What do you think of when you hear a word "China"? Ordinary people associate it mainly with silk and tea. The Chinese tea differs a lot from the Indian one, and its taste is even much better. But, I'm not supposed to argue this point with Sri-Lanka's or India's Ceylon tea connoisseurs, since it just doesn't worth it.
We know that there lots of sorts of tea in China, and all of them can be divided into following groups: Green tea (绿茶;), Black tea (红茶, the character 红 in Chinese means red, this kind of tea resembles Ceylon black tea which we get used to drink, that's why it is translated like "black tea"), Dark green tea (黑茶, the character 黑 in Chinese means black; it is darker than black tea, and has dark green tints; for example, Pu-erh tea), White tea (白茶;), Yellow tea (黄茶;), and Oolong tea (乌龙茶;). We will speak about sorts of tea in China next time.
You can buy various sorts of tea in every big supermarket, like Wal-Mart or Carefore. The problem you can face will be "What tea should I choose? Cheap or expensive?". My advice is "None", as you don't know what its taste is, or when it was collected. Thus, if you have enough time, you should find special tea markets.

Pic-1. Tea street in Chengdu
Everything, I really mean everything... is sold on separate streets or markets. Just imagine, you wanna buy a mobile phone, and you cannot find it in very very big digital centers or anywhere else. So, you need to baidu yixia (Baidu is the Chinese search service which is used instead of google) where you can buy a mobile phone in your city in China or ask your Chinese friends "where there is a street I can buy a mobile phone".
I used the example above to explain you that if you want to buy a specific product, look for a specific street. Thus, if you want to buy a really good tea, look for a tea street or a tea market.
I live in Chengdu, south-western part of China, and we have a tea street in Wukuaishi district (northern part of the city). And it's not only one street, it's a quarter with lots of small and big tea shops. The advantage of such stores is that you can try tea which you want to buy.

Pic-2. Inside a tea shop in Wukuaishi district
In Chengdu, I've found a very nice tea shop, where you can drink tea, talk with its owners (Mr. Huang and Mrs. Yang) about tea, tea culture and tea business, about everything, what actually I do every time I go there. The owners sell different sorts of tea, tea ceremony tools and etc. The unique atmosphere of that tea shop is created with all of those small and big kettles and teapots, sculptures of the Chinese deities on shelves and wooden furniture, which you can see on the picture above.

Pic-3. Drinking Lao bai cha (one of the sorts of Chinese white tea) with the owner of the tea shop
Once, I had a very interesting talk with the owner of this tea shop. We spoke about tea business, exactly - should you bargain at the tea shop and why do some Chinese do it. Since I'm studying now enterprise management, it was really useful to listen to a Chinese businessmen, even if this tea business is a family business. I won't retell the whole conversation, but try to enumerate its most important points:
1) We should respect the labour of people who grow tea bushes, collect and process tea leaves.
2) We should understand the real value of tea. A good tea is an expensive tea. If you'd like to take a good care of your health, you should remember it. Bad tea can even worsen your health condition.
3) We should correctly estimate our finances. Sometimes, people just cannot afford very expensive sorts of tea, and they actually do not need to buy such tea. You need to find the right price category for yourself, and a good tea shop owner should know how to help you.
4) Conversation. We should correctly estimate our time. If you want to go to buy some tea, you need to remember that it will take quite a long time, minimum 2-3 hours, since you should try the tea you want to buy (sometimes you will try the same tea sort, but of different price categories) and establish a dialogue with an owner.
5) Trust. If you've found a good tea shop, do not change it, it simply doesn't worth it.
Tea is an essential part of the Chinese culture, and we, foreigners, should remember it. The attitude of Chinese to the tea culture can show us their true nature. You can learn a lot about China and the Chinese people while entering such the tea shops and drinking tea with the owners. You also should remember that tea can become an excellent gift for your relatives, friends and colleges, and even your bosses from China.

@темы: Tianxia, Tea, Positive people, Business in China