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.
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.
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.