Visiting a Beijing Tea Market

Some tips to navigate those colossal Chinese tea markets without spending too much energy or money.


At Mei Leaf we do not buy tea from these markets but they are a great way to spend a day. The first time I visited a Chinese tea market I was totally in awe of all of the tea on offer. I remember diligently trying to go shop by shop to taste as many teas as possible.

The problem with this approach is that each tea seller will hold you in their shop for at least half an hour and those without much experience often feel obliged to buy.

The end result is that after 5 hours of tasting you are all tasted out with bags of tea (that you don't necessarily want) and you have not even walked past 1% of the shops.

I have found that the trick of finding good tea at these markets is to float around and let serendipity do its things. Be an invisible, smiling, floating camera observing not just the tea but the sellers. When you feel that the seller's smile and their tea on offer naturally draw you in, then go and have a session.

In this video I give you some little tricks which I use whenever I have a day free to explore the markets.



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