Tea shops abound on the streets of Shanghai but when you're busy getting from one place to the other, you may not have time to pop in and see what's on sale. If you're a visitor here, tea is probably on your list of things to buy. But what tastes good? What varieties are there? Where does it all come from?
If you want to really get to know your tea, then head to the Tianshan Tea Market in Shanghai. You'll find lots of little teashops all bunched together in a mall-like atmosphere and the folks who work inside are very friendly and happy to do their job: sell tea. Give yourself plenty of time because you'll want to have a nice wander before you sit down to sample.
And do sample! This is the best way to learn about the tea. Most shops have tea service. So sit, ask questions and sip away. You're not obligated to buy, but of course, if you spend an hour in a shop drinking their tea, there might be a small expectation. Bargain away, but you'll find prices very reasonable.
Tianshan Tea Market
Zhongshan Xi Road #520 (上海市长宁区中山西路520号) | open daily 10am-6pm
More about Tea:
- Best Shanghai Markets (includes Tianshan Tea Market)
- A stop at Song Fang Maison de thé
- How to drink Chinese tea
- Why drinking Lipton tea in China makes me angry...
Photo: Pu'er tea on sale at one of the Tianshan Tea Market shops. © 2010 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.