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When it comes to traditional Chinese teas, Longjing tea ranks near or at the top. In fact, one shop in the basement of Beijing International Tea Market sells Longjing tea exclusively. Here you can find quality Longjing tea at inexpensive prices.
The first thing I saw when I stepped inside were big boxes of tea stacked on the ground. The shop owner told me all these teas came from the tea farmers directly.
They offer two types of Longjing teas, both from Zhejiang province. Xihu Longjing comes from the West Lake region, and Zhejiang Longjing from other parts of the province. As Xihu Longjing tea is rarer, they generally cost 50% more than Zhejiang Longjing.
There are many differences between the two teas. Xihu Longjing is greenish yellow, has thicker leaves, and gives a strong bean aroma. Zhejiang Longjing is greener and features thinner leaves and weaker flavor.
Prices for Xihu Longjing tea range from RMB 50 ¨C 500 per 500 grams, while Zhejiang Longjing sells for RMB 30 ¨C 500, depending on the grade. The shop owner is a nice fellow, and will give you a good price as long as you buy at least 500g. If you buy more than 1.5 kg though, you will get the wholesale price.
What I appreciated
Xihu longjing tea at reasonable prices
What customers appreciate
High-quality Longjing tea, directly from the farm
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