Ba Van Tea is a tea brand established since 2013 by Mr. Xuan Hien, a former mechanical engineer who decided to quit his 6-year professional career to follow the tea path, with his love for Vietnamese tea. ‘Ba Van’ (Madame Van in English) is Mr. Xuan Hien’s wife, and ‘Van’ is also the name of his two daughters.
Mr. Hien’s major at Hanoi University of Technology was Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, he became a mechanical engine trader as he had always wanted to be when he was young. After six years, he started to feel disconnected from the work. He realized himself to be more relaxed and happy when being with nature and connected to traditional values. In June 2015, he decided to quit his job and set foot in the tea path.
Tea was his most beautiful memories. When he was a child in a village, his grandparents had a small grocery store, where people often come to gather and drink tea while talking and smoking thuoc lao. Every evening, after lunch, Mr. Hien and his sister always run to the store, took a handful of dried tea leaves in the bottle, and gave them a taste. The bitterness came first, then the sweetness. Those complicated aromas and flavor, as well as the image of the tea store, has been a part of his childhood.
Unlike those friends who enjoy coffee, Mr. Hien prefers tea when he has time. He likes exploring the teahouses that have good tea, as well as the tea producing factories. Gradually, he started selling tea as a hobby. In 2015, he determined to quit his job, officially becoming a tea seller.
After leaving off the old work, he spent all of his time searching and exploring the tea regions in Northern Vietnam, from Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Tuyen Quang, to Son La, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, etc. The journey connects him to the hard-working, enthusiastic tea farmers. Unfortunately, Vietnam’s current tea market with the rash of low-quality tea products make it hard for genuine tea farmers and their tea. More sadly, most of the Vietnamese people haven’t been able to experience the quality of snow shan tea, a rare tea type with excellent properties and taste, treasured by the international tea market because almost of the snow shan tea in Vietnam is exported to China.
Vietnam has an outstanding strength to develop the tea industry. The tea is not only a natural resource in its abundance but also the culture nurtured through centuries. However, the tea world hasn’t known much about Vietnamese tea. Most of the Western world usually think about China and Japan and consider the only two countries that have tea and tea culture.
With that thought in mind, Mr. Xuan Hien has been striving to develop Tra Ba Van as a humble bridge to connect the Vietnamese tea specialties to tea lovers all around the world. He hopes that one day, Vietnamese Tea will be treated with all its worth.