My friends jokingly (and lovingly) call me a tea snob. I have tea for months stockpiled at this point and enjoy concocting my own boba drinks for friends. It’s no surprise that one place I have to drop by each trip is Linhuatai Tea Shop (林華泰茶行 / lin hua tai cha hang).
Linhuatai is an amazing tea shop located in Datong District. It has the distinction of being the oldest tea shop in Taipei and carries dozens of different local teas. Most teas can be purchased in varying quality levels ranging from low to the highest quality.
Teas are held in these large tins and scooped out according to how much you want. The smallest amount that you can do is 150 grams with 600 grams being the default amount (一斤 / yi jin).
If you don’t know how much 600 grams is just figure that an average 8 ounce cup of tea uses around 2 grams of tea leaves. I got 300 grams at one point and quickly realized my mistake.
Oops, 包種茶 (bao zhong cha) for months.
They will often let you smell the tea and compare different qualities if you’re interested. Each time I’ve gone, they have also offered a sample of their tea as you browse. You can also ask them for a more robust tea tasting where you sit down and they guide you through different teas.
Probably a lot of tea heading out to different boba shops.
Here’s an old scale they used to use.
Though the prices have somewhat changed over the years, the business strives to provide quality teas in a trustworthy environment. I’ve never felt like I needed to haggle or worry about quality because Linhuatai has created a business on transparency.
They have English and Japanese-speaking workers too if you need them.
If you enjoy tea and find yourself in Taipei, don’t forget to stop by to pick up some tea for you and your friends.