Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hangzhou Longjing tea

Longjing tea is a famous type of green tea from Hangzhou and, depending on who you ask, is one of the best green teas in China. So on Sunday I was wandering around the city and after soaking my shirt with sweat in the 95 degree humid heat, I figured I would cool down with a cup of boiling hot tea. I stopped in at a tea house near the West Lake tourist area to give the famous tea a try. When I looked at the menu, there were two options for Longjing tea. One merely said "Longjing tea," while the other said "Best Longjing tea." While the "best" version was a little more expensive, I didn't come to China to try some kind of second tier green tea, only the best would do. so I pointed out the "best" option to the waitress. She gave me somewhat of a strange look, but took down my order and took away the menu. Before I knew it, waitresses started bringing me several plates of fruit as well as a large container of tea that probably held around two liters. I realized that the tea portions must be intended for multiple people, hence the strange look from the waitress. She was probably thinking, "I knew Americans tend to be overweight, but what could this guy want with two liters of tea and a couple pounds of fruit?" Overall, though, the tea was really good and it was good to have some fresh fruit to balance out my diet of fried, starchy foods. I wasn't able to drink all the tea or eat all the fruit, but I came close, attempting to live up to the American ideal of excess consumption. It was a fun experience and I'd recommend the Hangzhou teahouses, just make sure to bring a group of friends instead of going by yourself.
The Spread
Hangzhou Teahouse Interesting Fruit (Tasted like fresh peas from a pod)

5 comments:

Emily said...

Wes-that fruit looks yummy! I think thats so funny that you got all that tea and fruit and the waitress made a funny face at you. I bet you enjoyed that! Looks like fun!

Jenny said...

I see that you're replacing your Coke addiction with a green tea addiction.

David said...

Next time your shirt is soaked you should do what any self respectin Chinese man would do - roll it!

Alice said...

whoa, i was trying to figure out what those green strange looking things in the top picture were, and i think the bottom one is a closeup. Looks like a lotus pod! I've never eaten them out of the pod before! Sounds pretty cool!

Wes said...

Yeah Alice, you're right, that is a close up of the bottom. Kind of interesting, but pretty tasty.