Century-old teahouse witnesses cleaner water in Xinjiang

URUMQI (XINHUA) – As the owner of a century-old teahouse in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, 64-year-old Mamet Osman knows all about the importance of accessible and drinkable water. “A tasty pot of tea can’t be made without good water,” Osman said.

Located in the ancient city of Kashgar in south Xinjiang, Osman’s Ostang Boi Teahouse is a popular meeting place among locals. Over 20 kinds of tea and soft drinks are served with clean and stable tap water. But just decades ago, making tea was not so simple. There was no tap water when Osman was a boy. Locals had to get water from a nearby water hole formed by a river. Osman would have to pour the water in an earthenware pot and let it sit until the dirt particles subsided.

“The water tasted tart, and it was easy to catch diarrhoea in the summer,” he said.

Osman gained access to tap water in the 1970s, but the water supply was not stable until the 1990s. Water quality was significantly improved in 2015 when the ancient city’s renovation project was completed. “There is less scale after the water is boiled now,” according to Osman.

Mamet Imi, 81, has frequented the teahouse for over 40 years. “The water has become much cleaner, and most importantly, the tea tastes better.”