Tea & Life In Vietnamese Perception

For Vietnamese, tea is not only a favorite refreshment but also an effective cure for daily common diseases. How come tea has been so important to Vietnamese life? Will you start to use tea as a face washing water like ancient Vietnamese do?

Tea - A vital ritual of a Vietnamese generation

A cup of tea every morning, no visiting doctor!

One of the most famous writers and scholars of Vietnam – Nguyen Tuan wrote

"Bán dạ tam bôi tửu, bình minh nhất trản trà

Nhất nhật nhất như thử, lương y bất đáo gia"

(Chén trà sương sớm – Nguyễn Tuân)

which can be generally translated as following: Drink 3 cups of wine at middle of night and one cup of tea in early morning every day, there is no need to visit doctor the whole life.

Previously, when international commercial interaction was not yet developed and imported beverages were limited, tea occupied the first place in Vietnamese daily life. People from young to old, from man to woman, from the common to the highest class in royal family, drank tea and sometimes cannot live without it.

The reason for this popularity does not only stem from its refreshing function but from its protection to human health. Vietnamese believe that tea can keep them from common diseases such as influenza, diarrhea and parasite. Though there was now official research documents proving tea roles, yet this Vietnamese longstanding experientialism is embedded in every local people mind. Until now, when they have more choices for their daily beverages, tea is believed to be the safest drink for every one.

“I don’t remember when I first drank a cup of tea, maybe it happened when I learnt how to hold a cup in my hand”, said Thi Tu, an elderly in Hanoi, “my grand mother used to tell me that tea is good for my stomach”.

In the low hygiene standard context of the past, tea played an essential role to help reinforce human body resistance to diseases, the bitterness of tea helps balance nutrition absorbed from various foods people eat daily. It is said that 5,000 years ago, Asian started to use tea in antisepsis in order to avoid infection. You may be surprised to learn that Vietnam women often use tea as an alternative for feminine solution, which causes no side effects.

Odd-you-may-think Vietnamese tea custom

“Ancient Vietnamese used to put a duck egg in the green tea pot during boiling time and keep boiling it 3-4 times. Both the egg and the tea are believed to be interactive and become a magic remedy, which can keep people who eat them daily from hopeless diseases such as cancer”, said an old man in Thai Binh province and confirmed by Dr. Cung Khac Luoc, one of the most famous scholars in Vietnam.

The doctor, who is regarded as a black sheep in this increasing modern society, is still using tea as face washing water everyday: “That’s the reason why I have never had sore eyes”, said the doctor, “coming back to the duck egg, which turns completely green after time boiling with green tea leaves, it is the most interesting oriented combination”.

Dregs of tea are used as a special spice added to braised fish, in order to balance the fishy smell and to perfect the fish taste, “I always put some dregs of tea into the fish, my children and my husband love the fish cooked like that”, said Minh, a housewife in Hanoi.

The down-to-earth Vietnam tea culture may surprise you more if you experience some home-staying time with Vietnamese. Come and enjoy a distinctive tea culture of Vietnam and find out yourselves Vietnam tea culture secrecy.

Related Readings:

Vietnam Online Video of Tea Culture

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