Although the rushed, over crowded and impersonal tour that I joined to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam was far from enjoyable, it did have the occasional small highlight that made it all worth it in the end. One of those moments was stopping at a honey bee farm, which at first appeared to just be another rushed stop where I wouldn’t be able to see anything from the hordes of tourists shoving their way in front of me, but resulted in tasting the quite unique tea of the Mekong Delta.
After unsuccessfully listening and viewing our guide’s speech on the farming of the honey bees and extracting the honey, we were directed to a seating area on a raised wooden patio with a few small tables, each set with a tea pot and a few small glasses on sauces. Seated at one of the tables, my honey tea was prepared, unlike any other cup of tea that I’ve tried.
The local honey is poured into the small glass, followed by a squeeze of lime and sprinkled with some dried honeycomb. Then the fairly weak tea is poured into the glass from a height.
After stirring this strange mixture together I took my first sip. It was delicious, very sweet and a little zesty. Each ingredient seems to make its appearance on each sip. I was just expecting a cup of tea with honey in it. This is much more than that and I helped myself to another cup.
This type of honey tea is apparently unique to the islands of the Mekong Delta, and I was happy to have been able to try it. After the stress of the days tour so far, it was a welcome relief, even if only for a moment.
Have you tried a unique cup of tea while travelling? Share your experience in the comments below.