The annual spring tea festival opened in the northern mountainous province of Thai Nguyen – a locality famous for good tea in Vietnam, on February 10.

The annual festival aims to honour growers and promote traditional tea products, particularly those made in Tan Cuong commune, which are said to be the best in the country.

It began with a procession of the commune’s most beautiful and oldest tea tree, followed by a demonstration of the local tea ceremony.

The highlight of the festival was a contest of processing tea leaves for farmers from eight villages of Tan Cuong commune.

Ngo Thi Mau from Hong Thai 1 village said her village began preparing for the contest one month ago, caring for the trees in order to grow good tea buds which will give the best taste.

After plucking, the fresh tea buds are rolled and dried over small fire until dry. According to local farmers, it takes three hours to make one kilo of dried tea the traditional way i.e by hand, and the quality of dried tea depends much on the skills in rolling as well as in stirring the tea over the fire and the heat.

Many tea-drinking lovers were excited to have the chance to see how their favourite tea is made and to taste the tea right after it is processed.

This is the seventh year tea grown in Tan Cuong has been granted ge ographical indication (GI), making it one of five products having their GI protected.

Thai Nguyen province has designated tea production as one of its key sectors, which is expected to help promote the locality’s economic growth in the coming time.

Thanks to favourable natural and weather conditions, Thai Nguyen tea products are popular nationwide and are also exported to foreign markets. The province accounts for one third of the country’s total tea export value.-VNA