Observations made in tea houses in Northeast China

Warming cup, adding tea leaves, pouring water over the tea leaves, steeping the tea…Inside the tea house in Hegang, Heilongjiang, the tea specialist did all the actions in a coherent and orderly way without any mistake. The snow fly outside the window, the slight aroma of tea fills the room, accompanied by the elegant sound of Guqin, these create “haven” for tea drinkers.

This year’s returning home during Spring Festival, journalists find out that people from Northeast China starts drinking tea in small bowls instead of drinking a big bowl of alcohol and eating a big chunk of meats. After three round of drinks, tasting several flavors of dishes, several friends sit together and talk about family issues and interesting stories. The tea culture is gradually emerged on this black soil.

“Recent years, people’s income has increased. Drinking and eating can no longer satisfy the friends gathering. More and more people understand the art of tea, and the business is getting better. In the morning of the third day of the Chinese New Year, Zhou Bo, the owner of the tea house, is as busy as a bee. It is her 20th year running this tea house.

Walking into Zhou Bo’s tea house, on one side of the counter are the teas from all over China, Fujian Yan Tea, Tieguanyin, Xihu Longjing, Yunnan Pu-erh, Huangshan Maofeng. On the other side are all kind of teapots and tea cups.

Zhou Bo told the Journalist, a few years ago, tea house is a newborn thing in Northeast China. A lot of locals do not understand how to enjoy tea. If they want to drink tea, they will put a little bit of cheap jasmine tea in a big enamel cup. At the beginning of the business, very few customers came in, and the sales revenue was less than 100 yuan.

To change the business condition, Zhou Bo has put up advertisement, came up with the promotion. She also added tasting counter at the tea house. So customers can taste the tea before they buy. If they are satisfied with the tea, they can make the purchase. With her effort, the business of tea house has gradually improved. The variety of the tea has increased from 30 to more than a hundred.

Each year, Zhou Bo will travel between Fujian, Yunnan, Zhejiang and other major tea production areas. A few years ago, she purchased a tea garden in Zhejiang to grow tea according to the taste of people from Northeast China.

Wang Tao is a frequent customer at Zhou Bo’s tea house. He told the journalist that tea drinking has become a new trend among his friends recently. He came to the store to buy two pieces of the Pu-erh tea. “People in Northeast China tend to eat fatty food, drinking tea can help burn fat and reduce internal heat. Tea has become a necessity for the household.”

Now, the Northeast China has become a popular tea market. Zhou Bo has opened another three stores in the city. “The eating habits of The Northeast people requires them to drink more tea. But how to drink tea scientifically, artistic are still just started for them.” Says Zhou Bo.

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