Travel Report: Sweet Mao Tea – Gulangyu Island, China.
August 2017. It was mid afternoon on Gulangyu when, all of a sudden, the heavens opened and the rain came beating down. Hence I sprinted off through the nearest stone gate and into a colonial courtyard with brick arches, twisting trees and a statue of a red-haired, cartoon cat. Sweet Mao Tea announced a number of playful signs. “The home of sweet tea, handmade nougat and thoughtful gifts”.
“Do you want some tea?” asked the man in blue dungarees and a white, red striped T-shirt. He looked like a cross between a clown and the presenter of a kids’ TV Show. “It’s free!” he clarified, with a friendly smile. Therefore I happily sampled a cup of red date tea and had to concede it was delicious.
Inside I found a small but charming space that was part store, part teahouse. There were pots of jam, packs of crumbly cookies and Gulangyu themed souvenirs. The dude behind the counter was also rocking the dungarees shtick. It was impossible not to smile.
This girl was posted behind the counter of a connecting room with a wide selection of aromatic teas. She seemed please to see me, proceeding to pour me a cup of complimentary ginger and honey without asking. Furthermore, this one tasted even better!
In the meantime the rain was still coming down hard, so I hung around for a bit watching the Sweet Mao crew do their thing. They were such a cheerful, happy-go-lucky bunch. Particularly this guy, who treated me to multiple handfuls of wrapped nougat chunks. “You don’t need buy anything, it’s ok!” he laughed, as I stuffed my face. If you’re ever in Gulangyu, do go and see them. In summary, the tea is great, the nougat is even better and those ridiculous outfits are certainly good for a giggle.
For more info on my discoveries here, take a peek at my other reports from Gulangyu Island.
You can also have a look at my articles on the nearby city of Xiamen.
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