Mǎliándào is the largest tea market in northern China and home to, if not all the tea in China, then an awful lot of it. There are brews from all over the country here, including pǔ’ěr and oolong, while Maliandao Lu has hundreds of tea shops, where prices for tea and tea sets are lower than in tourist areas.
Although mostly for wholesalers, the market (more a selection of covered shops) is a great place to wander for anyone interested in tea, and the vendors will happily invite you in to sample some. They also sell tea sets here, with prices ranging dramatically depending on the design, glaze and porcelain used. A single tea cup can cost upwards of ¥150, or you can pick up a basic tea set in the market and the nearby shops for around ¥200 to ¥500. Maliandao Lu is south of Běijīng West Train Station. To find the tea market, look for the statue of Lu Yu, the 8th-century sage who wrote the first book on growing, preparing and drinking tea, which stands outside it.