The place where hotpot marries teapot

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-04-16 09:40:41

The place where hotpot marries teapot

Hand-shaken bubble tea.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Romantic name

Like the name Xiabu Xiabu, the name CouCou (the initial C's are pronounced "ts") is highly whimsical. The Chinese character that represents both parts of CouCou, with the three drops-of water radical on the character's left, is rarely used these days.

Shuowen Jiezi, a Chinese dictionary of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), defines it as "to rendezvous on the water".

"In fact it's a romantic name," Chang says. "To rendezvous around a hotpot or tea. And you don't do hotpot with someone you don't like."

Talking about tea, Chang says that these days young people are uninterested in devoting time to studying gongfu cha, tea prepared with meticulous attention to ritual, including various vessels.

"But China is still a big tea country. So you have the foundations and opportunity to present tea to younger people, and I think demand will increase for high-quality tea blends sold in a cafe kind of atmosphere."

Some so-called tea blends with fancy names he has seen are just a mixture of flavoring essence, milk and unknown tea, he says.

CouCou is very particular in its selection of teas, such as Tieguanyin Oolong and Dahongpao for all its tea-based drinks, he says.

Unlike other drink shops that blend their bubble teas, Chang says, CouCou hand shakes them to ensure the best taste. Bubble tea, in case you don't know, is milk tea to which rice or some other starch, such as tapioca, is added.

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