Vietnam tea overview

History of Vietnam tea

Nowadays, Vietnam is considered to be one of the cradles of the world’s tea plants.

When the French invaded Viet Nam, they paid special attention to tea plants with much research and many investigations into the quality of Vietnam tea. During the French stay in Vietnam, they built cultivation research institutes in Phu Ho (Phu Tho), Bao Loc (Lam Dong), Pleiku (Gia Lai) and established a nursery containing 27 tea varieties and a tea production factory on Phu Ho farm.

By August 1945, there were 13,585 ha of tea plants around the country, producing 6,000 tons of dried tea, black tea, green tea and scented tea.

Then, it was impossible for tea plants to develop until 1955, when the North was entirely liberated. At that time green tea is the main product for domestic demand and export to China.

                      Structure black tea OTD-CTC-Green tea


The year 1956 marked the appearance of 2 tea factories in Phu Tho each with a capacity of 25-35 tons of fresh buds per day and 1 electrical factory equipped with the most modern technology of the time.

Tea factories were developed with the help of Russian technology. Dozens of experts were appointed to tea production units to study and many Russian scientists also came to Vietnam. In 1957, 700 tons of black tea and 500 tons of green tea were exported to Russia.



From 1955 to 1975, due to the effects of war, the tea production did not undergo much improvement. However, in the North, the tea industry still expanded to 65,000 ha yielding 35,000 tons of dried tea, of which 18,000 tons were exported.


By 2007 the planted area of the whole country had reached 131,000 ha and the dried tea output 167,000 tons of which 130,000 tons was exported and the domestic consumption was 30,000 tons.  Vietnam tea has found its way to more than 80 nations.



The main tea growing areas of Vietnam are as follows:

  1. Northwest Region includes three main provinces including Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien. Characteristics: The area is 500 meters high above sea level. The total area of over 17,200 hectares. The climate and soil suitable for aromatic varieties like oolong tea, Shan…
  2. Vietbac tea region includes the provinces of Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, Bac Can, Cao Bang. Characteristics: complex terrain. This is a great area of tea with total area of 41,000 hectares. There are different varieties of tea, and wellknown tea places such as Lung Pin (Ha Giang), Suoi Giang (Yen Bai).
  3. Northeast tea region includes Quang Ninh, Lang Son and Bac Giang. Characteristics: tea plantations with a total area of just over 2,000 ha.
  4. Northern midlands region: including the provinces of Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Ha Tay, Hanoi, Vinh Phuc. Characteristic is the transition from mountain to plain, lowland with significant area of more than 35,000 ha. There are also some famous tea gardens as Dai Tu (Thai Nguyen).
  5. North-central region of tea, including Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh with a total area of over 11,000 hectares of tea. The feature there is hot climate, well-suited soil for tea growth. The main tea production of this region concentrated in Nghe An province.
  6. Highlands tea region, including the provinces of Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum has an area of over 26,000 hectares with the height from 850m to 1500m above sea level, but major plantations are in Lam Dong Province. This is the largest tea growing province in Vietnam. The climate and soil are suitable for high-quality aromatic tea as Oolong.

          Total areas of tea plantations


Tea growing areas in Vietnam




World tea market share 2009


Development Orientation 2010-2020

  • Open-up area of 150,000 hectares of tea in 2020.
  • Increase productivity from 6500 kg / ha in 2010 to 8,000 kg / ha in 2020.
  • Continuously improve tea quality and health safety management.

(Data source from Vitas)