Vietnam Tea: Tea Culture and Main Tea Producing Areas in Vietnam


Tea has been a common drink in Vietnam for thousands of years. There is a saying in Vietnam that tea is a perfect catalyst for a smooth and endless conversation as the taste and smell of a hot cup of tea would trigger the feeling of sharing and intimacy.

The history of tea in Vietnam

Sipping a cup of tea in the morning has long been considered an elegant ritual for many people around the world. Tea has literally made its way to every corner of the world. For many countries, people have created their own unique tea culture, which has been long praised for centuries. Vietnam is not an exception since most Vietnamese households would probably have a teapot, which is ready to brew a perfect pot of tea at any given time.

This ritual for Vietnamese people dates back to thousands of years ago when tea was first planted for its application in medicine. There is no explicit evidence of whether tea trees were naturally grown in Vietnam in the first place or it was brought from somewhere to Vietnam. However, rumor says that tea was brought to Vietnam from a so-called Golden Triangle – Chinese border, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, and Vietnam) – more than 1,000 years ago.

Vietnamese Green Tea, source:

From then, the planting of tea has begun but only in small-scale household families. Only until the 1880s, the production of tea has been industrialized in concentrated areas for tea with the very first plantations in Phu Tho, the northwest Province of Vietnam. This is the very start of booming tea production in Vietnam later on.

Main producing areas of tea in Vietnam

After some first tea plantations in Phu Tho Province were well established, the production of tea has started to grow steadily over years. Today, Vietnam is statistically the seventh biggest tea producer worldwide and is ranked the fifth for its exporting volume.

At present, over 30 provinces in Vietnam have grown and produced tea on a large and lavish scale. However, there are four main producing areas in Vietnam which are the Northwest region, Northeast region, Highlands tea region.

Northewest region of Vietnam

For the Northwest region, there are six provinces that have a high-capacity of tea production, namely, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa. The type of tea which is widely grown in this area is wild tea a relic of past cultivation. The wild tea trees are likely to produce a type of tea that is fresh, organic with the flavor of raw and grassy. The main concentration areas for wild tea production are located in the mountain ranges of Tay Con Linh (Ha Giang) and Hoang Lien Son (Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai).

A tea tree farm at Moc Chau Town, source:

A well-known place for tea farms in the Northwest which should not be missed to mention is Moc Chau town, a large, mountainous district of Son La city. This is where some vast tea plantations, spreading over many rolling hills, have been farmed for hundreds of years. The majority of tea varieties you can find here are Oolong, Kim Tuyen, and Shan Tuyet. However, Oolong and Kim Tuyen have only been adapted and planted here in recent years, only Shan Tuyet is originally grown and produced in the first place for many years.

Northeast region of Vietnam

The best-known type of Vietnam Tea comes from the Northeast region, prominently Tan Cuong in Thai Nguyen Province. This producing area has been awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the Vietnamese government. This Geographical indication means the sign used to identify a product as originating from a specific region, locality, territory, or country. Therefore, Tan Cuong tea has been famously considered to have the best quality of green tea and black tea as well, with its unique and own brand name.

Green Tea Leaves are being plucked by hands at a farm in Thai Nguyen Province

With favorable conditions of weather and soil, Tan Cuong has proven to be one of the best places for tea growth in Vietnam. For tea production, the leaves are rolled and curled. There are few bare stems and some buds in the mix. The aroma has scents of sweet dry grass and light brown sugar. Especially, as it is produced from fresh tea buds and leaves, infused tea will bring scents of fresh-cut grass, and toasted nut to tea drinkers.

Highlands tea region of Vietnam

Highlands region consists of four provinces: Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam Dong, which has earned its reputation for its plateau growing various kinds of agricultural products. For tea products, this region has witnessed the growth of Oolong tea production at a very fast pace. Oolong tea is made from large well-formed leaves that will sometimes also contain the stem of the bush. These curled tea leaves will produce a cup of tea with the color of pale green and the flavor of refreshing sweet and smooth.

Farmers are havesting Oolong Tea at a farm in Lam Dong Province

The main center for tea production in the Highlands region is Lam Dong Province (in the Central Highlands). Lam Dong possesses its own unique features of cool weather (the average temperature around 18 Celcius) and Basalt soil, which then makes its tea a stand-out among other places.

Where to buy the best quality tea in Vietnam

Vihaba has a long history of providing high-quality tea made and produced in Vietnam at a high capacity. You can easily place an order with us by clicking here.

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