Checking Out Beijing's Tibetan Tea Fad





After leaving beautiful Wuyi Shan I traveled to Beijing to visit my ailing friend Mr. Yang Wu. Mr. Yang has defied all the doctors' predictions, fighting cancer for 6 years! This is a guy with an iron will who simply won't give in to fate.

One of the things he does for health is to drink "Tibetan Style" tea. The tea comes in a bamboo mat rolled into a tube. Inside the tube is some rather rough-looking tea that you break off and boil in a big pot. Lots of the Beijing rich and famous believe in the reputed health properties of this tea. The tea is interesting but the flavor is certainly not meant to be gourmet.

Mr. Yang pointed me to a hotel that sells Tibetan tea bricks. The entire hotel is decorated with tea bricks! Well, after hearing him describe it, what's a tea lover to do but rush right over. I went to the hotel for lunch. The food was good, the tea is ok, and the concept is interesting. I just wish that the folks who use the tea-lined conference room would drink tea instead of smoke. In a space covered by tea bricks I can smell nothing but stale cigarettes!

I am off to Lijiang, in Yunnan, for a couple of days of R and R. Once you get to Lijiang, all the minor sufferings of your life seem less significant. The beautiful mountains of Lijiang can relieve you of weariness like nothing else.

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