I will be visiting Beijing for 12 days in March.
I searched through the archives of this group and saw that others had
posted similar requests for tea shop recommendations in Beijing, and
most replies were admonitions.
So, aside from "You can't find reputable tea shops selling pu-erh in
Beijing!", does anyone have any recommendations?
There are several good tea shops in Beijing, forgive those who admonished,
they know not what they say.
I'll email you off the group next week for some places you can visit while
you are there...
I don't know Beijing's market very well, but if you're going to be in
the area, there is a city about four hours south by train called
Shijiazhuang. In Shijiazhuang there is a large marketplace called
NanSanTiao. There is an entire city block devoted just to tea sellers
there. All of them have some kind of Pu Er and a few of them specialize
in it. If you end up going to that city, let me know, and I'll give you
the names of some good contacts there.
As for Beijing.. I would be careful. Foreigner = money. Foreigner largely ignorant about quality tea. Foreigner = easy to rip off.
That's the general attitude of the people I've dealt with there. That
city is particularly bad for that crap. If you take the time to get out
of Beijing, you'll meet a whole different China, and probably have a
better overall experience. I'm not saying there aren't nice reputable
people in Beijing, just that they are harder to find. Shijiazhuang is
just around the corner by train, and has a much better attitude, and
you can buy for about half the price there.
Hope that helps,
I looked it up on wikipedia, and at 320km south of Beijing it's
definitely a possibility. THe train ride would then be about 3 hours or
so? Would I leave from the Bejing West Train Station? Please post here
or email me off the list with more information!
Yes. You'd leave from Beijing via BeiJing Xi Train Station. You'll
arrive in Shijiazhuang about 3-5 hours later, and be right downtown.
The NanSanTiao market isn't far from there. The train station in
Shijiazhuang is right on the main downtown street "Zhong Shan Lu"
中山路。 Since it's a "lu" it runs east-west. Go to the west about
two-three blocks and NanSanTiao market will be to your left. The best
way, though, would just be to hop in a cab and tell the driver where
you want to go. The walk isn't far, and the busses are easy to get the
hang of, but if you're not familiar with the city, or the market, you
might get lost easily. Shijiazhuang isn't as "foriegner friendly" as
Beijing is, in the sense of having a lot of things in English or Pinyin
to help you find your way around. You're not likely to meet many
English speaking people. However they are more foreigner friendly, in
thier attitude. So, depending on your language skill level with
Chinese, you may or may not find it difficult to navigate. I have some
ex-pat friends in that city (from various countries of origin). You
could call them up once you're on your way into town, and meet up with
them. They'll show you around, help with the language barrier, and
probably take you out for a night on the town (some good bars and dance
clubs there too, just don't get on the stage and then moon the
audience, that'll land you in jail hurting (don't ask how I know
Let me know when you get closer to actually going there, and I'll send
you names and phone numbers of some folks in town who can help you out.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Troy Howard (aka Da Tong (or, in Shijiazhuang, WuJunHua))
RE: Puerh in Beijing...
I just stumbled across references to Maliandao, the tea-selling
district in Xuanwu, Beijing. One site in particular mentions that a few
stores specialize in pu-erh. As several sites attest to there being
upwards of 150 tea stores large & small--and a four-story tea mall--I'm
going to check it out. Any recommendations within this area?
just from my experiences with tea shopping in China, the average
chinese you'll meet on those markets doesn't speak a single word of
english. Make sure you bring a nice dictionary with chinese script. It
shall be worth it's weight in 100 year old Pu-Erh.
PS: the more english any of those tea vendors speak IMO the higher the
chances of getting ripped off.
Just my 2ct, enjoy your trip !!!
Karsten / Darjeeling