Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Visit to Guangzhou pt. 3

In Guangzhou tea centre, there are shops (note the plural spelling) that only sells elaborate tea tables (pix 1) ...and....there are more shops selling tea accessories (pix2)...and....even more shops selling tea.

This huge tea wholesale centre literally has most of China's tea produce for sale.  You will notice that the tea shops have so much tea for sale that they had to display their tea products outside their shop.  (pix3&4, click pix to enlarge).  Rose tea, a brew where you add water to dried rose flowers buds is a popular floral tea drink in China.  One of the shopkeepers there showed me rose tea from Iran and he claimed that the fragrance and taste of the Iranian rose tea is a better rose tea than the chinese counterparts.

My impressions are that pu erh, oolongs like TGY, green tea are are the major teas that are mainly sold in Guangzhou.  Yes, you will find the white teas and other floral teas there but the earlier teas I mention takes precedence and pride of place in the tea market there.  Its no wonder that many tea retailers around the world come to Guangzhou to source for tea and tea products.

The video shows the brewing of pu erh tea.  I was trying some ripe teas and the sales representative was brewing  tea I had selected for tasting.  Some observations - the 1st 2 infusions are discarded.  I was reminded, by a shopkeeper there, to only try tea samples brewed from a gaiwan and not from a clay teapot.  He explained that a seasoned tea pot may enhanced the taste and I may not duplicate the taste after purchasing the tea.  He reminded me that it was important to have a fixed amount of tea (eg 8 gms of tea to a 150+ml gaiwan) as some pu erh being sold may require more leaves to bring out the taste.  I think, he meant that you can tell a low quality tea (eg pu erh) when the sales rep places more tea than usual in the tea tasting session (I have an alternative view on this practice which I will discussed in a later blog).  The sales rep in the video actually weighed the tea in a mini electronic scale, showed me the tea leaves and weight of the leaves before proceeding to brewing the tea.

If possible, I would love to revisit Guangzhou end of the year.

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