Chinese tea shop
A Chinese tea shop is a specialty shop offering Chinese tea leaves and accessories to Chinese tea lovers. The teas offered in such shops are usually of a higher quality compared to tea served in typical Chinese restaurants.
Walking into a tea shop, you can see rows of teas, tea pots, and tea accessories. There will certainly be a table where the host brews tea for customers to sample.
Customers who know what they want will communicate these preferences to the sales person who will recommend various grades of tea leaves to the customer. The customer may do a visual check on the tea leaves or smell them to decide if he likes the quality and fragrance. A sampling of the tea usually follows this evaluation.
For customers who are new to Chinese tea, the sales person may offer small cups of different tea for the customer to try. The background and type of that tea and its health properties are also introduced.
Customers usually sample different grades of tea from the same tea family to compare the profiles of different tea leaves. Once the customer has sampled and made his choice, the sales person proceeds to pack the tea.
Teas are usually vacuum packed to preserve the freshness of the tea leaves. Otherwise, the tea is poured into an airtight container. At higher end tea shops, the teas are packed into attractive and specially designed containers.
As the buyer-seller relationship develops, shops will inform regular customers of new tea arrivals or rare teas.
Tea shops are very common in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and almost every Chinatown has several tea shops. The demand and growing market for tea have created opportunities for some tea companies to grow into regional and even international businesses.