has a long developed tea aesthetic with social and spiritual connotations. The occasion, the guests and the setting determine which tea is prepared and how it is served. Gardens, poetry and ornamental tea pots are also an important part of Vietnam’s tea tradition.

Distinctive Leaf
Vert du Vietnam green tea has been carefully crafted using a particular combination of pan-firing, rolling and oven roasting to maintain a rich, jade-green color and a distinctive, slender, beautifully twisted leaf.

Flavor Profile: A golden, buttery infusion with a pleasant, bitter-sweet aftertaste. Very fragrant with aromas of toasted grain, fennel and passionfruit.
- so put aside the mass produced stuff and try something of quality.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby karmaplace » Feb 15th, '11, 12:55

I forgot about my tea while I was on Skype with my boyfriend tonight (he's out of town) and completely botched the first infusion.

When I finally remembered it, I drank it as penance, all the while making a face and uttering, "Hey, I made it your style." :lol:
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby karmaplace » Feb 16th, '11, 00:23

rdl wrote:Origin: Thai Nguyen, Vietnam

Plucking Season: Spring

Introduction: Tea has been growing in northern Vietnam for over 2000 years. The hilly terrain and ideal tea-growing climate are home to some of the oldest varietals in existence. Teas made from these plants have a character all their own. They are as distinctive and elegant as Vietnamese culture itself.

Thai Nguyen Tea
For the purist, unscented green tea from the mountains of Thai Nguyen is considered the best choice for savoring the intricacies of Vietnamese tea. The soil and climate of this region are ideal for producing a flavorful, aromatic brew.

Ancient Traditions
Similar to China and Japan, Vietnam has a long developed tea aesthetic with social and spiritual connotations. The occasion, the guests and the setting determine which tea is prepared and how it is served. Gardens, poetry and ornamental tea pots are also an important part of Vietnam’s tea tradition.

Distinctive Leaf
Vert du Vietnam green tea has been carefully crafted using a particular combination of pan-firing, rolling and oven roasting to maintain a rich, jade-green color and a distinctive, slender, beautifully twisted leaf.

Flavor Profile: A golden, buttery infusion with a pleasant, bitter-sweet aftertaste. Very fragrant with aromas of toasted grain, fennel and passionfruit.
- so put aside the mass produced stuff and try something of quality.


Do you have any recommendations for vendors? I was looking at this (I had heard about Vietnamese Lotus Green; the anise and vanilla comments intrigue me), but I balked when the shipping was more than double the cost of the tea.

I'd love to try out some Vietnamese tea if someone could point out a vendor.
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Re: Vietnamese-style Brewing

Postby rdl » Feb 16th, '11, 16:01

karmaplace,
i have only communicated, never ordered, from them. but i like their selection.
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rmd%3Divns
and
http://www.trung-nguyen-online.com/tra- ... -order.php
this is a large company selling coffee and tea.
for a nice video (in french)
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rmd%3Divns
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