Long-standing tea shop in Ho Chi Minh City with the tradition of making tea preserved from Trieu Chau (China) to Vietnam.($1=24,000 VND)
TRADITIONAL TEA TRADITION OUT OF THE BENEFITS
Located on a small street in District 11, there is an old Saigon tea shop at house number 122 Phu Tho. It is a narrow, traditional house with a strong smell of tea right from the front door. The family of Uncle Quach Hue (58 years old) has been making tea for more than 70 years, passed on from his father’s life.
His family has a long tradition of making tea, back in Chaozhou, China. Later, Hue’s father and uncle immigrated to Vietnam, looking to rent a small house in Saigon, relying on his profession to establish a business in a foreign country. Not only idyllic kept from the old Saigon to the present Saigon but parallel to the uncle’s ancestral land – Trieu Chau, China, the brothers and sisters are also continuing to rely on the profession and trade in tea on a larger scale.
“This tea shop used to be my father’s. In 1978, he was already over eighty years old, it was officially passed on to me. This profession came naturally to my uncle’s life, going back to school to help his father work. , what he didn’t know at first, his father pointed out, if he couldn’t do it, he yelled, so he did it until now, and he also loved it, because he could do the job, so he just kept working diligently and diligently to follow it. 40 years now.
The family tea profession is not only maintained here, but also by his brothers and sisters in his hometown, Trieu Chau, are also maintaining the traditional tea profession. But that side is developing rural areas, so business is also good and much more convenient.”
PREMIUM TEA IN A TRADITIONAL FORM
At the idyllic small Di Phat tea shop of Uncle Quach Hue, only those who are knowledgeable, love to enjoy tea and are curious about good tea will know this is a precious place.
At his shop, there is Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea – a high-class tea, but even more valuable when this tea is made with a family recipe from his uncle’s relatives in Chaozhou.
Phoenix Dansong tea is a famous tea with a production history of more than 900 years, belonging to the oolong tea group originating from Chaozhou city, Guangdong province, China. This is a semi-fermented (half-fermented) tea produced by a manual process that includes the following steps: sun drying, air drying, greening, anti-greening, rolling and roasting. Depending on the production process or the maker’s own recipe, the quality of Don Tung Tea can be divided into many different categories.
Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea is very special, instead of most tea plants grown in gardens and beds, so they are the same in age, color, and flavor, this tea will grow from seeds, grow individually, so Even though it is the same tea, the taste of each plant will be different. Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea will transform complexly but subtly over the weeks of tea, soothing and stimulating the senses. Drinking Phuong Hoang Don Tung, depending on the tea recipe and preparation method, the audience will feel 4 different words: beautiful, red, fragrant, and sweet.
Premium quality Phoenix Dansong Tea made with an heirloom recipe from Chaozhou’s hometown sent to us
Talking about his family’s Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea, Uncle Quach Hue proudly said: “The place in my ancestral hometown is the most expensive Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea, sometimes there are people there who have not enjoyed it yet. The most expensive Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea is only available to a few brothers in the family, and every year when the season comes, customers order all. Only about 4-5 kg can be made a year, and 1 kg of tea the price fluctuates. from 250 million to 350 million/kg in Vietnamese currency.
The special feature of this tea is the pure aftertaste. After drinking the tea half an hour later, it is still sweet in the mouth. The drinker must know how to brew, the first water will be discarded, the later drinks become stronger, each water is different, one sip is the original taste of tea.”
Uncle Quach Hue passionately talked about the precious tea of the family tradition
At my uncle’s shop sells Phuong Hoang Don Tung but not in large quantities, because it is only about 10 kg from Trieu Chau’s hometown. When I visit relatives, my brothers and sisters give me a little gift to bring back to enjoy, ready to share for those who are connoisseurs of tea in Saigon.
“Phuong Hoang Don Tung uncle sells for a price ranging from 2 million to 5 million, outside the price will be higher, but the shop is the source, is a “homegrown” tea, so the price is affordable. Dan Tung is expensive because there is only one season a year, the lower areas can have 2-3 seasons a year.My hometown in Chaozhou goes up, is the Phoenix mountain, so I can only grow one season a year.
However, the same type of tea is grown in different regions, with different water sources, and with different climates. Don’t say, just the soil, in an area, only about 15 minutes apart or where the planting height is different, the tea grown is not the same.”
CHARACTERISTIC DRYED LAI TEA OF SAI GON
“Expensive” at the shop, besides Phuong Hoang Don Tung tea mentioned above, is also a jasmine tea handmade by uncle with charcoal.
“My guests are mostly regular customers, people often like jasmine tea because of my family’s tradition and manual charcoal drying. My jasmine tea is especially strong because it is dried and marinated fresh jasmine, according to his own standard recipe. family.”
Jasmine tea is inherently a familiar tea, which is a combination of green tea and jasmine (jasmine flower). This is the most famous and oldest flavored tea in China, dating from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) – a specialty in China. In Vietnam, jasmine tea can also be said to be the most popular flower-marinated tea, basically, Vietnamese jasmine tea is similar to China in terms of flavoring method. However, depending on the maker, there will be a method of moistening and the characteristics of the ingredients are not the same. Therefore, the taste of jasmine tea is special in that the recipe for making tea, and whether jasmine tea is delicious or not depends on the taste of the person enjoying it, it is impossible to evaluate or compare the deliciousness.
Jasmine tea with the traditional handmade recipe of Uncle Quach Hue is loved by many tea drinkers
At Uncle Quach Hue’s tea shop, jasmine tea is famous for its popular traditional flavoring recipe, but one of the secrets of this recipe is the hard work of drying charcoal.
“Nowadays, it is rare for anyone to dry coal, everyone will dry it by machine. Because drying coal takes more time, the quantity produced is less. That’s why I can’t sell tea wholesale, I can’t do it manually. , I only retail.
Each batch of tea making must be about 30-40 kg, which is high. It takes me about 2 days to make a tea, but it takes another 2 days to wait for it to cool down, run off the smell, and then ferment it, so it takes up to 4 days. Sometimes because of the weather, we have to wait for standard tea, the factory tea can’t be used, but we have to choose a good tea. Sometimes we still have to wait for coal, we have to choose coal that does not have an impure smell, is not dirty, so it is not always available. Sometimes it takes a whole month or even 2 months to make tea and dry tea once.”
At Uncle’s shop, jasmine tea will be divided into 4 types, prepackaged and handmade, depending on the weight required by the buyer.
It’s hard work, it takes a lot of time to find ingredients, and it’s still careful in the process of drying coal, adjusting the fire, but he said: “Everything has its price, true charcoal-dried tea will taste better, drinking will feel good. really different taste, clear aftertaste, clean.”
He said that his knowledge of tea and tea making is not over for a lifetime. Everyone has a different way of doing things, mainly I feel like it’s “right”.
TEA WORK CAN NOT BE TRANSMITTED TO THE FOLLOWING…
The old tea shop of Uncle Quach Hue, is not only valuable because it sells delicious “unique” teas from traditional recipes, but also has a traditional value accompanied by aftertaste.
“This tea profession is the tradition of the whole family, from paternal side to here, following my father now to me. In general, even if it is difficult, I can’t give up, this is my profession, my life, rice. My shirt, I do it to keep the shop…”
Listening to uncle say “doing to keep the shop”, partly understand the age of 70 years mainly because of the family tradition that is strictly preserved. But from the love of origin to love of the profession is easy, but spreading this love to the next generation to pass on the profession is still a pain and wonder: “I also want to pass it on to my descendants, seeing them also accept it. to help, but they have other jobs, I don’t force my children to follow, do whatever they like.
This tea profession – if you like it, you can do it.”