Friday September 22, 2006

Another trip to Maliandao today. There was a lot of traffic, so the cab driver took the longer route, from the south. I’ve never gone in that way before.

He was going to keep driving, but I saw this

Which is ANOTHER tea city, so I told him to stop, and decided to shop there to take a look.

It’s a brand new place, with some stores still doing renovations and not moved in yet. Lots of puerh stores, and the other places mostly sell tieguanyin. I saw a teaware store, and I went in. Bought two things…

I think they are pretty decent gaiwan and cups (two of them). Big cups, good for puerh drinking.

I walked around, but didn’t feel like bothering with the myraid puerh stores. There are SO MANY of them. You almost get numb and don’t end up feeling like going into any one of them. Everybody looks at you eagerly, hoping that you’ll walk in and buy something because business is piss poor. This tea city is really at the end of the Maliandao, quite far from the rest of the stuff, so unless you were going purposefully, you would usually end up at one of the other tea cities up the road.

After buying the teaware, I went north, and went into one of the open air tea cities. I saw this place, called Dr. Chen’s oolong, and went in, because last time when I was at Lao He’s place, he mentioned Dr. Chen as someone who makes decent high fire Taiwan oolongs. I figured I’ll go in and have a taste.

Ended up spending most of my afternoon there, and bought a bit of stuff. It’s more expensive than your run-of-the-mill Maliandao tea, but it’s not bad. The firing is decently done so the tea doesn’t come out sour. There were also a few people who came in to buy stuff while I was there, which is also atypical of Maliandao. It seems like everybody on the street knows them, and they are well respected. I ended up with 100g of their tea.

Which means I still haven’t found my dancong.

I ended up in the tea mall that belongs to the Beijing Central Tea Company, and found a dancong only store. I went in there, but the offering was not what I wanted — mostly low to medium fired stuff, nothing I really liked. I did end up with something, out of courtesy, and also because that tea is VERY WEIRD. More on this tea later, maybe when BBB comes :). It’ll be a surprise.


Comments

Friday September 22, 2006 — 6 Comments

  1. Yup….. I’ve been there like four times this trip, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface….

    Too bad their oolong varieties are not wide. Otherwise, it’ll be even more fun.

    And to think — I have yet to step into a puerh store.

  2. Are you saving the pu’er for my visit? cuz we’re going to get tea drunk daily! maybe even real drunk just to balance it out and give the tea something to cleanse. 🙂 I’d love to go back to houhai or try out the new bar area by the foreign embassy district. It is a shame the sites around the city will be so crowded; there are a lot of places I didn’t get to see that I’d like to see. Maybe I’ll just have to get up early? Would be cool to bring tea equipment out to one of the parks/gardens and drink tea with some nice scenery. la la la

  3. Well…… ALL the places, parks, sights, etc etc will be packed, according to people who have been through it. In fact, most Beijingers flee the city, or lock themselves up for the week.

    Yeah, I’m sort of saving the puerh buying. It’s not something I need to buy right away, since I don’t drink my cakes when I buy them, so there’s really no hurry. I figured maybe we can split some purchases and give us a little more bargaining power when buying in (relative) bulk.

    Although I am not terribly keen on serious all day tea shopping. Half a day is already plenty of tea to drink…

  4. what’s good for breakfast there? are you cooking a lot for yourself? we ate dim sum at our hotel almost every day, so i didn’t get to try any indigenous morning meals.

    maybe my next stop after beijing will be chengde. i hear their specialties are elk and pheasant. *salivate* man i’m hungry. almost lunchtime!

  5. It’s a little late to be heading to Chengde, I think, it’s starting to get cold.

    I don’t usually eat breakfast these days :P. I get up and sleep rather late. since I am doing research, mostly at home for now, I am on my own schedule.

    But maybe I’ll try to get up earlier when you’re here, hahaha.

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