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1294

With about 200 years of history, Huang Tang Tea used to be the local tribute to emperors. Produced in Zhejiang Province's Wenzhou city. Huang Tang tea - literally means "yellow soup" ¨C is a type of yellow tea. I visited a shop featuring Huang Tang Tea on the largest tea street in North China, Ma Lian Dao.

The warmhearted shop owner made me a cup of tea while she talked about her special yellow tea. It grows in the beautiful mountainous area, far away from any pollution. The tea leaves are collected and processed at the beginning of April by hand. In order to keep them fresh, Huang Tang Tea need to be put into a refrigerator.

I noticed that at first, the tea leaves looked very similar to those of green tea. Only after a while the tea soup becomes gradually light yellow. So make sure to let it sit for a while. The tea tastes light and a bit sweet.

Prices vary from RMB 40 to RMB 100 per 100 grams.

To compliment the teas, there was also some exquisite porcelain tea sets produced in Jingdezhen. They cost RMB 200 to RMB 1500.

What I appreciate:
Quality tea, warmhearted saleswoman

What customers appreciate:
Quality tea, delicate porcelain teasets

Views
2218

In ancient China, women often used flowers to make cosmetics, as it could make skin smooth and soft. Nan Er Chun, a tea shop in Ma Lian Dao Street, features a special flower tea designed for ladies. Mixing green tea with flowers, the tea is not only light and sweet, but also beautiful when drank in a transparent glass.

Before brewed, the tea looks like a ball, with the green tea leaves at the bottom, and the dried flowers at the top. The leaves and flowers are linked together with a piece of thread. There are 24 different types of flower teas offered in the shop. Each with its own mixture and unique name.

The shopkeeper brewed me a "Noble Madam". The name comes from the two flowers used. One is osmanthus, which sounds the same as noble in Chinese. The other is carnation, a flower often presented to mothers. After the shopkeeper poured hot water into the tea glass, the red carnation started to expand, while the yellow osmanthus floated in the glass. I gave it a sip. It tasted sweet, and filled with the scent of flowers.

Each flower tea can be brewed five times. After that, you can put some water into the glass to keep the flower for ten days.

One package with four different types of flower teas cost RMB 26.

What I appreciate:
Flower tea both for drinking and looking

What customers appreciate:
Healthy flower tea in various package

Views
1797
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

 

Views
1685

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

Views
2709
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

Views
2960
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

Views
1203

Organic teas are made without artificial pesticides and fertilizers. For organic teas in Beijing, there is no better place to go than Gengxiang. Located on the Maliandao Tea Street, this top organic tea brand offers a huge selection of natural teas on two floors.

 

As I stepped into the store, the counters filled with organic teas greeted me. Their most popular teas are jasmine and green tea. But I also saw plenty of Westlake Longjing, Tie Guanyin, and Yunnan Pu¡¯er tea. Prices, per 500 grams, started at RMB 60. Although top quality leaves can cost upwards of over 3000 yuan.

 

One attractive feature for casual tea drinkers is the tea-tasting area. Here, you can take a seat and sample different types of teas for your favorite.

 

Further back in the store, I found a large section of various tea accessories. These include full tea sets, tea boilers, porcelain and purple clay tea pots, and tea cups. If that¡¯s not enough, they even have a teahouse on the 2nd floor, serving choice teas and offering tea foot baths.

 

What I appreciated

Quality organic teas

 

What customers appreciate

Organic teas, famous brand, tea-tasting section

Views
1534

Located on the west part of CheGongZhuang Street, MingRen Teahouse is an ideal place for enjoying the Chinese art of tea. As one of MingRen¡¯s seven locations in Beijing, the teahouse serves a variety of teas, including green, black, yellow, white, and Oolong tea.

The interior decoration is traditional elagant Chinese design, with big marble tables surrounded by comfortable sofas. There are four small private rooms which can serve 2 to 4 people each, and a Japanese style Tatami suite that fits 8. The shop owner recommended me a set of Oolong tea called ¡°Taishan Oolong¡±, which is the finest and only served for government leaders in Taiwan. I can smell the fragrance even half a meter away from the tea cup. The price for a pot of ¡°Taishan Oolong¡± is RMB 880.

The waitresses look very striking in traditional Chinese Qipao, and they can tell you all about the teas in English.

What I appreciate

Traditional Chinese decoration and finest teas

What customers appreciate

Traditional Chinese decoration, finest teas and good service

Views
2504
Beijing pictures, HuaXiangYuan Tea Shop in Beijing

Decorated in traditional Chinese style, HuaXiangYuan Tea Shop specializes in TieGuanYin (Iron Avalokitesvara) tea. Very popular with the Chinese, TieGuanYin calms the nerves and gives a soothing feel to those who drink it. Due to the nature of its large, heavy leaves, full enjoyment requires a traditional tea set for brewing.

 

Designated by DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse, a famous hotel built in 1958 for receiving foreign dignitaries, as their exclusive tea producer, HuaXiangYuan Tea is renowned for its unique taste and superior quality. In fact, the national government even uses HuaXiangYuan¡¯s tea as gifts to foreign dignitaries.

 

The tea shop comprises two floors. On the first floor, various well-packaged TianGuanYin teas are displayed on shelves. Furthermore, there are several classical hardwood tables and chairs. Customers can sit here and sip TieGuanYin tea in a traditional Chinese setting. On the second floor, there are some private rooms for customers to hold tea parties.

 

Prices for various TieGuanYin teas in fine packaging range from RMB 260 to RMB 7500 per 500g. They also offer various Pu¡¯er tea cakes and bricks for RMB 180 to RMB 980 (250g/357g).

 

What I appreciated

Top-quality TieGuanYin Tea, decoration with traditional characteristics.

 

What customers appreciate

Some of the best TieGuanYin tea in China, traditional Chinese setting.

Views
1490

Zhangyiyuan, famous tea brand dating all the way back to the Qing Dynasty, offer a great selection of high-quality teas. I visited its shop in the Gongzhufen Shopping Center, where one of their outlets resides. 

 

According to the shop assistant, the store carries over 200 kinds of choice teas coming from different parts of China. As I looked around, I indeed saw that they seem to carry everything, including different varieties of Green Tea, Black Tea, Chamomile Tea, Wu Long Tea, and Jasmine Tea.

 

The great benefit of its huge selection is the various levels of prices. Regular teas started from as low as RMB 10/ 50g. While premium leaves could cost upwards of RMB 1000/ 50g. If happen to visit there at right time, you might find them in the midst of a demonstration on tea-making.

 

What I appreciated:

Quality Green teas

 

What customers appreciate:

Time-honored brand, great selection


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Beijing Shopping: With about 200 years of history, Huang Tang Tea used to be the local tribute to emperors. Produced in Zhejiang Province's Wenzhou city. Huang Tang tea - literally means "yellow soup" ¨C is a type of y...