All posts tagged china

Greetings from the Guangzhou Tea Markets!

Hong Kong TeaHello tea lovers,

Dr. Oolong here…saying hello from Asia!

After spending a day in Hong Kong, our China adventure continued today with a mind-boggling stop at the tea market here in Guangzhou. “All the tea in the China” doesn’t even begin to describe it. From exquisitely designed and extremely high-end teaware shops with gorgeous hand-crafted pots averaging in the $500-1000 US range, to modest stalls with open burlap sacks of low-grade tea a few feet away, it was a diverse market to say the least. Besides plenty of tea, another thing we shared in common was the torrential downpour of the day.

We found a couple favorite merchants and teas that occupied the majority of our time. As I was relearning how to “get my shop on,” I was cautious at first to make even a modest purchase. Remember, I am here not for business buying (although I am acquiring some teaware for the tea room); I am just picking up some interesting things for my own use.

So we settled into a nice relaxed tasting of a yi wu pu-erh which was quite smooth and got us into the groove. This was followed by an extensive session at a shop with zillions of little cups, among other things. We all found some well-made artisan and inexpensive cups to our liking, and I also scored a cute and unique yi xing pot for a reasonable price. Pics to come soon!

We also sipped snow chrysanthemum tea for a couple hours, which was a delight. Even though I have a gifted tiny stash of it at home in Austin, I hadn’t tried it until yesterday while in China. Crazy! It is a fantastic herbal tea! Great mouthfeel, surprisingly complex, and has a long sweet floral finish. I bought a little to bring back, as I also want to try blending with it; it is gorgeous and vibrant in addition to tasting great.

Truly, we barely scratched the surface of the tea market. You could literally spend a week there. Hundreds and hundreds of vendors. Thousands upon thousands of pu-erh cakes. Gorgeous and immense hand-carved tea tables. Relaxing and helpful sales people. And, there weren’t that many shoppers there so it was a mellow time. We capped our day with an outstanding Hakka lunch at a nearby restaurant. I love the rain, but arrived soaked. Note to self: buy an umbrella; they are cheap here!

I must point out that it helps greatly to have knowledgeable friends who also happen to speak Chinese. I would be lost without them.

So today we journey to a nearby city of which I have forgotten the name. Tomorrow we fly to Yunnan!

-Dr. Oolong

Winter Harvest Teas are in! Plus, Zhi’s new Darjeeling

Stenthal Darjeeling Organic Tea

Hello, tea lovers!

Dr. Oolong here, writing to you while steeping a cup of one of our new teas: Stenthal Darjeeling.

As you know, Zhi hasn’t carried Darjeeling for a few years. While a very popular tea, we just never came across an organic one that had lived up to the hype. Happily, this one does, and it is priced right too! This true Darjeeling has the pleasant, smooth complexity that we were looking for, while also boasting muscatel undertones. There’s a faint hint of astringency, but just enough to pull the cup’s complexity together. We trust you’ll love it as much as we do :) Quantities limited: enjoy while you can!

Speaking of exquisite, rare teas, winter oolongs are in! This year’s harvest will prove to be one of the most delightful, and we invite you to enjoy the small artisan batches of Zhi’s direct sourced Frozen Summit Tung Ting, Jade Oolong, Golden Lily and Four Season varieties. Be sure to extract your multiple steepings as these very patient leaves are really expressing themselves over multiple infusions.

Next month, I will be traveling to Yunnan, China to visit the ancient tea trees and drink pu’erh. I’ll be sure to tweet and sent pictures via Instagram so follow us today @zhitea. We will be carrying even more amazing pu’erh options soon, in addition to our outstanding ripe, loose leaf version that you know and love.

Well, my tea is ready! Gotta go. Until next time,

Dr. Oolong