I visit Wing Hop Fung at least once a month to restock my Longjing supply. I usually leave with some new tea that the ladies there have enticed me to buy. The staff will be happy to allow you to sample most any tea, within reason, at their traditional tasting bar. As other reviewers have pointed out there’s a plethora to choose from. And as I mentioned, they usually turn me on to something new every time. Language is often a barrier, but I find I can decipher most of what I need to know.
For the most part the staff is friendly, greeting a smile with a smile, but at times they can be a bit dismissive and impatient. By now they’ve gotten fairly use to me it seems and are not surprised to see me spend an hour or more perusing their selection. There are usually multiple grades of any one loose-leaf tea to pick from. For instance, on my last visit I counted about 6+ different Longjings, in varying qualities and price ranges. They do store their loose-leaf teas in glass jars, which I too question, but it’s convenient for eyeballing your options.
From what I understand Wing Hop Fung owns the Bird Pick franchise & carries many of their items, often discounted. This includes boxed teas, tea sets, glassware and loose-leaf teas. I’ve not done a true price comparison between Wing Hop Fung and Bird Pick, but most things appear to be cheaper at Wing Hop Fung, though occasionally you’ll find a better price at Bird Pick (i.e. Organic Longjing). There appears to be no rhyme or reason.
Wing Hop Fung’s tea selection is just part of a large two story building. The first floor is dedicated to medicinal herbs and the second, where the teas are located, is a large grocery carrying everything from cookware to foodstuffs to paper lanterns. Underground parking is available, and if I recall correctly is validated for one hour. They also offer a VIP frequent buyer card that is required for their discounts.
As far as I can tell this is the mother lode of Chinese tea in the Los Angeles area. They also offer a smaller selection of Japanese teas and other varieties.