Trà

Trà is a drink made by steeping leaves, buds, or branches of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in hot or boiling water.

Lastest Updated January 5, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Traditional
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Fact: Vietnam is on the list of the top 10 countries that produce tea the most annually, being able to offer 116.780 tons annually.

Flag of Vietnam#2 in Vietnam

Basic Information

Trà: Basic Information

Pronunciation

/chah/

Alternative Name(s)

Chè

Drink Type

Hot non-alcoholic beverages, cold non-alcoholic beverages.

Mealtime

Anytime
Origin and Region

Trà: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
Popular Variation
Popular Variation
Popular Variation

Popular Trà Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Trà: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Tea leaves, water

Main Preparing Method

Steeping

Preparation Process

Boil water, pour over tea leaves, steep for several minutes, strain and serve.
A Deep Dive

Trà: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Integral to social and ceremonial occasions; a symbol of hospitality

Taste

Bitter, sweet

Texture

Smooth liquid

Aroma

Aromatic

Color

Varies based on the types of tea

Serving Style

In teacups, glasses, or pots

Serving Temperature

Hot, warm, cold, or at room temperature

Accompaniment

Biscuits, dried fruits, candy, preserved fruit, dessert treats.

Occasions

On any occasions

Calories

1.5 calories, according to data of Nutritionix for 5 ounces of tea.

Popularity

Worldwide

Popular Similar Drinks

  1. Chinese Tea
  2. Japanese Tea

Popular Dining Area

Households, eateries, and restaurants in Vietnam

Trà, or chè (in the North), is simply Vietnamese tea, a traditional drink that is made by steeping hot water with leaves, buds, or branches of tea, scientifically known as camellia sinensis.

Tra Overview

Like many teas worldwide, trà in Vietnam is also dried, oxidized (fermenting), or infused with other herbs, spices, flowers, or fruits.

As a drink, trà comes in 4 varieties black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and white tea. Furthermore, trà provides a great amount of caffeine and antioxidant substances. In Vietnam, a standard trà is aromatic with a slightly bitter and tangy taste.

Drinking tea has been a part of Vietnamese culture for hundreds of years. In a traditional household, guests are often treated to warm tea served in small teacups. Depending on the region, the tea potency varies from being light to a strong profile.

Vietnamese have various ways of processing tea plants, with the oldest method being to use fresh leaves or buds of tea plants for boiling with water.

Another way is people will dry the tea for later usage, while the third method is to infuse it with flowers to create trà hương.

To further understand trà, I’d like to introduce you to various versions of tea in Vietnam before showing you how to steep Vietnamese tea correctly.

Then, explore the pros and cons of drinking trà and inquiries about this drink. Also, I will also suggest drinks that are like Vietnamese trà.

Key Points

  • Trà is the Vietnamese word for tea, a drink made by steeping hot water with tea leaves or other plant parts.
  • Trà contains caffeine and antioxidants and has a bitter and tangy taste.
  • Trà is a part of Vietnamese culture and hospitality, often served in small teacups to guests.
  • Trà can be processed in different ways, such as using fresh leaves, drying the leaves, or infusing them with flowers

Trà Images

What Are the Different Types of Trà in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, each region produces various versions of tea with differences ranging from the types of tea plants to the processing procedures and even the ingredients used to make the tea. For that, let me introduce you to 18 popular tea varieties in Vietnam:

Tra Xanh

Green tea that varies from light to strong flavor
Has light color, high in antioxidants

Tra Moc Cau Tan Cuong

Has a slightly tangy flavor
A bright color
The dried tea is hook-shaped

Tra Lai

Jasmine-infused tea, delicate and fragrant
Has a high amount of etheric helps boosting energy and removing toxins

Tra Thiet Quan Am

A semi-fermented tea
A mixed of green tea and black tea with a slightly chestnut aroma

Tra Vang

Made from the leaves of the Jasminum subtriplinerve, believed to be able to treat high blood pressure, insomnia, liver problems

Tra Xanh Thai Nguyen

A renowned green tea from the Thai Nguyen Province
Famous for its bold flavor and aromatic qualities

Tra Sam Dua

Infused with pandanus leaves, offering a distinct sweet and grassy flavor

Hong Tra

This term can refer to a range of darker, sweeter teas
A good hồng trà needs to have a spiral brown leaves when dried with the steeped water having a vibrant red color

Tra Co Thu Ta Xua

Made from ancient tea trees
Has a rich and deep flavor with a sweet aftertaste

Tra Shan Tuyet Tay Bac

Grown in high altitudes
Use only young tea buds still having fine white hair
A signature yellow color

Tra Non Tom

The tea is planted and processed in Thai Nguyen
Has a green-yellow color

Tra Tan Cuong

A type of green tea from the Tan Cuong area
Noted for its strong aroma and deep color

Tra Sen Tay Ho

Named after the Tay Ho area in Hanoi
Has a high market value in Vietnam
A translucent light green color once steeped

Tra Huong

Infused with aromatic flowers, like jasmine or pomelo, for a fragrant bouquet.

Tra O Long

Oolong tea that is partially oxidized with complex flavors
Has a high level of antioxidants

Tra Den

Black tea with a robust flavor, darker color, and fully oxidized leaves

Tra Atiso

A herbal tea made from artichoke leaves
Light in flavor, often consumed for its purported health benefits

Tra Da

Vietnamese iced tea made with green or black tea served cold with ice

After going through all the tea variations in Vietnam, I strongly suggest looking into the process of steeping a great cup of tea in the country to understand more about their culture.

How to Steep Trà in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, there are no specific rules to how tea is steeped and served. However, these are a few procedures that locals often go through to ensure the best quality tea for serving:

Step 1: Select Good Quality Tea

Start with high-quality Vietnamese tea. Popular choices include trà xanh (green tea) and trà ô long (oolong tea).

Step 2: Heat Water to the Correct Temperature

The water temperature is crucial and varies depending on the type of tea. For green teas, water should be between 70-80°C (158-176°F), while for oolong teas, it’s typically around 80-90°C (176-194°F).

Step 3: Rinse the Tea Leaves

If you’re following traditional methods, you’ll first rinse the tea leaves by pouring hot water over them, then quickly discarding this water. This cleanses the tea and helps to open up the leaves for a better infusion.

Step 4: Steep the Tea

Add hot water to the tea leaves. Steep for the appropriate time, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the tea type. Green teas often require less time, while oolong teas can withstand longer steeping.

Step 5: Pour and Serve

Pour the tea into teacups for serving.

Step 6: Savor the Tea

Enjoy the tea slowly, appreciating its aroma, color, and flavor nuances.

Steeping tea in Vietnam is simple and all, but there’s more to it as you should know more about how the tea ceremony works out in the country.

How to Do a Vietnamese Tea Ceremony?

In Vietnamese culture, the tea ceremony is not as complex as in China or Japan though it’s also influenced by the Chinese. Typically, the Vietnamese tea ceremony is also about simplicity and enjoying the drink with people from the neighborhood.

Usually, people of any age will gather at a local drink store to have tea and discuss all sorts of business during the process of drinking it. People will gradually enjoy the tea over time while enjoying the stories of others.

Ideally, a set of tools used for the Vietnamese tea ceremony includes a teapot, small cups, a tea tray, a tea box, a water kettle, and a strainer. Don’t forget to check out the benefits and drawbacks of drinking trà to further understand tea in Vietnam.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Trà

Here are the good and bad aspects that people need to be aware of before drinking tea:

Pros

  • Health Benefits: Like many teas, Vietnamese trà is rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Variety: There is a wide variety of trà available, each with its own unique flavor profile, which means there’s likely a type of trà to suit anyone’s taste preferences.
  • Low in Calories: Unsweetened trà is low in calories, making it a good beverage choice.
  • Digestive Aid: Tea is often consumed after meals and helps in digestion. It has been traditionally used to soothe the stomach and aid in metabolic processes.

Cons

  • Caffeine Content: Tea contains caffeine, which is a concern for individuals sensitive to caffeine or those who consume it in large quantities. It causes insomnia, jitteriness, or increased heart rate.
  • Staining of Teeth: Like many other teas, Trà can stain the teeth over time, affecting dental aesthetics.

After knowing the effects of drinking Vietnamese tea, make sure to have a look through some of the common inquiries about this type of drink.

Trà FAQs

Vietnamese trà differ in terms of local tea varieties, traditional processing methods, and unique local flavors, such as the addition of jasmine, lotus, or other native herbs and flowers.

Tea should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and strong odors. An airtight container is recommended to keep the tea fresh.

Tea in Vietnam is commonly paired with light snacks such as sunflower seeds, dried fruits, or traditional Vietnamese pastries.

Yes, steeping tea for too long or at too high a temperature can result in a bitter taste, especially with green teas.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor

Expertise

Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief

Education

  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at azcuisines.com, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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