Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves, Lotus Flowers
Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Grass, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Straw
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From The Tao of Tea

Grown in the northern province of Thai Nguyen in Vietnam, Che Sen, or Lotus tea, is a fine green tea infused with the aroma of lotus flower blossoms.

King Tu Duc, during the Nguyen dynasty in the ancient capital of Hue on the central coast (1848-1883) was renowned for drinking lotus-scented tea in a very special way. In the afternoon of the day prior to his morning tea, he had his helpers row to a lotus growing lake in the royal garden and put a small handful of tea into each lotus flower in the blossom before binding the petals up. In so doing the tea would dry overnight and at the same time absorb the scent of the petals. The next morning the tea would be picked from the lotus lake and offered to the king for his morning refreshment. This old-style scented tea is now rare (though we do offer it as Lotus Ancien), and has given way to more modern techniques that include heat infusion with lotus blossoms.

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1 Tasting Note

1048 tasting notes

This has been my evening tea for the past several days. I bought this one some months ago, but just never made the time to crack it open and try it. By the time I got around to it, I wondered whether or not it had started to fade. Fortunately, this tea lasted very well in storage. It was lively and flavorful in the mouth, demonstrating no obvious signs of age.

I prepared this tea using a two step Western infusion process. Per The Tao of Tea’s recommendation, I used two full teaspoons of loose leaves rather than one. It isn’t actually necessary to use that much, but I found that the additional teaspoon really focuses the already powerful lotus aroma and flavor. Rather than steeping at the recommended 160-170 F, I opted to steep this tea at my usual 175 F because I personally find this temperature to work best for me when I am brewing non-Japanese green teas. Anyway, the first infusion was 2 minutes in 8 ounces of 175 F water. The second infusion was 3 minutes.

Prior to infusion, I noted that this tea emitted a powerful aroma of lotus. It was still there after infusion, though aromas of corn husk, damp grass, hay, and malt from the tea base were apparent. In the mouth, the lotus was quick to make its presence known. By mid-palate, gentler notes of cream, malt, damp grass, corn husk, hay, and straw arrived to provide a semblance of balance. The finish was short, smooth, and packed with creamy, malty, and exotic floral tones. The second infusion was predictably milder and smoother. The grainier, grassier, and maltier notes were more pronounced, though the lotus was still front and center. The only real difference that I noticed was a hint of minerals on the tail end of the finish.

As far as flavored/scented green teas go, this one was quite nice. I especially appreciated that the tea base was just aromatic and flavorful enough to provide some depth and balance. Too often I find that teas of this sort, especially those offered at lower price points, can be painfully one-dimensional. That was not the case with this tea. At the price I paid, it was pretty much a steal. Check this one out if you enjoy floral teas.

Flavors: Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Grass, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Straw

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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