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Tea expo offers wide selection

By Ye Jun ( Ye Jun ) Updated: 2016-06-18 09:04:47

Tea expo offers wide selection

A tea sommelier performs a tea ceremony with a newly designed tea set at a previous Beijing International Tea Expo. [Photo by Ye Jun/China Daily]

The annual Beijing International Tea Expo will run this year at the Beijing Exhibition Center from June 24 to 27. The expo can be a lot of fun for people who are interested in sampling Chinese tea, judging from my visits the previous two years.

Entry is free, but visitors need to fill out a form with basic information about themselves in exchange for a pass.

In its fifth year, the expo has attracted large-scale tea enterprises and major tea production regions that will present their signature teas, and will also include an international exhibition area with teas and tea-related utilities from abroad.

The expo has grown to be one of the largest in North China, organizers said. According to the China Tea Marketing Association, one of the event's organizers, more than 300 exhibitors expect to welcome an estimated 75,100 visitors and 21,900 professional buyers at the expo.

If you spend two hours or half a day strolling in the 26,000-squaremeter exhibition area at the Beijing Exhibition Center, you can sample all varieties of Chinese teas-green, yellow, white, oolong, red and black teas.

The display booths usually have tea samples, brochures and an experienced tea sommelier to prepare the brews you are interested in. Like wandering in a Chinese tea city, one can try different teas at various stands, with little pressure to buy.

When you get tired of drinking tea, there are foods either made using tea or to enjoy with tea. It could be a good idea to locate the stand of Wu Yutai, a Beijing tea store, to see if, like last year, they make green tea ice cream on the spot.

If I'm buying, I would consider trying a pu'er raw cake or Yunnan black tea made with tea leaves from old trees on high mountains. Otherwise I'll learn about natural-tasting white teas, preferably an aged shoumei. But don't underestimate the quality of other regional teas-green and black teas from Henan's Xinyang, Sichuan's Mengding Ganlu and Anhua's black tea in Hunan are all China's top produce.

Also worth trying are the black teas China is traditionally known for-Anhui's highly fragrant Qimen congou, Fujian's smoky and sweet lapsang souchong, Tanyang congou and Bailin congou.

The first two days of the expo will have many tea ceremonies to watch, which are good photo opportunities, although there will be a lot of people. If you intend to buy, probably visit in the last two days, when the number of people reduces significantly. Promotional activities with regional teas and interactive events such as handcrafts and tea table design on the second floor will last throughout the four-day expo.

Contact the writer at yejun@chinadaily.com.cn

The author is a lifestyle editor with China Daily.

 

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