It’s difficult to find really authentic and good Chinese tea no matter where you are. Even if you’re in China, you’re never going to get the real deal – UNLESS you are a Chinese tea connoisseur yourself.

A couple of days ago, I brought my very good friend Dr. Mark Werner to Chinatown in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. His mission is to obtain real Chinese tea that’s value for money. Dr. Werner had in fact, googled for a couple of locations in Chinatown and he asked me to accompany him there. And I did.

First we had lunch in the Old China Cafe. It is a small Chinese-styled cafe serving Peranakan food. (Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of the 15th through 17th-century Chinese immigrants). The ambiance and decor of this cafe is reminiscent of old world Malaya, circa the 1930s. You can see many old photos of famous Chinese traders decked on the wall. The food too, is superb and the price is reasonable.

Dr Werner at the entrance of the Old China Cafe and the delicious food we had for lunch.
Dr Werner at the entrance of the Old China Cafe and the delicious food we had for lunch.

We then waddled over to KEAN GUAN TEA MERCHANTS, located opposite and just a stone’s throw away from the Old China Cafe. We met the very knowledgeable proprietor, who only wants to be known as “KC”.

That's KC with Dr. Werner preparing samples of Chinese tea.
That’s KC with Dr. Werner preparing samples of Chinese tea.

Unlike other tea merchants, KC did not immediately launch into his sales pitch of promoting this or that. Rather, he allowed us to browse through the man varieties of teas in his rustic shop. In fact, it was Dr. Mark who asked him to recommend good “Pu-Er” tea.

KC then most generously invited us to sit down and sample some of his recommended PU-ER tea. Being a noted sensory consultant, Dr. Mark complimented and commented on the teas we had downed, some 30 over cups of them until he decided to purchase one particular brand that he liked.

There are more than 4 tea merchants in Chinatown that we’ve been but none of them are as accommodating as Kean Guan Tea Merchants. He takes the trouble to explain to us the complexities of each particular batch of tea, allowing us to sample before giving us ample time to decide.

True, this shop is not decorated as colourfully as others but upon stepping into the rustic shop, you’ll know it’s the real deal and not some marketing hyped up shop front that encourages you to BUY WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO BUY.

If you’re looking for real good authentic Chinese teas at reasonable prices, look no further. Step into KEAN GUAN TEA MERCHANTS.

Contact details:
No. 160, Jalan Petaling
50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2078 5306


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