What-Cha Vietnam West Lake Golden Flower Lotus Green Tea

Origin: West Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

I’ve been looking forward to this tea since What-Cha started selling Vietnamese teas. I absolutely love Lotus scented teas, although I do not often have the chance to drink them, since more often than not I find tea of dubious origin with a foul smelling perfume or dried lotus petals or stems. So I was very excited when I heard Alistair was sourcing a Lotus scented green tea and even more so when I discovered it wasn’t littered with garden waste (of course I had no reason to expect What-Cha to source a tea with filler. Regardless What-Cha describes this as:
An incredible rare tea produced on Hanoi's West Lake possessing a brilliant lotus aroma and taste!
It takes in excess of one thousand lotus flowers to produce a single kilogram lotus green tea! It is this extremely laborious process which accounts for the tea's high price.
The green tea base is specially sourced direct by Hatvala from a farmer in Tan Cuong, Thai Nguyen province.

Dry Leaves: Immediately after opening the bag I am immediately hit with the strong lotus scent. Definitely smells like this is actually scented with real lotus rather than a perfume, it lacks that chemical character you find in many perfumes. It might be a little overwhelming, I have quite a sensitive nose and I felt a little light headed when smelling this. As for the leaves they are mostly dark blue and tightly coiled in vaguely oval shape.

First Steeping
Temperature: 160oF
Brewing Time: Thirty Seconds
Aroma: Lotus
Flavor: Lotus, Floral and Sugarcane
Tasting Notes: I brewed this slightly below What-Cha’s recommended parameters, I intended to start with a full minute steeping, but I was feeling really light headed from the aroma of the liquor. This is incredibly creamy, probably the creamiest tea I have ever tasted.  Other than that it feels more like an oolong than a green tea because of the floral notes.

I got tea drunk off the first steeping. So far I love this, although I can already tell this tea is not for everyone, the floral notes while lovely are a very overwhelming. The leaves and the actual tea itself has a very pungent aroma, as a person with a very sensitive nose and often get headaches around people wearing perfumes and colognes I did start to get a headache while drinking this, although this did not defer me from drinking more.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 165oF
Brewing Time: Forty-Five Seconds
Aroma: Lotus and Orchid
Flavor: Lotus, Floral, Fruity and Sugarcane
Tasting Notes: The aroma of the used leaves and tea has gotten even stronger! And it is even creamier than last time, while the mouthfeel is starting to feel very syrupy. There was a new aroma this time, it smelled a little like orchid, but a more accurate description would be cymbidium. Other than that the individual tastes are pretty much the same as last time, but there are some new fruity notes, definitely on the lighter side of the fruit spectrum.

Still tea drunk and my headache is getting worse. This is quite an interesting tea, while I have had a few lotus scented teas in the past I have not had one like this; the other lotus scented teas in the past I felt I could taste more of the base tea than this. I am not sure if this is good or not, since this feels like a pseudo-oolong and the more I drink the more I realize I am missing the vegetal notes often found in green teas.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 170oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Lotus and Orchid
Flavor: Lotus, Floral, Fruity and Sugarcane
Tasting Notes: Pretty much the same as last time except everything is stronger and it is once again creamier than before. I rather enjoyed this tea even though it is a tad too aromatic for me to comfortably drink as often as I like. I already mentioned my sensitive nose and my disposition to get headaches around strong smells and while I did not particularly enjoyed getting tea drunk off this and a headache at the same time I did drink the entirety of my 25 gram sample and would buy more when What-Cha gets more in. But I’d feel irresponsible if I did not mention how uncomfortable this tea made me while drinking it, even though I did continue on despite that discomfort because I love this tea that much.

While I do love this tea I do wish I could taste more of the tea itself, this is incredibly scented I do not even want to hazard a guess at how many times this tea was scented with lotus, but I do feel the serious flaw of this tea is that the lotus scent masks the underlying flavors and scent of the tea itself. Currently What-cha is selling a five gram sample of this Vietnam West Lake Golden Flower Lotus green tea for $4.95 and I wish I could afford to drink this tea more often! This is definitely not a daily drinker, at a little under a $1 a gram although I do think it is worth checking out if just once. 


Just a guy who likes tea.


  1. This tea got me sooooo tea drunk! I love it! I have a tin of super cheap lotus green that I found in a Vietnamese market, it is ok, probably made while the person thought heavily of lotus ;) but it is practically garbage compared to this.

    Now I regret not getting more than a sample with my last order!

    1. Yeah I don't think I have ever had a Lotus scented tea like this one. Anyways it looks like Alistair has ordered 400g of the 2015 harvest. Source http://www.reddit.com/r/tea/comments/3feu2b/whatchas_vietnam_west_lake_golden_flower_lotus/cto1i72?context=3