Cultivar: Localized Shan Tu Yet variety
Elevation: 800 - 1,500m
Harvest Date: May 2017
Scenting: mid-June through July 2017
Red Lotus is a wondrous experience for those who enjoy flower-scented tea. Tea and lotus hold special significance in the food and herb traditions of Vietnam. While the exact origins of scenting tea with lotus remains a mystery, it is thought that the practice began centuries ago in the northern region around the capital historically known as Thang Long (modern day Hanoi). Lotus scented tea is said to be a highly sophisticated and refined drink enjoyed by kings, nobles, and wealthy scholars. To this day, lotus tea is considered a symbol of respectability and honor.
Our Red Lotus is crafted by a second-generation lotus tea artisan named Mr. Thanh. Mr. Thanh's grandfather, Elder An, began a traditional lotus tea scenting craft business in the 1920's and passed the tradition to Mr. Thanh in the mid-1980's. Mr. Thanh only uses the highest quality tea for lotus scenting. He personally manages each stage of the delicate process by hand. First he floats upon a small raft in some ponds and lakes in a region just south of Hanoi to cut and collect lotus flowers by hand. From there, the stamens are removed and mixed amongst the tea leaves one small batch at a time. Mr. Thanh controls the ratio and timing so the heady scent of lotus and rich scent of tea are maintained in delicate harmony.
In Red Lotus, we detect amazingly complex aromas of carnation, rose mooncake, hints of camphor and even chocolate with a very elegant tannin structure. The aroma is both peaceful and uplifting in the most sophisticated way.
Black tea scented with lotus flowers
4 grams | 1 tbsp
Recommended Brewing Vessel: Porcelain Teapot
Water Temperature: 195°F
Add 1 tbsp tea per 8 oz of water
Steep Times: 1st infusion 1 minute, 2nd infusion 30 seconds, 3rd infusion 1 minute, subsequent infusions + 15 seconds per infusion