What others drink

The office I’m in right now has an interesting policy – spent tea leaves, along with other things solid but wet, are discarded in a little sieve that sits in the communal sink. So, whenever I clean out my cup full of leaves, I throw the leaves in there and rinse the cup out. Among the side benefits of this system is that I get to see what other people drink.

Not too surprisingly, the only thing that comes out of people’s cups, at least when it’s tea related, tend to be greens or very light oolongs. There are a few supposed tea junkies in the office (your truly excepted, of course), but I generally don’t see any real tea activity here. Maybe they drink it at home, but if they do, they probably stay up late, given that office hours in Hong Kong tend to end at 6pm. When people throw away tea leaves, they are usually green tea of some kind or another, and usually not the high priced stuff that are easily identifiable – longjing or biluochun. More likely, they’re some unidentifiable maofeng or some such. I also seem a fair amount of green oolongs of various types. Not surprisingly, no puerh at all. While someone has an “old tree” puerh cake sitting on her desk, no doubt a cooked tea from the yellow coloured label, it has, as far as I can tell, never been moved since I arrived a few months ago, never mind drunk. This confirms what I always know – puerh, even in Hong Kong, is strictly for the aficionados or those going to yumcha.


Comments

What others drink — 4 Comments

  1. That really surprises me! Most Cantonese and Hong Kong people I know (well most are older people) seldom drink any tea that doesn’t have a red/dark color, and even think green tea is unhealthy. It’s actually quite true that under the climate of Hong Kong, green tea and green oolong are not so good for most people’s body systems. But green TGY has dominated gift market nowadays.

    • Ah, you’d be surprised. Puerh is generally considered to be a dim sum tea, I think, and not something you just drink on a regular basis on your own, especially in the office.

  2. The people who contribute “unidentifiable” leaves of green tea to the drain might be astute tea buyers who choose excellent, say, Gounao Gongcha rather than overpriced big-name teas. That is to say, they might be buying green tea the way you buy Pu’er.

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