As a very frequent tea drinker, I need to be careful with my tea.
After tasting a few “lemons”, I’ve decided never to buy tea from Taobao, especially when things are going cheap on 11/11. Of course, not every tea that comes out of China is bad. Nowadays, I only trust those sold by reputable bricks and mortar retailers here in Singapore.
Give me pricey Thai or Taiwanese tea anytime. On my trip to Myanmar a few years back, I found that the now war-torn country produces some cheap and excellent tea too. It’s all organic and they can produce very decent teas that taste like longjing or biluochun. Instead of maximising the use of land and their profits, the villagers even space out their tea trees so that their buffaloes can walk through and graze on the weeds.
This video below will show you why I’m no longer buying tea in China.
My favourite line: 钱没了咱们可以再赚。要是良心没了，会赚的更多. It’s a very fast-moving video; you need to be very alert and your Chinese needs to be quite good to catch the “irony”. Selling fake or bad tea at inflated prices is an art that combines chemistry and trickery.
The end of the video shows how used tea leaves are recycled by spraying fragrances/aromatics.