|Vietnam Teas-Where and How They Are
Grown and Types and Styles Produced
|Although tea has been drunk in Vietnam for thousands of years it has only been
grown and produced there since 1880 when the French arrived and developed
the first tea plantations in Pho Tho, which lies northwest of Hanoi. By the 1940s
they were exporting nearly 2,500 tons of black tea to Europe, and green tea to
|By 1954 a number of new
plantations had been established in the
north with help from Russia and China. More
new tea farms were further developed in the
northern, central, and southern lowlands.
In Vietnam's remote northernmost mountain
regions that border both China's Yunnan and
Guizhou provinces, ancient tea trees were
located, growing in cultivated groups of 30 to
But where the large industrialized estates
are planted with the Trung Du varietal of
Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, the ancient,
wild trees found in the mountains are from
the Shan varietal of Camellia sinensis var.
|assamica, including the Shan Tuyet cultivar.
During WWII, the First Indochina War of 1946-1954 and the war
with America, Vietnam's tea production came to a near stand-
still. In the 1980s they began to slowly rebuild their tea industry
with help from various countries, including Japan, who helped
Vietnam establish production of sencha style green tea to sup-
plement their growing tea demands.
Later India provided technical assistance
with producing black tea, a style the green
tea drinking Vietnamese were not familiar
with. Taiwan taught them how to produce
pouchong style (very lightly oxidized) oolong
tea, which is still manufactured there today
in Lam Dong Province, located in the central
During the mid 1970s, five tea growing re-
gions were developed in the northwest, the
midlands, the northern central coastal areas,
northern highlands, and Viet Bac, which lies
north of Hanoi and was the stronghold of
the Viet Minh during the First Indochina War
of 1946-1954. Lam Dong is Vietnam's lar-
gest tea growing region with over 20,000 hectares of cultivated tea, producing over 100,000
tons of fresh tea leaf yearly.
Tea is manufactured in both large scale processing units, with up
to date machinery and the newest technology, and by small-
holder farmers producing small quantities of artisan made tea.
The smallholder farmers play an important role in the tea indus-
try in these areas, selling either fresh leaf for processing or
processed green tea.
Over 500,000 smallholders have been allocated land and are
under contract to sell a certain percentage of fresh leaf to state
owned farms. Some are contracted to supply leaf to medium or
large processors, while still other smallholders sell most of their
leaf on the open market.
The total amount of tea cultivated land is about 140,000 hectares today, with annual tea
production around 145,000 tons. Sixty percent of production is
CTC (cut-tear-curl) black and orthodox leaf, 35% is green tea, with
the remaining 5% made up of specialty teas, including yellow tea,
jasmine tea, lotus tea, ball-rolled oolong, and a specialty tea called
Shan Tuyet or Snow Green Tea.
The types of Vietnamese teas of most interest to world buyers today
include various large leaf, small leaf, and fannings grade black teas,
large leaf, and green fannings, gunpowder, jasmine, lotus flavored,
and cinnamon flavored green tea, pouchong, ball-rolled oolongs, and
yellow tea (with demand for yellow teas quickly growing in the West).
Shan Tuyet, a specialty tea is made from the ancient indigenous
tea trees found only in the remote mountain provinces in the
northern uplands. There the shan trees grow in the forest, 30 to
40 to a group, growing amidst other types of trees on steep
slopes. Local varieties of shan trees that grow there include
green leaf shan (shan la xanh), small leaf shan (shan la nho),
yellow leaf shan (shan la vang), and snow shan (tuyet).
A traditional type of tea made locally from shan leaf is Ha Giang
brown tea, made by quickly drying fresh shan leaf in a cast iron
pan, hand rubbing to shape the leaves, then laid in the sun to
dry. The finished tea is then placed into hollow bamboo tubes and left to age and
|Copyright 2012 www.theteadetective.com All rights reserved.
No reproductions of any kind allowed without permission.
|For a great selection of quality teas, gifts, and
The Tea Detective's Gift of Tea Store
|For more information or to learn more about tea, visit our other pages:
How did 17th and 18th century European tea buyers
communicate w/Chinese tea merchants?
In the 1950s what event sent over 700,000 Chinese
soldiers fleeing to Taiwan and Myanmar?
What are some of Vietnam's specialty teas,
and why are they sometimes hard to find?
What other teas are in China's Panyang
Congou family of black teas?
What should I know when buying and
brewing Panyang Golden Needle black tea?
How should tea be stored?
What are Zealong teas and where are they from?
What types and styles of tea are grown in Hawaii?
Are there any commercial tea producers in the U.S.?
|Learn How to Build Your Own Money-Making
Would you like to learn how to build your own Money-Making
Website just like this one? By spending just a few hours each week
you can earn passive income that makes money 24/7, even while
you sleep. To learn more just click the link below.
|Yellow and green Vietnamese teas made from shan have a clean fruity taste, and black
Shan Tuyet teas are mellow, smooth, and sweet and have a flavor that's a bit reminis-
cent of some China blacks. White Shan Tuyet teas are just in the experimental stage
but will soon be available, too. These high mountain specialty teas are just beginning to
show up in markets both locally and internationally.
Today Vietnam ranks 5th in world tea production, and 6th in tea exports. Over 113,000 tons of tea is exported
annually and found in over 100 countries, with ever increasing sales to Russia, the United States, and Malaysia.
The Vietnamese trademark, CheViet, has been in use since 2005 and is recognized
today in over 70 countries.
Vietnam has worked hard to come back from a nearly defunct tea industry. Today they
are poised and ready to become a leader with quality teas they are proud of. Look for
the CheViet trademark and try some of their teas, and I'm sure you'll agree, they've
succeeded with style. Enjoy.