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As a tea lover, you must know green tea, but most likely you know little about white tea. So last Saturday when I passed by a white tea shop on the Maliandao tea street, I decided to go in and check it out.


The shop owner Ms. Mei greeted me, and asked me to sit at a big tea table to taste their tea. While brewing, she gave me a brief introduction to her products.


The tea leaves here are picked at a large ecological tea plantation in southeast China¡¯s Fujian province. White tea is ranked as one of the 6 major types of Chinese tea. It is rich in amino acids and provitamin A. Drinking white tea often helps lower your blood viscosity, blood pressure, and blood sugar. If you drink a cup of white tea in the hot summer, you will be kept from heat stroke all day long.


With this, she handed me a glass of white tea called Baihao Yinzhen, or White Tipped Silver Needle in English. I saw straight tea leaves floating in the water. Some of them were slowly dropping to the bottom, but they still stayed upright.


The fragrance was not strong, but very agreeable. The apricot yellow color was quite clear. I took a sip, and the tea was soft and smooth in my mouth. After tasting it, I felt relaxed and refreshed both in body and in mind.


Apart from white tea, the shop also carries other kinds of Chinese tea like Pu¡¯er tea and Oolong tea.


What I appreciated

Unique white tea, healthy tea


What customers appreciate

Health-giving white tea, Chinese tea


Known as the "health-giving tea" and "beauty-slimming tea" in China, Puer tea is something you won't regret trying out. This famous tea from the Yunnan province of southern China gives you both taste and health benefits.


For tea-loving tourists, the large Yunnan Pu'er Tea Market offers convenient location near the Tian'anmen Square. It is here on the second floor where I found Leyuanyu Pu'er Tea Shop.


The shopkeeper, Mr. Wang, warmly invited me to sit down and sample their fermented and unfermented teas. Decorated with unique items from the hometown of Pu¡¯er tea, Leyuanyu provided me a great tea-tasting experience. The stone elephants, wooden decorations, and green plants soon led me into a relax state. Fermented tea looks red, and tastes kinda sweet. Unfermented tea looks like amber. They taste somewhat bitter at first, but give a sweet after-taste.


Mr. Wang said all their Pu'er tea comes from naturally grown trees without any human interference. They offer two famous brands: "National Chinese" and "Image of Washan Mountain". The former has won many prizes in Pu'er tea competitions.


Looking around, I found a wide variety of compressed Pu¡¯er tea on display. The compressed nature makes them easy to carry. Some even come in nice small packages fit for presents or souvenirs. Prices are reasonable. One particular 250g "Tea Horse Ancient Road Pu¡¯er Brick Tea" cost only RMB 50, for instance.


What I appreciated

Quality Pu'er tea, a wide variety to choose from


What customers appreciate

Prize-winning Pu'er tea, natural and health-giving tea

Beijing pictures, Taiwang's Best Tea: Oolong tea

As a tea lover, I dream of tasting all kinds of good teas from all over the world. If you're like me, then make sure to visit the famous Maliandao Tea Street, the largest collection of tea vendors in northern China.

A few days ago, on the basement floor of Beijing International Tea Centre, I found a franchise selling quality Taiwan tea. The shop is called "Taiwan Best Tea". 

The tea comes from four major tea plantations in Taiwan's Grand Ali Mountain Tea Planting Area. These mountains over 7,000 feet above sea-level, and covered by clouds and mists. The name "Taiwan High Mountain Tea¡¯ really describes the teas in the area. The entire process of gathering leave is by hand, 100% natural.  

Taiwan High Mountain Tea belongs to the Oolong tea group, which is somewhere between green tea and black tea. The soup is emerald green, tastes aromatic, and has a long, subtle sweet after-taste. If you sip carefully, you should feel carefree and happy. 

Each tea package contains two 150g bags. Prices vary from RMB 880 for "top-quality 888", RMB 680 for the "special grade 878", and RMB 480 for "preferred 868". Gift boxes are available upon request. 

What I appreciated
Taiwan High Mountain Tea, high quality guaranteed 

What customers appreciate
Credible top quality tea from Taiwan

Beijing pictures, 'Longsheng' cake tea

If you want to buy some Chinese tea, I highly recommend Pu'er tea due to its great health benefits, such as losing weight, lowering blood fat, and nourishing stomach.


At the southeast of Xuanwumen lies a Yunnan Pu'er Tea City. Outside the building you can notice a sign on a window writes "Longsheng", a big brand famous for Pu'er tea. The company owns some of the largest tea mountains in China. They are so famous even the president Hu Jintao personally visited their organic tea base on Yingpan Mountain. When it comes to quality, Longshen is second to none.


Inside the outlet, I found each of their goods attached with a price tag. The shop assistant told me that the prices are the same nationwide. They have a wide range of compressed tea for customers to choose from. A cake tea usually weighs 357 grams, and its price starts from 50 yuan. Tuo Cha (bun-shaped tea) looked lovely. A 250-gram grade A package cost 96 yuan. Yinya Tuo Cha, or Silver Sprout Pu¡¯er Tea, had many tea sprouts with white tiny fluff. Its grade was higher than the previous one, and priced at 150 yuan per piece (250 g).


The outlet also carries jasmine tea, organic green tea and oolong tea made in Yunnan.


What I appreciated

Quality Pu'er tea, famous brand


What customers appreciate

Healthful Pu¡¯er tea, reliable quality

Beijing pictures, Zhangyiyuan Tea House near Zhushikou

Zhangyiyuan, which was established in 1900, is a China¡¯s time-honored brand for tea. With their own tea plantation in southeastern China¡¯s Fujian Province, Zhangyiyuan has been providing top-quality teas to both domestic and overseas customers. One of its numerous outlets in Beijing is on Zhushikou West Street, at the center of the capital.


It¡¯s hard to miss the shop, as you¡¯ll see a huge red sign in English ¡°Zhangyiyuan Tea House, since 1900.¡± Soft aroma of teas greets every visitor upon entering. Their jasmine tea is the most popular among Beijingers. There are more than a dozen types, priced from RMB 30 to 500 per 500g.


You can find other great teas here as well. The famous Longjing Green Tea, which literally means ¡®Dragon Well¡¯, is priced from RMB 130 to 4200 yuan per 500g. While the heavy Tie Guanyin tea sells for RMB 580 to 2800.


You can also find some purple clay tea sets on display.


What I appreciated

Quality tea, time-honored brand


What customers appreciate

High quality Chinese teas, well-known brand in Beijing

Beijing pictures, The Gate of the shop

At the southeast of Xuanwumen lies a Yunnan Pu¡¯er Tea Market, only five minutes by cab from Tian¡¯anmen Square. For a tourist, this is a convenient place to taste Pu¡¯er tea, considered the ¡®health-giving tea¡¯ by many Chinese. Drinking this tea help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer.


Yesterday I visited a nice Pu¡¯er tea outlet called YiWu HongQing on the second floor there. The shop assistant was Mr. Hao, who warmly invited me to sit down and taste their tea. He introduced to me the company¡¯s natural tea plantation at YiWu, the most famous tea mountain area in Yunnan province. All of their Pu¡¯er teas were hand-plucked from ancient trees, and processed entirely by hand.


You can buy two kinds of Pu¡¯er teas: Sheng Cha, which is raw, unfermented tea, or Shu Cha, which is fermented tea. Unfermented tea soup looks golden brown. They taste a bit bitter at first, but give a slight sweet after-taste. Fermented tea looks like red wine when brewed, and tastes a bit sweet. They give you a primitive feel.


For being carried more conveniently, Pu¡¯er teas are compressed into different shapes like cake, bun, brick, and melon. Prices vary by age and quality. The longer preserved ones could cost up to RMB 5600 for a 400g cake. But newer teas can be bought for as little as RMB 70 per 400g cake.


What I appreciated

Healthful Pu¡¯er tea from the most famous YiWu Mountain


What customers appreciate

Health-giving tea, top quality Pu¡¯er tea



Maliandao Tea Market is the oldest and most famous building on the west side of Maliandao Tea Street. On its third floor, I recently found a booth (No.7) selling quality Pu'er tea. And it was a great find indeed, a first class agent that sells the "National Treasure" brand of Pu'er tea. Their teas have won many prizes in tea competitions over the past several years. All teas come from their own ancient tea plantation.


When I approached the booth, a middle aged woman warmly invited me over to have a seat and sample their tea. She introduced herself as Manager Chen, and told me that many customers have stopped by and realized how great their tea tastes. I sampled, and I couldn¡¯t agree more.


Their cake teas weigh a bit less than a pound (380/400 g). Prices range from RMB 90 to RMB 6,000 per piece. The expensive ones are made from ancient tea trees more than 2,700 years old.


Their Tuo Cha, or bun-shaped tea, has two ranks: grade A and extra grade (top grade). The original price for one bag of Grade A tea that contains 5 buns (100 g per piece) is RMB 180. But aiming to let more customers know their products, you can buy a set for only RMB 58. For extra grade, you can have one bag at RMB 70, although its original price is RMB 220.


As for gift boxes, they offer one containing two big-leaf tea cakes (100 g per piece), one big-leaf tea brick (150 g), and a chisel to chip at the cakes. It costs 120 yuan. A green package containing 120 grams of ¡®Jade brick tea¡¯ only costs 30 yuan. Plus, they have more small packages of Pu¡¯er tea quite fit for presents.


What I appreciated

Prize-winning Pu¡¯er tea, a wide range for choice


What customers appreciate

Healthful Pu¡¯er tea, high quality, small packages for gifts

Beijing pictures, Pu'er tea packed in Yunnan local style

In order to keep my body in shape, I like to drink Puer tea, which can lower cholesterol and help lose weight. One place I frequent for my tea is the Beijing Yunnan Puer Tea Market, located on Maliandao Tea Street. Here I visited an outlet of Yunnan Puer Tea Factory. I like it because the factory owns a plantation in Puer County, so they grow and harvest every single leaf they sell. 

The hospitable shop owner, Mrs Yang, greeted me as I walked in. She told me that overseas tourists like their tea giftsets, which are very uniquely packaged.

One is called Tuo Cha, or bun-shaped Puer tea -- it cost 60 yuan for 100 grams. This giftset is wrapped in a Chinese silk with a light yellow pattern, which symbolized royalty in the Qing Dynasty.

Another tea, Bing Cha, is a Puer tea presented in the shape of a cookie. It cost 80 yuan for 100 grams, and comes in a brown linen bag decorated with handcrafted embroidery made by Yunnan natives.

Finally there is Jin Ya, which means Golden Tip. It cost 150 yuan for 100 grams. As its name implies, this small decorated carton contains the very tips of the leaves. Its quality is so good that the Yunnan province used to send it as tribute to the royal court.

Mrs Yang can speak a little English when dealing with prices. And she's also an ex-tea ceremony instructor, so you just might catch her perform a ceremony when you go.

What I appreciated:
Wholesome Pu¡¯er tea, unique small packages

What customers appreciate:
Famous Chinese tea, ideal for gifts

Beijing pictures, Westlake Longjing Tea Outlet

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

Beijing pictures, Hunan Dark Tea Outlet

Chinese tea lovers know there are six types of Chinese teas: green, black, dark, yellow, white, and oolong. Among them, dark tea mainly includes Hunan dark tea and Yunnan Pu¡¯er tea. And people see them as ¡®brothers¡¯ due to their similar history, shape, and health benefits.


It¡¯s not common to see dark tea retailers on the famous Maliandao Tea Street. But I did find one on the basement of Beijing International Tea Centre. The shop is run by two ladies. One comes from Anhua, the hometown of Hunan dark tea. The other comes from Yunnan, home of the Pu¡¯er tea.


The two first met in Yunnan, and almost as if by fate, immediately became friends. They soon decided to open a shop together in Beijing to sell the ¡®brotherly teas¡¯.


Dark tea is a fermented tea whose health benefits are known in all Oriental countries. Japanese call it ¡®slim-keeping tea¡¯, Koreans call it ¡®beautifying tea¡¯, and Chinese people call it ¡®wholesome tea¡¯. Drinking dark tea can help you lose weight, sober up, improve digestion, and lower your blood pressure.


Prices vary by the tea¡¯s age. For casual drinkers, you may try a 2007 two kg brick of dark-flower tea for RMB 230. Whereas a two kg brick of 1992 dark brick tea would set you back RMB 1680.


What I appreciated

Healthful Hunan dark tea, Yunnan Pu¡¯er tea


What customers appreciate

Health-giving Chinese tea

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Beijing Shopping: As a tea lover, you must know green tea, but most likely you know little about white tea. So last Saturday when I passed by a white tea shop on the Maliandao tea street, I decided to go in and check i...