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Jun 18, 2023 / 21:30

West Lake Lotus Tea: Hanoi's Quintessential Gift

As the lotus is in full bloom every May and June, it's also the time for lotus tea artisans in Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District to start their new seasonal trade.

The origin of lotus tea making in Hanoi is still hard to pin down. Even Nguyen Thi Dan, a 100-year-old talented lotus tea maker from the Tay Ho district, can't say for sure.

Previously, the elders made lotus tea only for enjoyment and as gifts for guests and friends. She told The Hanoi Times that it is the traditional craft of her family, which has been passed down from one generation to the next. Today, the demand for lotus tea has increased as it is considered a typical Hanoi gift. As a result, the family business is thriving.

According to Dan, the West Lake Lotus is the most special of all lotus flowers. "The West Lake Lotus, also known as the Bach Diep Lotus, is characterized by hundreds of large and small petals that hug the yellow pistil so that it always retains its fragrance," she said.
The West Lake Lotus only gives off its best fragrance when it is in bloom. When the sun rises, the fragrance of the flowers dissipates.
Having turned 100, Nguyen Thi Dan is still doing what she's been doing for decades.
The descendants of the old lady gather to peel off the petals of the lotus flower to obtain the anther for making lotus tea.
According to local tea makers, the West Lake Lotus tea, which combines the rich taste of Tang Cuong tea from the northern province of Thai Nguyen with the distinctive fragrance of Bach Diep lotus anthers, is the most aromatic tea.
The white lotus anther is an essential ingredient of lotus tea. To flavor about three kilograms of tea requires about 1,500 lotus flowers.
A delicious and elegant drink - one of Hanoi's famous specialties - was created by the skilled hands of artisans.
The preparation of lotus tea is an art, and so is how it is enjoyed. Earthenware teapots and small cups are usually used to preserve the aroma of the tea.
Lotus tea is a specialty of Hanoi, imbued with the culture and exquisiteness of the Hanoians, and becomes a lovely gift of the capital to friends in the country and abroad.

 Dam Tri Pond in West Lake, the only body of water in Hanoi that offers the best quality flowers for lotus tea.
Every morning, the male members of Mrs. Dan's family gather to harvest the lotus.
 They would quickly bring the lotus ashore when the flowers were fresh and fragrant, ready for marination in tea.