Jun 14, 2009

Asian grocery Da Hong Pao

I am a deal hunter. Although I always love good, expensive tea, a lot of joy comes with good, inexpensive tea. Expensive tea is supposed to be good, and there isn't much suspension involved. Inexpensive tea sometimes can be surprisingly good.

In my past experience, I got most good, inexpensive tea directly from China. I never expected to get much good tea in Asian grocery in North America. I buy grocery tea from time to time, mainly to compare them with the lower end tea products from specialty tea stores.

But this time in a large Asian grocery in Toronto, I got some Da Hong Pao that gives me a whole new grocery tea experience.

It's $5.99 for 200g. Normally I am not interested at all in any Da Hong Pao products in grocery. But this one doesn't look like a joke and it's from Xiamen Tea Import & Export Co., which is an official agency with some history.

It has 2 small boxes in the pack, each small box has 2 50g sealed bags. This is a pretty decent way of packaging, especially for a $6 product!

It has the official quality check mark (the big S), which means it's not from some underground factory. It does not have the geographic patent seal, which means it's not from the central Wuyi area (if it were, usually the manufacturer wouldn't skip the geographic patent seal).

The leaves look very healthy and well-protected in the package.

The taste is very good! Surprisingly good for its price, and I would say, better than some other Da Hong Pao products several times of this price.

I assume it's not from central Wuyi area, and is a blend of Shui Xian and Rou Gui, as most commercial grade Da Hong Pao. And I think it's well worth its price. I looked up its brand name (sea dyke) and serial number (XT936), and was surprised to find that its price on a Chinese wholesale website is even higher than what I paid in the grocery in Toronto! This is not the first time I saw something Chinese in Toronto with a lower price than in China (other products include some Asian pear, lychee and some Chinese medicines). I don't know how they did it but anyway Toronto is a wonderful place for shopping!

Again I normally don't recommend any tea product from Asian groceries. But I do recommend this one and will get myself more next time I go to Toronto!