My experience at TenRen

Completely off the Topic of Tea

My experience at TenRen

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 20th, '10, 05:54

We scarcely manage to go downtown once a year. Yesterday I went and walked around in the Chinese district, with a picture of a Kamjove kettle, to see if any of the numerous shop would have something kettle like that. And so I stopped by a TenRen tea shop. I was given recently a box of Shi Hu Long Jin made by TenRen so I was curious about that shop.

They seemingly only carry boxed teas. I certainly haven't seen loose teas clearly displayed for sale. As soon as one enters, a female Chinese employee greets you. "Just looking, thank you". They had a few 'Yixing' tea pots at about $90+ each. Regular small size. I lifted two of them. Feather light. I do not know what type of clay they are using to make these, but it is certainly not as heavy as the $15 one I got from YS. Is it that the more expensive they get the lighter they are made ? Or is it that these tea pots did not use any Yixing clay at all ? Although I put the tea pots pretty much in the same orientation in the display, the employee nevertheless promptly made sure they were rightly oriented. Well, I guess this is an Oriental custom. OK, no more bad puns.

I asked if they had any Taiping HouKui. I had to repeat twice. OK, my Chinese accent might not be the best ! At the second time she replied with a 'no' that was more like: 'no, what kind of strange thing is this ?' than 'no, I know what you mean but we do not have any'.
A bit strange I found as they should recognize an Occidental using keywords about a potentially expensive tea so that they could at least steer towards other expensive teas.

And so I had a bubble tea supposed to be made from TieKwanYin ("do you want milk with it ?") and found out that tapioca in a 'tea drink' is not that much of bad idea after all. Haven't found any kettle, though.

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby debunix » Sep 20th, '10, 11:03

My TenRen carries a very limited selection of teas, mostly from Taiwan--the only thing that I was sure was not from Taiwan was the puerh. When I asked about Dragon Well, for example, they said they had a similar tea from Taiwan but no true Long Jing.

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby Victoria » Sep 20th, '10, 13:03

I haven't been pleased with the quality
of any oolongs purchased there.

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby skilfautdire » Sep 20th, '10, 18:35

The LongJing I was given states that it is a product of Taiwan. I do not know if the 'Shi Hu' part refers to the Chinese 'Xi Hu' region. The Chinese colleague who gave it to me told me that despite the markings on the canister, the actual tea came from China.

As a side note, another Chinese colleague told me recently that more and more Taiwanese businessmen are buying land and tea installations in China. The local people of these areas do not have the monetary resources to actually launch tea businesses in a large scale.

As for TenRen, their offerings are certainly better than supermarket tea, although for people on TeaChat who are ordering teas from quality sources in China/Taiwan, they *may* (not certain, might depend on several factors) fall below the mark.

tenrenLongJin.jpg (46.84 KiB) Viewed 1311 times

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 20th, '10, 23:26

For a few times, I saw some very high quality Li Shan and TGY in Ten Fu (Ten Ren's chain stores) in Beijing. No comments on their prices. :P
I didn't pay attention to the saleswomen. My friend says Ten Fu always have pretty girls as saleswomen. Not a bad thing at all :lol:
If you look like an affluent potential customer, you have good chance to get free tea tasting. In some store, sales people need manager's approval to let patrons taste tea over 800¥ /120$ per pound. But everything below that threshold is within your reach for tasting, if they like you :P

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby spot52 » Sep 21st, '10, 08:43

I have no experience at a TenRen store, but I have enjoyed one of their teas. Their Kings Tea 913 is a pretty tasty Ginseng Oolong.

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Re: My experience at TenRen

Postby Alucard » Sep 23rd, '10, 20:11

I been to TenRen twice the first time i asked for yunnan black tea and they looked at me like i was crazy. The tea is listed on their website mind you. I had to repeat myself then they said the only black tea they have is earl grey.

On the second visit i asked for 2oz of high mountain oolong. They told me i wouldnt like it and tried to sell me some garbage oolong.

Needless to say i have not been back since.

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