Friday, May 04, 2007
Tea in Beijing China
As expected tea is an important part of the local drinks menu. There are many different varieties of tea available to enjoy. Whether you enjoy oolong tea, green tea, red tea (black tea) or other lesser known varieties, it is well worth taking time out to enjoy a tea ceremony to try the huge range of teas and learn a little more about the drink for which China is so famous.
Just as there are markets or streets famous for buying other products in Beijing, there is also a ‘Tea Street’ where you will find tea markets and 600 tea shops selling over 500 kinds of fresh tea. Of course you will be rewarded for your visit by saving considerable money on prices offered in other tea shops found anywhere else in Beijing. Expect savings of 30-50%. This means paying around 30 rmb for half a kilo. (Remember the local “jin” equals half a kilo.) There are still the more expensive teas available where you pay prices like 200rmb per half kilo.
China’s most famous green tea is Xihu Longjing Tea. It is also known as Dragonwell tea in English. This tea is described as having a nutty, sweet flavour. Green tea is famous for high levels of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
Tieguanyin is China’s most famous oolong tea. Tieguanyin is grown in Fujian province. It has been described as having a fruity aroma with buttery sweet flavours coming through each time hot water is added. When you buy it look for a deep emerald colour.
Pu’er tea is sold as loose tea or in pressed cakes. It is a tea that improves with age. It is said to help you lose weight and improve circulation. If it tastes mouldy or like a fungus buy a different tea, as it is likely the tea has become “wet”.
Tea sets, tea pots and tea cups can also be purchased if you want to take home the local style made from ceramic or cloisonné.
Tea Street can be found at Maliandrao Chayecheng, Xuanwe District, diagonally opposite the Hong Kun International Hotel. Tea street is full of small tea shops and larger tea markets. Some markets and tea shops are also found in streets running off the main tea street. Interesting side trips for shopping in this street include a camera market on the top floor of Tea Joy Market, Nike factory outlet store opposite Tea Joy Market and a large Carrefour Supermarket next door to Tea Joy Market.
Other famous tea shops include:
Jia Xiang Tea Shop
Famous for tea from Fujian
44 Yandai Xiejie, Houhai, Xicheng District
Telephone: 6407 1946
Ten Fu’s Tea
A large Taiwanese tea chain.
Danyao Dasha, Wangfujing Dajie, Dongcheng District.
Telephone: 6524 0958
Photographer: Russell Uebergang
at 5:43 PM
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