How to select tea samples?
Since I had idea to discover Cha, offering fine teas is one of the most important rules. Well it is not easy to find the right ones.
Method 1: Tea Market
I go to tea markets every often, there are 7 main tea markets in Kunming: 1 Xiong Da Tea Market&2 Jin Shi Tea market, which are very close in north, 3, Shi Jie Cheng Tea market; 4 Bang Sheng Tea Market & 5 Kind Tea Market, which are close in south Kunming, and I like most, 6 Da Shang Hui Tea Market, 7 Qian Wei Lu Tea Market.
Talk with shop owners, try tea firstly, but no hurry to buy any tea. At very beginning, it may be hard to tell the truth what you are told since no one tells 100% fact due to different reasons, so it’s better to listen firstly, and compare the information they say, and verify it later, it takes time. Good tea shops always have someone who is drinking tea there, we welcome people to drink free free here in China as usual, do not be shy. Besides, I prefer to drink tea in bright and clean tea shops, and none smoke in the shop. I especially care about how they take care of their teas, check the following pictures, which one would you prefer? Of course the right one.
Even though, some good looking shops may not sell good teas either. I tried one puer tea which they declaimed it was 2006, but the teas turned nothing like that. I thought I became picky about tea since I have chance to drink many good teas, then found out that they lied about the tea they sold after trying my tea as soon as I arrived at home,. Method 2: Online Tea Shops
If you have no time, the might-be best way is to buy tea online. However, it takes time before buying large amount. Of course, the first step is to check their profile, especially tea knowledge. If you like and agree with them, then buy some very common tea sample, because it it easy to compare with other similar teas. Try the sample at different time with different people if possible, then you are able to decide buy it or not. Method 3: Friends’ Recommendation
I prefer to buy some teas my friend recommend, but still like to try sample firstly. If I like, I would like to buy some stock. Method 4: Tea Tour
For many people, This is the most difficult one if you are out of China. And not all the artisan tea are good. Tea experience is important, but tea science is also very important, some skilled tea workers do not know what, how and why tea those bio-chemical ingredients result in good tea or bad tea, and have no idea to improve the tectonics scientifically if some accident happens. What’s more, you may not buy the authentic ancient tree tea like Lao Ban Zhang even you buy it in the Lao Ban Zhang Village. In a word, discover cha is an adventure, you will be satisfied if you really meet some good teas. However, just enjoy the journey, we can always learn it after all.