If you´re a Tea lover in Beijing you will probably stop at the Maliandao Tea street, also known as the “Tea City”, one of the most famous and biggest Tea markets in China. It is located in southwestern part of Xuanwu District.
Maliandao Tea street has 1.5 Km of around 1,000 Tea shops and 8 different large malls. In China, Tea is more than just a drink but a way of life and you can feel that vibe when you enter Maliandao street. You can find all kinds of Tea from all the different Chinese regions here. Every vendor have different characteristics but they all have a Tea table and invite you for a Tea tasting where they perform the GongFu Cha. Despite the language barrier which is not always easy to overcome, everyone is very friendly and available to help and answer your questions. Sometimes we have to use other resouces such as drawing or gesturing but that´s also part of this whole experience.
For those that are planning a visit, shops are usually open between 7am and 10pm. Prices vary from really cheap to extremely expensive depending on the quality of the Tea but bargaining is a must if you want to get a good deal. It is also a good place to buy Tea ware.
Today, after sleeping only 3 hours, I woke up early and went there just before getting my flight to Shanghai. Despite being very tired, this Tea experience made me feel more energised and relaxed at the same time. Chinese say that Tea refreshes the body, energises the mind and purify the spirit. I agree! :)
Happy Tea Break.