China’s Version of Starbucks

Hi everyone!

I hope all is well. Today is my last day in China before returning back to Hong Kong where I will stay for a night before I head back to the states.

It has rained all day today so I decided to do something indoors. I know that when it’s raining in Los Angeles (rare!), I like to sit down to a nice cup of coffee at Starbucks. But you know what’s funny, in Hong Kong, there are plenty of Starbucks, but here in Shenzhen, China, there are NONE!

Don’t get me wrong, there is still quite a strong American influence in stores here: Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s… even a Walmart! However, Starbucks, which can be found on practically every block in the United States, is no where to be found here.

So, we did the next best thing…. SHOP! While shopping, I came across a store selling purely tea leaves… go figure, I decide to go in. What first became a window shopping experience, quickly turned into a full-on tea tasting session. The owner sat me down as I sampled all types of tea from black tea to jasmine tea, green tea to even milk tea!

They first gave me a sample of milk green tea, then jasmine. Before I knew it, I was being served about 5 different tea with tea snacks to complement. 5 minutes went by, then 10, then 20, and wow you know what, I eventually stayed there for over an hour. Without planning it, I just had my United States Starbucks experience at a local tea shop in China.

Despite the language barrier, I was able to have a broken, yet fulfilling, conversation with the owner and worker. They were telling me that drinking tea is a very social aspect to Chinese culture. The tea leaves can last for a whole day, and seeing how easy it was for me to converse over a cup of tea, I had little doubt that this was China’s Starbucks equivalent… except healthier!

From sifting through the tea leaves, smelling it before pouring in the boiling water, to waiting for the tea to brew and then tasting it, the whole process compliments the conversation.
I know this had little to do with Pluto and kids in general, but I just wanted to share with you something new that I learned today. If you’re ever in China… yes please do see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Yangtze River, but also, please don’t overlook the local tea shop… it is truly a divine experience.

Happy Sipping!

auntie k



  1. That sounds absolutely wonderful!

  2. Always more fun to experience what they do there. How exciting!

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