Was in Sheung Wan earlier and took my father to a very famous local restaurant chain famous for their fish ball noodles: I'm sure those of you who are familiar with Hong Kong know which one. Dad, who moved here in 1969, had never been there before, and was pleasantly surprised. After he headed home, I decided to come back to my office to get some work done. On the way back, I decided to pop into Ying Kee Tea House, a store that I've passed by hundreds, if not thousands of times, since my dad actually had a factory right around the corner. As long as I can remember, it's been staffed by snooty old men who sneer at me. I'm sure my dad's bought tea there before though, but I hadn't. I've seen it change over the years and it is surprisingly modern now.
I waltzed on in today and told one of the guys I wanted to look at tea cups and cha hai. Their prices were surprisingly reasonable, I felt, so I picked up a clear borosilicate cha hai. An older man came in to buy some tea, and was pretty much staring at me. I smiled and nodded, and he kept staring.
As is typical for HK, the staff and the customer started discussing me while I was there. They had no idea where I was from. I got called black today--might be the five days of stubble and the straw hat. I just chuckled to myself and checked out the Yixings.
The older man bought some oolong and something else. I decided to pick up 75g of their best bo lei and luk on, and the cha hai. I wanted 100g of each, but since tea is sold by catty (600g), it was either 75g (1/8) or 150g (1/4). I don't know if they normally do bags that small, but it was cool to be able to buy a small amount of each to try. Their bo lei did look, and smell, quite good.
They had chrysanthemum flowers in the fridge, which is something I don't think I've seen before. It was around US$10.50 for two small packs, and they said I could buy half if I wanted, but I decided to pass as I don't drink all that much chrysanthemum right now.
I also checked out their entry level Yixing, which was priced right at the same level as the one Marshal suggested, but I held off as I felt the lid was just a little loose, and I wanted to see how the other one compares.
I would love to hear Marshal's opinion of Ying Kee!
After Ying Kee, I walked over to a porcelain store I'd noticed on my way to meet dad. They had some very nice gaiwans, including a beautiful, thin porcelain one with images in it. I don't remember what that type of porcelain is called, but it was a real beauty. Still drinking some shu, but I'd like to try the new bo lei from Ying Kee later tonight.