Updated: Feb 14, 2019
First tea trip to China and it’s hard to believe this was way back in 2009. In the spirit of firsts, Maliandao, Beijing’s tea road, was on the agenda. Upon arriving, it was hard not to become carried away, after all this was more than a road, it was a city. Building upon building is dedicated to production, packing, distributing, and selling of tea and tea ware. For some reason unbeknownst to me, my mother and I were able to settle on two. The first one we ended up purchasing some yixing teapots, Chinese style tea sets, a magnificent tea tray that Chariteas is still using today, and a serving set.
At the second shop and after tasting and spending an hour deciding which items to purchase I began the process of bargaining for the right price. It was a fun, engaging experience.
On our way out, we went into a teashop with fabulous looking green teas. The freshest teas available on the market were green teas. We sat down at the tea table and they brought out samples, brewed some, and we began the process of tasting and sampling tea the Chinese way.
First part of the process was to bring out the leaves, examine them and smell them. Then they cleaned the brewing vessel and cups with hot water. Next they put a little bit of the leaves in the brewing vessel, poured hot water over it and used the lid to stir the tea in the water. After a few minutes they poured the tea into a small clear teapot and served the tea into our little cups. If we drank all of the tea in our cups they would actually pour more. The process then repeated itself with every different tea we tried. After having about 12 different cups of tea and swimming in tea, it was time to call it a day.