Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tea House and more!

This is the tea my tea teacher gave me! Notice how big the leaves are. It is the best tea I have ever had. It is from 安徽 Province, and has a light flavor, not bitter and not sweet. Sorry my description is so basic... The bad news is my teacher told me it was an expensive variety, the good news was I re-seeped the leaves 7 times and until the end the flavor was pretty consistent. When my teacher and I go to a tea store, I'll see if I can find some more, or maybe something similar. It's really good! You should all try it if I manage to locate some :)

So on Wednesday my activity was to go to a tea house! At long last, an excuse. 

The tea house is the largest in Hangzhou, people come here to talk, play cards, eat, do business and relax. As usual, I also had to interview people, so I made my way around different tables. 

The food.


At long last! I try the famed 龙井茶! Notice the slender smooth leaves. This is right when I got my tea, so the leaves are all still at the top. As they become more saturated, they sink. You add more hot water at your discretion- there is pot kept heated over a small flame by all the tables. 

Oh! About the flavor- sort of bitter and very strong, which is probably because I got the cheapest (but still expensive) variety. 

Some one else's tea. A lot of the women at the tea house preferred to drink flower teas, and the guys to drink green tea.

My view!

I noticed the typo while at the tea house.

One of the reasons people prefer to come to 青藤 tea house is because it's located right next to the lake! So I went for a stroll after my leisurely afternoon (leisurely other than the interview part of course)

Then I ventured into a McDonalds to take this picture for you guys. McDonalds here are "high quality" and offer things that look like Starbucks should have.

On Friday I went urban hiking and walked past a bookstore. So I went inside, spent way too long, but look what I found! 

Running to the lake yesterday, I took a new route which I like better. The view is gorgeous for pretty much the entire run!

Also found while "hiking" some delicious snacks. I noticed a lot of people were crowded around a booth, so I approached and asked one of the customers what their favorite flavor was, and they offered to let me try the kind they were buying, reassured me that this was an excellent price, at which point the vender noticed me and gave me a slice to try. It is very good, and next time I'll try more flavors, I think I was too flustered to think to try more at the time. 

Back to running views!

So many instant noodles!

I made soup! It's questionable, but I'm soaking some beans for the next round. Notice I used our "kettle"- we are finally using it for its intended purpose!


  1. Is this a recipe you learned in your cooking class?

    1. Lol not yet, we're covered a basic noodle soup with pickled cabbage and some egg and onion dumplings. This was a pure Vivian creation and tasted like one. But still better than the "all green" soup I made that one time I was sick :)

  2. I'm curious as to what counts as expensive tea, given the prices of everything else you've eaten. I'm also sad, but not surprised, that the horror that is Twilight has been translated into Chinese. Hopefully it is less prevalent there...
    Jealous of the street food and all your running views.

  3. Very true :) But tea prices can get crazy high- I believe the tea from a former emperor's bushes were 70,000 USD per 500g or so ! I think this one was 3000 yuan/kilo, so like 250 USD/lbs. Haha yes also super popular here is gossip girl and vampire diaries, all the Chinese roommates watch them and thought we would too.. I'm always surprised at the things people think of as "American" in China

  4. Your blog is so wonderful. Your captions are so poetic, to say the least. I feel like I am in a tea house. Thanks for showing me China. I can almost say I've been there.

  5. I love the images and your comments about the tea house. My knitting group has added tea tastings recently to our gatherings. We've tried rose green tea, strawberry green tea, chocolate tea, pu erh, to name a few. What kind of tea filter/pot was used in the pitcher that you posted? Was it good at keeping the tea warm?

    1. Yum those teas sound great! Traditionally no filter is used, and tea is served either in a cup with a lid or a very very small tea pot! After full saturation, all tea leaves should fall to the bottom- this is also a good way to see if you tea has any twigs or bits that shouldn't be in it, since anything left floating is not a tea leaf ;) Since the cups/pots are so small, you need to almost constantly refill the pot- but they keep a big pot of hot water over a small fire near all the tables, so it's really easy to refill.