Yen Bai, located in Northern Vietnam, is known for its production of unique spices and teas. One of the prominent crops in the region is cassia cinnamon. Unlike the more common Ceylon cinnamon, cassia cinnamon has a stronger and spicier flavor profile. It is highly valued for its aroma and medicinal properties. Yen Bai's favorable climate and fertile soil provide the perfect conditions for cultivating this special variety of cinnamon.
Another notable crop in Yen Bai is star anise, a spice widely used in Vietnamese cuisine. Star anise has a distinct licorice-like taste and is often used in soups, stews, and marinades. It adds a rich depth of flavor to dishes and is known for its various health benefits, including its antiviral and antioxidant properties. Yen Bai's unique geographical location and suitable environmental factors contribute to the cultivation of high-quality star anise. Both star anise and cassia are used in Pho Soup Noodle and the amazing cuisine of Vietnam. Rishi tea also uses these spices in chai and other special tea blends.
Additionally, Yen Bai is also renowned for its organic tea production. The region is home to lush tea gardens where delicate tea leaves are carefully cultivated and processed. Organic tea from Yen Bai is highly sought after for its exceptional taste, strong energy and floral aroma. The mao cha from this area is highly after for the Pu’er market and the local Shan Green tea style of tea is really fragrant and plucked from hundreds of years old tea trees.
The region's tea production not only promotes sustainable agriculture but also provides economic opportunities for the ethnic minority hill tribes who are actively engaged in the production of spices and teas. By shifting their focus from opium drug cultivation to the production of these aromatic crops, these tribes have found a positive and sustainable alternative that benefits both their communities and the wider market.