Chinese Tea Guide

Where to Buy Tea?

Tea stores have made their homes on street corners all over Shanghai hawking every Chinese tea under the sun, but wholesale markets have the best deals, not to mention the widest variety of tea wares and the most knowledgeable salespeople. As if that weren’t enough, the friendly vendors are happy to sit down for a chat over a cup (or ten) of tea before you buy, so you can sample their product and prod them for information before settling on your purchase.

With four floors of tea leaves, tea wares and antiques, Tianshan Tea Market is the best bang for your buck in Shanghai. The upstairs Traditional Chinese Medicine floor is also fun in a creepy science project sort of way. Across town by the Fuxing Tunnel, the vendors from Tianshan have recently opened a second tea market called Laoximen Tea City. All the same goods are for sale, but they’ve scrubbed away the dingy dark halls of Tianshan in favour of a more sterile look complete with a fountain.

Located in Minhang, Jiuxing Tea Market is another wholesale gold mine for tea lovers. Stocked with tea from around the country and hometown advocates of their regional variety who have followed their teas to the markets, you won’t find a better-educated (or more passionate) group of salespeople.

Jiuxing Tea Market. No 6 Bridge Caobao Lu, near Hongxin Lu; Laoximen Tea City. 1121 Fuxing Lu, near Xizang Lu; Tianshan Tea Market. 520 Zhongshan Xi Lu, near Yuping Lu