What to buy in China?

Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea. China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, etc...

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Jul 8th 08 12:28 pm
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What to buy in China?

by Seth » Jul 8th 08 12:28 pm

I am already 4 months here, leaving soon so I guess it would be nice to get smth nice for tea to use in Europe [in US it is much easier to get anything].

I am in Xi'An now and I will be spending few days in Hangzhou and Shanghai. I am surely going to buy some tea set [but what?], those bamboo tables look tempmting too. I have no idea what to look for really.

And the most surprising thing is that I wasn't able to find ANY white tea here. Not in any shops, tea markets etc. They mostly sell tens of different supermarket quality green tea for the masses. You can even buy black tea here easily. And Chinese drink Lipton! Terrifying.

But if someone could advice me on 'cool' things to get and/or shops in Shanghai/Hangzhou [I won't have enough time in Beijing to look for that things] it would be great :) I need to move my addiction to next level.

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Jul 8th 08 12:50 pm
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by chrl42 » Jul 8th 08 12:50 pm

Hello, seth.
I am from Beijing so I can't inform you anything better than I've heard.

But I recommend you to visit Jiu Xing market, which is biggest wholesale tea market in Shanghai. It's located about 40 miles from Pudong airport.

And don't forget that Shanghai and Hang Zhou area is a center of China's green teas. Long Jing is Hang Zhou's own specialty..

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Jul 8th 08 3:12 pm
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by Seth » Jul 8th 08 3:12 pm

chrl42:

I am a bit afraid of Hangzhou and that famous tea. I know I want it, but there will be probably many many sellers trying to rip off tourists. Any advices on how to find authetic shop? Or just buy it at Shanghai? And I hope you can buy 'reasonable' amounts of tea in that wholesale tea market :) Limit on luggage for flights to China are really strict.

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by MarshalN » Jul 8th 08 3:30 pm

There's a rule... you can't find the best longjing in Hangzhou. The best stuff go to the bigger cities -- Shanghai being one of them.

Jiuxing is really far from the city and might not be convenient. If you want something closer, Tianshan Tea City is quite convenient. It's near the Yan'an West Rd. subway, IIRC

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Jul 8th 08 4:10 pm
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by chrl42 » Jul 8th 08 4:10 pm

Seth wrote:chrl42:

I am a bit afraid of Hangzhou and that famous tea. I know I want it, but there will be probably many many sellers trying to rip off tourists. Any advices on how to find authetic shop? Or just buy it at Shanghai? And I hope you can buy 'reasonable' amounts of tea in that wholesale tea market :) Limit on luggage for flights to China are really strict.
No, wholesale market isn't those market where only retail market sellers go shop. They sell at any amount you want, at least in Beijing they do.

In Hang Zhou, there is tea market street (Cha Shi Chang) in downtown, Tai Chi Cha Guan which is famous tea house, or you can visit Ten Fu Ming Cha - a famous Chinese tea franchise. And there is tea museum in Hang Zhou, which might be the biggest one in China...this is what I got so far..:P

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Jul 8th 08 4:20 pm
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by Seth » Jul 8th 08 4:20 pm

MarshalN:

Hmm... I wonder if I should try to find tea sets here, in Xi'An or leave it for Shanghai. I am reading nice stories about that Tea City you mentioned, do they have fair prices for tea accessories too?

chrl42:

Sounds great. I am more and more happy I changed my plane ticket which forced me to visit smth different than Beijing [really bad hotel prices before Olympics and probably crowds of tourists already]. I will probably have just 4 days in Shanghai and 3 in Hanghou. I may try to get 1-3 more days total if you think it's not enough.

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by betta » Jul 8th 08 4:26 pm

Seth, in Hangzhou you can buy their famous chrysant flower tea.
I recalled it was the best chrysant I ever bought.

MarshalN or Chrl42, can you please help me to find (if any, and if possible in english) website of official yixingware shops run by chinese government? I intend to buy yixingwares from china and get it sent to HK.

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Jul 8th 08 4:33 pm
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by chrl42 » Jul 8th 08 4:33 pm

betta wrote:MarshalN or Chrl42, can you please help me to find (if any, and if possible in english) website of official yixingware shops run by chinese government? I intend to buy yixingwares from china and get it sent to HK.
Is there specific website you are looking for or you want any website run by goverment?

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Jul 8th 08 6:14 pm
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by betta » Jul 8th 08 6:14 pm

chrl42 wrote: Is there specific website you are looking for or you want any website run by goverment?
any website run by government which sell yixingware online

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by brandon » Jul 8th 08 9:24 pm

I believe the closest "famous" tea to Shanghai is Bi Luo Chun grown near Wuxi City.

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by MarshalN » Jul 9th 08 5:48 am

I don't think any such site exists, betta. The government is out of the yixingware business now.

And at any rate, unless you speak/read/write Chinese, buying yixing ware online in China will be rather difficult. They're not going to take your credit cards and you'll have to navigate all sorts of things...

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Jul 10th 08 1:48 pm
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by Seth » Jul 10th 08 1:48 pm

I will get my tea stuff at Tian Shan Tea City then. Any idea where to get nice chopsticks? And maybe some cutlery? :) I wanted to get some nice knives, I got cheap Calphalon Katana last time in US, cannot find them in Europe and they are made in China... but I guess all you can get here is either cheap fakes or imported knives from Germany [really expensive].

Heh, I guess Japan would be the best place to buy quality stuff and US for all that Chinese cheap items [you would be amazed how much more expensive 'made in china' junk is here. Ha, but their economy system is really funny, extremely inefficient. Oh well, I'm deviating from the topic again...

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Jul 10th 08 6:57 pm
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by betta » Jul 10th 08 6:57 pm

MarshalN wrote:I don't think any such site exists, betta. The government is out of the yixingware business now.

And at any rate, unless you speak/read/write Chinese, buying yixing ware online in China will be rather difficult. They're not going to take your credit cards and you'll have to navigate all sorts of things...
Thanks MarshalN, that's the reason why I find difficulty to buy from china.
Moreover I don't really want to reveal my credit card number.

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Jul 10th 08 7:03 pm
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by betta » Jul 10th 08 7:03 pm

Seth wrote:I will get my tea stuff at Tian Shan Tea City then. Any idea where to get nice chopsticks? And maybe some cutlery? :) I wanted to get some nice knives, I got cheap Calphalon Katana last time in US, cannot find them in Europe and they are made in China... but I guess all you can get here is either cheap fakes or imported knives from Germany [really expensive].

Heh, I guess Japan would be the best place to buy quality stuff and US for all that Chinese cheap items [you would be amazed how much more expensive 'made in china' junk is here. Ha, but their economy system is really funny, extremely inefficient. Oh well, I'm deviating from the topic again...
Seth, I think it will run out off the topic into arguments again if you keep on talking on the economic subject.
However if you are also knives and cooking geek like me, you've better buy high end quality knives from Japanese Chef Knives.
350$+ purchase is normal for high end quality knives and guess what? Chinese chef knives is still the best utility.
Viva chinese tea and cleaver :D

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by Seth » Jul 10th 08 7:25 pm

betta:

You are from Germany, don't you go with Wusthof? :) And man, those prices of japanese knives are insane! What job do you need to get them? When I meant good knife I was talking about really nice Calphalon Katana series - $30 on sale dumped with bad stuff at some tjmaxx or marshall's :) I just hoped to find few more of them here for similar price. And cleavers are about brutal force! So it goes very well with making tea.