Reason #67 To Live & Die in Los Angeles (In No Particular Order): Wing Hop Fung

by christypaul2013

TEA!

While not the best-known green leaf in LA, high-quality, loose-leaf tea at low-low prices is a wonderful privilege of those who choose to live along these God-forsaken fault lines.

Beautiful Hondeydew Sencha Green Tea

Beautiful Hondeydew Sencha Green Tea

Boring Story Part:

[If the South deprived me of anything growing up, it was the wide-world of real tea. Hating sweet tea is one of my earliest memories! I was 2 or 3, scooping small cups of powdered “fake tea” from a yellow Lipton cylinder and wondering how crappy real tea must have been if fake tea was this bad.

It really does taste like honeydew!

It really does taste like honeydew!

Then, a couple of months ago, while still in the heat of my Starbucks-every day routine, I decided to start drinking tea, partially to reduce the butt-load of sugar I was consuming in sweetened coffee-drinks, and also because the extreme intake of caffeine was starting to make me a little loopy. So, I eased myself in with Green Tea Lattes, then pushed on through to a brief period of sweetened green teas (brief because of how bad sweetened green tea is) and finally, I made it to unsweetened iced green teas. I also joined the Starbucks rewards program because you get free refills on iced teas (provided you stay on the premises)! So, if you’re doing work at Starbucks, you’d be a fool not to get with the program!

From Starbucks, I moved on to drinking cheap tea bags from SUNLAND PRODUCE, then, to loose-leaf black tea from India, and finally, Silky Green loose leaf tea from Wing Hop Fung in Chinatown. ]

End Boring Story Part

I was a little shocked by the prices at Wing Hop Fung. Some teas are upwards of $600/lb (most are around $40-70/lb), but because of the quality of the tea, you can get 8-15 steepings (except black teas, but I re-steep them anyway). Two teaspoons is enough for two people to drink tea all day. Now, compare that with LA’s most famous green at $5,200/lb (usually only good for one “steeping”), and tea is basically free! Hooray!

Our most expensive tea to date. Noticeably better than our $50-60 oolongs.

Our most expensive tea to date. Noticeably better than our $50-60 oolongs.

My only advice to first-time Wing Hoppers is not to buy cheap ($40/lb) Pu-er. It’s not worth it, man! Just save up your money and buy the fancy stuff.

Fun Fact #1: Tea bags are usually filled with fannings (or tea dust) that have been swept off of tea factory floors. I mean, what’s the difference between crumbled up outdoor leaf dust and dirt/human hair, really?

Fun Fact #2: The bacteria sprayed onto Pu-er is a Chinese national secret.

Fun Fact #3: Chinese tea is far superior to Japanese tea. There, I said it! Whatwhut?! You got a problem with that? Bring it!

Fun Fact #4: Sweet tea still tastes like ass to me. Oh, we’re offendin’ everybody up in chya!

Christy

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