11:32 | 10/07/2019 Society
(VEN) - Tea scented with lotus blossoms from Hanoi’s West Lake is an elegant drink, reflecting the traditional tea culture of the capital’s residents. The quality of West Lake lotus tea is highly valued because it has the fresh natural flavor of lotus blossoms.
Infusing tea with the lotus scent is a time-consuming process. The blooms must be picked from the lake before sunrise, as sunshine diffuses the scent.
Tea makers then remove the petals so they can access the seeds at the top of the flowers’ stamen.
They then alternate each layer of tea with a layer of seeds. The infusion is then dried and stir-fried to retain the lotus aroma for as long as possible.
A kilogram of tea requires about one kilogram of lotus seeds, or 1,000 to 1,200 flowers. The tea is ready for use about two weeks later.
This lengthy process is probably why West Lake lotus tea is one of the most expensive teas in Vietnam. A kilo is sold for VND10 million.