I have a friend that drinks and collects Chinese tea bags as hobby. I never thought that collecting Chinese tea bags can be a hobby. Most of his teabags were already factory packed in boxes and these boxes were normally factory wrapped in clear plastic. Chinese teabag boxes normally comes in a box of 20 teabags or in larger boxes of 100 teabags.These boxes are quite colourful and are sometimes decorated with nice drawings usually about tea. One tip, I got from my friend, is not to expose the tea boxes to prolonged light as the colours on the tea boxes will fade. My tea friend is pretty serious in his collection keeping his tea boxes mint in carton boxes and only displaying those which he has multiple 'copies/boxes'.
I met him for lunch last month and we went round a few shops in town looking for Chinese teabags to add to his collection. You would have noticed that I ended up with 2 tea boxes and a rice pattern porcelain jar. I believe the right description is a milk pot/jar. This unused late 80s milk pot is 4 inches (10cm) high and I am guessing would hold about 350ml of tea. Yes, I intend to brew tea in it and it would be brewing with Chinese tea bags. I was also considering to use it as a small tea waste jar when I am brewing tea by myself. A happy purchase.
Back to the teabags. The Da Hong Pao is produced by Xiamen Tea Import and Export Co under the 'Butterfly' Brand. The Yunnan Tuocha teabag is not produced in Yunnan but by Guangdong Tea Import and Export Ltd. There were French words on the labels of this Pu erh tea box which seems to indicate that one of the major markets for this pu erh was France. I was not surprised as I had seen a 80s Xiaguan ripe tuo in box, printed with information about the tea in French.
I found the Da Hong Pao tea light. Its not the teabag's fault though. I drink my Da Hong Pao very strong, up to 10g of tea for a 150ml teapot. The 2g of tea in the teabag was mild. I could detect the floral scents and oolong taste but I think using 2 teabags next time might be a better solution for me. The pu erh teabag was, to me, a more interesting purchase. One teabag could get me a strong cup of ripe pu erh (better results when you use boiling water for teabags). Aroma was quite pleasant and it even had hints of old leather scent in the tea.
Buying Chinese tea in teabags will not burn a hole in your wallet. They make for a good and inexpensive tea when you are on the road. Can be an interesting hobby too.