Expats working and living in Beijing had a chance to experience China’s tea culture on Sunday during the annual tea party at the Beijing Salon – Experience Beijing, organized by the municipal government.
Abdallah Azayel and his wife, who are Egyptian students studying engineering in Beijing, try to make Chinese-style pottery artifacts at a session of Beijing Salon
The tea party was the third of its kind to be held at Maliandao, a renowned “tea street” in Beijing; similar salons held in the past two years focused more on the tea-making process and tea sets.
This year’s activity intended to draw tea-loving expats to the party where, in addition to experiencing various aspects of the tea culture, they observed the national tea-making contest. The expats also had a chance to get closer to other local cultural forms, such as the making of the bunny god and the playing of diabolo.
Many expats in Beijing show an interest in tea, mainly because tea amounts to the most popular drink across China and is also consumed elsewhere in the world, although with different traditions.
Abdallah Azayel and his wife are Egyptian students studying engineering in China. They have been in Beijing for two years and they love tea because it is “an important form of Chinese culture.” His favorite is black tea, partly because in Egypt people only drink black tea due to British influence.
Among the expats attending the party, there was a collective notion that Westerners typically use tea bags and that Indian tea leaves are more popular on the Western market. But tea masters at Maliandao assured them that in China only inferior-quality tea leaves would be put into tea bags while the best ones are reserved for making tea directly.
The Beijing Salon – Experience Beijing has developed into a name brand for the Beijing municipal government since its first session was held in 2013. So far, expats in Beijing have experienced various traditional Chinese culture forms including Peking Opera, martial arts and kite-flying. Some other salons took international photographers and cartoonists across the city, giving them an opportunity to portray the Chinese capital through their lenses and pens. via china.org.cn