Afternoon tea is a traditional food ritual that originated in Britain in the early 1840s. It’s a small meal in the midafternoon about 3:30-5 pm to relieve hunger before late dinner is served at about 8 pm. At this time, they often enjoy tea with sandwiches, scones, and cakes.

Since then, people’s lifestyles have evolved, and afternoon tea is now considered a treat, rather than a necessity. This culture of enjoying afternoon tea has been introduced into Vietnam, creating a new trend among young people. In this article, let’s find out more about Vietnamese afternoon tea culture!

1. History of afternoon tea

Afternoon tea, also referred as “Low tea,” is usually served at a low table, such as a sofa table in a lounge room, in front of a warm fire. It became fashionable in the UK about the mid-19th century.

This elegant hobby was initiated by the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria, when she started drinking tea and eating cake in the late afternoon to shorten the gap between meals. Many British aristocrats responded to her idea. From then, enjoying afternoon tea and relaxing in the flower-filled garden has become a tradition of the misty land’s nobles.

British upper-class women were usually served with tea and cakes in the afternoon.
British upper-class women were usually served with tea and cakes in the afternoon.

Nowadays, traditional afternoon tea is usually enjoyed as a treat in a hotel or to commemorate a special occasion such as a birthday, pre-wedding party, etc.

afternoon tea setting
Traditional Afternoon tea often has scones, sandwiches, and cakes.

Afternoon tea first appeared in Vietnam in the early 2010s, and is increasingly loved by those who like to explore the culture of Western countries.

Click here to find out more about Vietnamese tea culture.

2. Afternoon tea in Vietnam

Along with milk tea, lemon tea, and take away tea, afternoon tea is becoming a favorite and responded by many Vietnamese people.

Many big hotels and restaurants in Hanoi like InterContinental West Lake, Sofitel Legend Metropole, De Vu Pastry & Restaurant, etc provide afternoon tea in the same style as in the United Kingdom, but with local cultural nuances. The most basic things to prepare for an Vietnamese afternoon tea party are a beautiful porcelain set, tea, and snacks. A teapot that can be synchronized with the porcelain set or a beautiful silver pot. You can choose the scent of your favorite tea and cakes. If you love the traditional British style, don’t forget to prepare the typical British afternoon tea scones. Or if you want a light afternoon tea, just a few of your favorite cakes are fine.

Afternoon tea as parties at Vietnamese hotels
Afternoon tea as parties at Vietnamese hotels or restaurants.

Many big hotels sometimes give Afternoon tea under the term “High Tea,” in which we take tea later than “Low Tea”, at about 5pm – 6 pm, with savory items like fish, meat, grilled cake, omelette, vegetable, and fruity pudding… Afternoon tea can be enhanced with a glass of Champagne or another alcoholic beverage.

Besides, to catch up with new trends, many tea houses in Vietnam were opened to serve afternoon tea for young people with a romantic and poetic space, and beautiful decor, at a more affordable price. It’s comfortable and relaxing when enjoying an afternoon in a luxurious, classic space. The sophistication in the selection of tea sets and arrangement of dishes on multi-tier cake stands is the attraction for customers. Warm space, intimate atmosphere, fragrant tea, and a few snacks are enough for a relaxing afternoon meeting partners or chatting with friends.

Elegant afternoon teas in Vietnam
Elegant afternoon teas in the lovely and romantic garden.

The cake menu in Vietnam has a diverse combination of Asian and European dishes, which are closer to people here like star fruit cake, banana cake, tiramisu…

You can also prepare yourself similar afternoon tea parties at home to enjoy the delicious taste of favorite teas, cakes, and chat with friends and family.

Vietnamese people meet friends and have afternoon tea on weekends.
Vietnamese people often meet friends and have afternoon tea on weekends.

3. The best Vietnamese tea types for afternoon tea

You should know what teas pair well with an Afternoon tea menu before going to or hosting one. A pleasant and peaceful afternoon with friends can be had by selecting the proper cup of tea.

There are many different types of Vietnamese tea that you can choose to enjoy in an Afternoon tea: Earl Grey Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, Peppermint Tea, Chamomile Tea, and other teas are available. All these teas you can find from FGC’s tea products.

3.1 Vietnamese black tea

Tea is a major component of Afternoon tea. Black tea in Vietnam is often used as it is suitable to serve with milk and sugar. When it goes with cream cakes or clotted cream scones, it creates a perfect combination.

Black loose leaf tea.
Our company’s one grade of Black loose leaf tea.

Moreover, black tea is especially good for digestion and does not cause insomnia. The taste of Vietnamese black tea is the same as an English Breakfast tea.

FGC’s Cozy Gold Label Vietnamese tea
You can also select our black tea bag for more convenience.

3.2 Vietnamese Earl Grey tea

Earl Grey tea is black tea with added bergamot oil. The citrusy flavor from the bergamot of Earl Grey tea makes the tea have an attractive orange flavor and distinct taste.

Black tea Earl Grey flavor is popular in Vietnam afternoon tea, as the tea taste is similar to British traditional tea.

Vietnamese Earl Grey
Tea infusion of Vietnamese Earl Grey tea has a beautiful orange color.

3.3 Vietnamese herbal tea

Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a floral, apple-flavored herbal infusion. This tea helps us to sleep better because it is naturally caffeine-free, so many people prefer it for afternoon tea. Chamomile tea in Vietnam also goes well with afternoon tea sweets, particularly scones and fruity confections.

FGC’s chamomile tea.
FGC’s chamomile tea.

Mint tea

Like chamomile, pure mint tea is caffeine-free tea if it’s not blended with other tea leaves. Mint tea has a slight spiciness to it, as well as a little sweetness and mint flavor. In herbal infusions, mint is sometimes blended with other herbs. Mint tea is great if enjoyed with sandwiches, chocolate, fruity sweets, and neutral sweets (such as vanilla pound cake or plain shortbread).

FGC’s mint tea in teabags.
FGC’s mint tea in teabags.

Lavender tea

Lavender features a sweet, floral flavor and aromatic fragrance. It’s best to combine the tea with cream, scones, and cookies. You can find different flavors by blending them with a variety of other teas, which is good for relaxation.

lavender tea for Vietnamese afternoon tea party
Lavender could be blended with black tea or other herbal tea.

3.3 Vietnamese other teas

With the variation of afternoon tea in Vietnam, you can prepare white tea, green tea, oolong tea for afternoon tea parties.

White tea 

The tea is made from white tips and young buds, so it has a velvety, delicate flavor that poorly mixes with anything too intense. Vietnamese white tea best goes with light-flavor snacks like scones and cakes.

Vietnamese white tea
FGC’s white tea.

Green tea

This tea is not nearly as common as black tea in an afternoon tea. However, green tea from Vietnam, on the other hand, has a strong flavor that can be enjoyed with savory pastries, ham or chicken tea sandwiches, and mint-based dishes. Green tea should be brewed with cooler water and a faster brew time than black tea. The tea with fruit flavor is suitable to be served with fruit salads or fruit-filled pastries and scones.

FGC’s one grade of green tea (green Pekoe).
FGC’s green Pekoe

Oolong tea

Oolong tea in Vietnam has a rich flavor that fits well with a variety of afternoon tea delicacies. It’s ideal to drink if you want to try a variety of things at tea time because its flavor and aroma will go well with most snacks. While green oolong tea pairs with salty flavored snacks, black oolong tea is used together with heavier dishes like salami sandwiches or smoked ham.

FGC’s green oolong tea.
FGC’s green oolong tea.

In conclusion, FGC is the top-tier tea provider for restaurant and hotel businesses that are doing or plan to do afternoon tea business.

  • FGC has a diversity of teas with large quantities, which fit many kinds of food: salty or sweet dishes.
  • We can supply OEM service, which tea products are under your private brand and label.
  • With modern machinery and production lines, we can provide the best quality tea products at an affordable price to you.

If you are interested in our tea products or want to know more about how to choose Vietnamese afternoon tea, please contact me: mai.dtt@vietnam-tea.com or our company: info@vietnam-tea.com, or call us at number: 02473000130.

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