For the majority of Vietnam’s history, tea was merely a garden crop. The origin and development of the current tea industry in Vietnam was driven by French colonialists at the end of the Nineteenth century.
This is no different for the tea plantations we currently see in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, thanks to its altitude and cool climate the ideal location for tea growing. One of the many tea farms in this area is Cau Dat, around 20km from tourist hotspot Da Lat. In 1927 the French colonialists established a tea factory and planted 600 acres of tea plants on the hills surrounding the factory. The factory is still in business till this day, though it also opens its doors for tourist.
The roots of Vietnam’s tea history lay in these hills. In the crops and buildings, but even more so in the workers that pluck the tea leaves delicately with hand. Plucking tea leaves is a profession that gets passed down for generations. Usually multiple people in a family are tea farmers.