Saigon / HCM Vietnam


Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea

Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 24th, '14, 02:22

Deb since you live in SoCal I don't think you'll have any trouble finding some. :D Maybe not the very expensive high grade stuff, that uses like 1,000 lotus stamen per kg, but something very drinkable for not much money at all! I should go back to my previous post and change 'lily' to 'lotus' as it is lotus flower-scented rather than lily.

http://www.tramanhtea-coffee.com/san-ph ... g-267.html

This is what I picked up: 96,000 dong in HCM, so a little over $5 for 250g.

Some solid reading for anyone who is curious:

http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/cgi/v ... collection

Vietnam is now one of my favorite countries in the region...amazing food, beautiful women, nice people and it's still very reasonable. I may have to move at some point!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 24th, '14, 03:42

Trying the oolong from Cho Lon now. Dry it looks like TW oolong--no stems. Grapefruit and sweet floral in infusion 1: bug damage visible in the leaf after expansion. Slightly astringent. Not as good as the best TW oolong by any means, but very drinkable, and cheap too!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby debunix » Apr 24th, '14, 11:35

Thanks for the photo of the tea. I'll start scouting for it.
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby rdl » Apr 24th, '14, 13:23

jayinhk wrote:I'll provide more details later
Nobody dilutes their coffee with it though--it is sipped on the side to cool you down and cleanse your palate, and to cut through the taste of the coffee and condensed milk, which is too intense for some.

thanks for all the details, especially as things have changed since i was last there.
you've evoked memories. i can now even taste the iced tea, which brings down the body temperature after a coffee, and does cut through that thickness. i've just kept the habit of good iced thai nguyen tea during summer. i can find Trung Nguyen (i learned it pronounced trung ne-win) by me and i agree it is good quality for a best selling company. what i don't understand well is that the tea and coffee of vietnam is a different strain, if i have that correct, than other tea growing areas. if you know more i'd be happy to learn. but then, the tea regions border yunnan in china so there must be cross-over. and i think japan and taiwan have imported their strains to grow, but i'd like to be certain before i say so.
one great thing i noticed at ben thanh market is that folk,or popular design on ceramic and other arts and crafts at the market is so easy to find. there are shops with beautiful things - more so in hanoi i noticed 10 years ago - that are very elegant, but the hand painted vietnamese folk style is really nice and easy to find at ben thanh.
i look forward to hearing more, thanks again for posting.
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 24th, '14, 21:41

I know for coffee they grow three varieties; arabica, robusta and another. Coffee is not native to Southeast Asia, so all the varieties were introduced at some point. As for tea, I believe they just use standard sinensis, but there may be some assamica around too in the north.

I didn't notice any teaware in Ben Thanh, and I was looking for it. On my next trip to VN I'll see what I can do about that. Vietnam is only a short hop from here, but the $65 visa is annoying.

Oolong production was introduced by the Taiwanese, so there's that, but the lotus tea appears to be a purely Vietnamese phenomenon. I believe Hanoi is only 90 minutes by air from here, so I may have to head up there for my next trip into VN!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 25th, '14, 00:16

Tried the artichoke tea last night too; very pleasant, surprisingly! :)

There is a good amount of Jingdezhen and familie rose pottery in the Museum of History in Sg, as well as some very cute little Yixings from hundreds of years ago. The museum's well worth visiting IMO.
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby debunix » Apr 25th, '14, 01:01

Is it tea made OF artichokes, or tea flavored with artichokes?
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 25th, '14, 02:18

100% artichoke, so a tisane rather than tea. Mine is from DaLat.

http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.hk/ ... glish.html

Drinking the Trung Nyugen green now; bitter if brewed too hot, but bearable on ice. I'll brew it much cooler next time! This is my favorite of the teas I brought back, and the best looking leaf and value IMO. This is what the Vietnamese drink every day, so I guess that makes sense!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby rdl » Apr 25th, '14, 13:33

jayinhk wrote:I didn't try an artichoke shake--I did, however, try all the beer I could find, from Bia Hoi on up!

sorry, i was looking up the wrong tree. i was thinking of avocados.
http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/20 ... shake.html

jayinhk wrote:Drinking the Trung Nyugen green now; bitter if brewed too hot, but bearable on ice. I'll brew it much cooler next time! This is my favorite of the teas I brought back, and the best looking leaf and value IMO. This is what the Vietnamese drink every day, so I guess that makes sense!

is this tra thai nguyen? i agree it goes bitter with hot water, and over-steeped as well. but as you may have read in earlier posts, that's how it is typically drunk. and if one is not used to it, it's comical the facial expressions that can happen, while the host is happily sipping along.

i also wanted to know if you had any photographs to post?
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 25th, '14, 13:43

I think it is Thai Nguyen--enjoyable green flavor. I need to try it brewed cooler (like longjing) to see how it holds up. :)

I did take some pics of tea, but I don't like the way pics display on this site. I'll get around to it eventually. :)
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Apr 26th, '14, 11:11

Drinking it again, but cooler. It is tra xanh (green) thai nguyen. I like it a lot. :)
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » May 5th, '14, 04:11

Hanoi tea culture at its most basic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pQ9uFznRas

A number of sources say Vietnam has the world's oldest tea trees...I'm sure some in China disagree!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby jayinhk » Jun 13th, '14, 08:44

As far as adding tea to coffee, I read that it is added to the ca phe sua da glass after the coffee is consumed to 'flavor' the tea with a hint of coffee. I personally prefer to keep them separate!
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby MaxO » Aug 13th, '14, 03:19

Hope I can help with any question regarding Vietnam.
I live in Vietnam 2 years and as a tea and coffee lover discovered many wonderful places.
Generally, Traditional Vietnamese tea is close to Chunmee Chinese green tea. Even this ordinary tea is so fragrant!
Interesting that many Taiwanese companies purchase Vietnamese oolong and "finish processing" at their factories in Taiwan and then sell it for good money. At least 3-10 times more expensive than original Vietnamese oolong.
Usual Vietnamese tea companies provide ordinary green, oolong tea, some - black tea. But these companies do not care about design and service. Example: http://www.vietnam-tea.com/products.html
Only last year I found one company with fantastic design. As I understand, initially they targeted for tourists and sell tea gifts, but now they sell online. Their website: http://www.senseasia.net/
Only one thing disappointed me in Vietnamese tea - they produce not so many varieties to compare with China.
Also If you want to find best tea you have to go to the North of Vietnam: Hanoi or Sapa.
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Re: Saigon / HCM Vietnam

Postby Cwyn » Aug 15th, '14, 11:30

My sister bought me a bag of rolled green high mountain oolong in Vietnam, dunno if it was actually Vietnamese tea but the package was in Vietnamese. It was a vacuum packed tea. Very good tea, actually.
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