Traveling to Hong Kong...


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Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby G-off-re » Aug 21st, '11, 20:30

I'm taking a vacation to Taipei and Hong Kong in november and would love to buy a few cakes of 90's aged puerh while i'm there. I already have a few shops i plan to stop into but i'm not sure how the prices compare to western market. I'm not looking for anything real famous, just some decent early-mid 90's stuff. Anyone have recent experience buying tea there? TW vs. HK tea market would be helpful too.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby TomVerlain » Aug 21st, '11, 21:01

a fellow tea chatter has an excellent website you might like

http://www.nicolastang.com/tea/hongkong.html

There is a teaware museum, which is nice if you have time. The have a cafe where you can drink a huge variety of teas.

http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/ce/Museum/Arts/english/tea/tea.html

here are my pictures from there

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=14634

enjoy your trip - hong kong is a great place to visit
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby wyardley » Aug 22nd, '11, 01:35

Prices will be a bit higher in HK, probably. Seconding the suggestion to read Nicolas's site for HK shops. I can't think of much to add, though I've only been a few places in HK, and didn't have time to try much pu'er. Everyone seems to have their own opinions about Henry, but I have had good tea from there, so probably worth a stop. Best Tea House has some good stuff, though prices are high (they will bargain or give you some discounts in many cases, though).

I can point you in the direction of a place or two in Taipei if you PM me. You would definitely be advised to stop in at the Wistaria House, if only to try some of the older teas on their menu (I really recommend the shuanghua (as in double-flower) from 1920s or 1930s - it's not actually that much more than some of their new teas, and it is quite nice to drink and very relaxing). Some of their own productions are good too - they are not on the tasting menu, but the owners will be happy to let you try some. The food there is also pretty good. Some photos from our last visit there, along with the address:
http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2010/06 ... se-taiwan/
while most of the pu'er they specialize in is older (they have some very reasonably priced loose teas, as well as pretty much any nosebleed priced tea you could want), they do have some 90s stuff, and may also be willing to refer you elsewhere if they don't have what you're looking for.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby MarshalN » Aug 22nd, '11, 10:07

The answer to your question depends on a few things -- what's your budget? What kind of taste are you looking for? What is your experience with pu?
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby G-off-re » Aug 22nd, '11, 17:10

Thanks for the replies. Nicholas's site is a good introduction to shopping. So far Lau Yu Fat, BTH and Henry Trading are at the top of my list. Lin's Ceramics is also on my Taiwan list. Most of my experience has been with stuff from EOT. I'm looking for raw 90's traditional/wet stuff including a standard Menghai cake or 2 depending on prices. I'm not in a huge hurry to buy anything w/o sampling it first since i'm alone in HK for 12 days. As far as budget goes i'd prefer to keep my tea purchases under $1500 and not just on one really good cake.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby HifideliTea » Aug 22nd, '11, 21:25

You should consider visiting Guangzhou's tea markets, it is a day's trip by train from HK.
I've not had a good experience shopping in Taiwan, and the teas in HK can be pricey.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby MarshalN » Aug 23rd, '11, 11:53

If your only experience with pu is through EoT then Guangzhou is not for you. Guangzhou is really for pros only -- anyone else going there is going to get screwed.

There are other places in HK where you can find some decent stuff, all depending on how old you want them to be and what kind of taste you're looking for.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby G-off-re » Aug 23rd, '11, 17:36

I assume i'd need a visa to visit Guangzhou so i'm gonna skip going there this trip, maybe next time.

MarshalN, as far as flavors go i want something that's earthy and full of talcum but with minimal astringency and harshness. Pretty much what i've experienced with 80's and 90's Menghai. I was thinking a 90's cake of 7542 might be worth getting. They're selling online for $190-360. Should i expect to pay more for something like that in HK assuming storage has been good? Any advice you have on shopping there would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby wyardley » Aug 23rd, '11, 21:21

G-off-re wrote:MarshalN, as far as flavors go i want something that's earthy and full of talcum but with minimal astringency and harshness. Pretty much what i've experienced with 80's and 90's Menghai. I was thinking a 90's cake of 7542 might be worth getting. They're selling online for $190-360. Should i expect to pay more for something like that in HK assuming storage has been good? Any advice you have on shopping there would be greatly appreciated.

If that's the taste you're looking for, you should definitely look for medium wet stored stuff. With (relatively) natural storage, even in a humid environment, early 90s 7542 is not very earthy, and has quite a bit of bite left (same for late 80s, to a lesser extent). You might also want to try some 8582 from the same time period, which I think can be a little smoother as far as something to drink now.

I think your price range is probably in the right ballpark, but if you're talking about cleaner storage 7542, you'll probably be at the top of that range for early 90s ('92-94) cakes.

I've had '96 or '97 orange-in-orange (7532), which I think you should be able to get within your price range, depending on the source and the storage, which can be pretty smooth for such a young tea, if you get a moderate wet-stored version. There are definitely cheaper late 90s teas that don't have as much hype, but after going through samples a couple of times, I'm kind of kicking myself for not picking up at least one piece of this one last time I had the chance.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby bagua7 » Aug 29th, '11, 00:18

I'll be heading to Taipei on January next year and certainly will provide a good report. However a local Taiwanese guy I know of who lives in Taipei and very traditional Chinese will show me around. He suggested me not going to "Wistaria" as the tea served there is average and expensive.

I will report after I come back, sorry if I am not more helpful right now but I live in Australia; hence my knowledge of the Asian market is close to nil.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby shah82 » Aug 29th, '11, 01:16

My experience with Wistaria products is that they are better than Sunsing or other comparable HK productions. That stuff won't blow you away, but it's pretty decent for what it is...

Of course, I did not sample anything older than 2003. I certainly can believe that older products might be more than it's really worth.

Dude could be right, but just one word of warning--That line "average and expensive" is a traditional sucker's pitch such that you pay for cheaper and get even less. Given that I *know* Wistaria doesn't make bad tea (don't know about old tea, again), that's a warning flag in my book. Make sure to widely graze *one your own initiative* as well as take his advice.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby MarshalN » Aug 29th, '11, 10:06

bagua7 wrote:I'll be heading to Taipei on January next year and certainly will provide a good report. However a local Taiwanese guy I know of who lives in Taipei and very traditional Chinese will show me around. He suggested me not going to "Wistaria" as the tea served there is average and expensive.

I will report after I come back, sorry if I am not more helpful right now but I live in Australia; hence my knowledge of the Asian market is close to nil.


Who is this friend of yours?

Wisteria has very good tea if it's your style. It may not be his.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby TIM » Aug 29th, '11, 10:46

bagua7 wrote:I'll be heading to Taipei on January next year and certainly will provide a good report. However a local Taiwanese guy I know of who lives in Taipei and very traditional Chinese will show me around. He suggested me not going to "Wistaria" as the tea served there is average and expensive.


hmmm... i think there are average tea drinkers out there, and there are those who really appreciates finer things in life. Wistaria is on the top of the game refer by puerh connoisseurs. Not as trendy and commercial as Mr. Chan's (BTH). But most definitely more solid.

Like other fine living establishment, eg: Wine, Bourbon, Cigar, tea and coffee shops. If you walk in and present yourself as an "Expert" and talk about how knowledgeable you are, most likely you will miss a better experience.
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby karmaplace » Dec 21st, '11, 11:45

I'll be traveling to Hong Kong in January, primarily for a "visa run", but the Tea Museum is definitely on my list of places to see while I'm there. I'll try to check out some of the shops from Nicolas' blog, but I was wondering if anyone knew about the non-puerh shops. I'd be interested in picking up some Chinese oolongs, whites, or greens. Basically I'm looking for a good place to buy tea with a lot of variety. And, teapets! Does anyone know where I can find them in Hong Kong?

I was also wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a place that makes stellar milk tea, or that has a great "tea time" set (tea and food, possibly a good view), though I don't like meat so vegetarian or seafood options are a must.

I'm also up for any basic sight-seeing, things to do, or places to eat recommendations. I can't wait!
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Re: Traveling to Hong Kong...

Postby wyardley » Dec 21st, '11, 13:23

karmaplace wrote:I was also wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a place that makes stellar milk tea, or that has a great "tea time" set (tea and food, possibly a good view), though I don't like meat so vegetarian or seafood options are a must.

Lock Cha, by the teaware museum, has vegetarian snacks, and will give you a full tea set to play with. Their tea is pretty good; not worth a special trip maybe, but if you're already at the teaware museum... I thought their food was pretty good. If you're in Tsim Sha Tui, check out Cute Fei Vegetarian (restaurant). I went to a really nice higher end veg place in North Point, but I don't remember the name. Some pictures from both of these places here:
http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2010/05 ... rian-food/

I would try Best Tea House, maybe also Lau Yu Fat or Lam Kie Yuen. I can't speak to the quality of their greens or whites (HK may not be the best place to buy these), but they carry them, and their oolongs are of good to excellent quality. If you don't speak Chinese, Lau Yu Fat may be the easiest to communicate at, but I'm sure you'll get by at any of these places.
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