Edit: Thanks to David from Asha Tea House who reminded me that Taiwan and Hong Kong use different jin and liang system, I am adding the Taiwanese units and Hong Kong units as well. Thank you David.
When we buy tea we usually refer to the amount/weight using grams, ounces, or pound. Today let me introduce two more units of weight to you, jin and liang.
In China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as some other south eastern Asian countries, weight is usually measured in jin (斤) or liang (两). The tea trade also uses these units. However, a jin in China is different from a jin in Taiwan. A jin in Taiwan is slightly different from a jin in Hong Kong. These differences are the result of the complicated history of these three places. Prices for tea are usually shown as $$ per jin in these places. Let me explain how these units relate to grams, ounces, and pound.
1 jin = 10 liang = 500 grams = 1.10 pound
1 liang = 50 grams = 1.76 ounce
1 kg = 2 jin
1 jin = 16 liang = 600 grams = 1.32 pound
1 liang = 37.5 grams = 1.32 ounce
1 kg = 1.66666666....... jin
In Hong Kong,
1 jin = 1/100 of a picul (擔 )
1 jin = 16 liang = ~605 grams = ~1.33 pound
1 liang = ~37.81 grams = ~1.33 ounce
1 kg = ~1.653467 jin
When you visit these places, they all just call their unit the jin. But you need to be aware that each jin is different. This will be useful if you plan to visit a tea shop in these places. And before you leave the our blog, please participate in our survey about which measurement of weight you prefer when you buy tea. The survey in on top of the right column, available until Dec. 31, 2011. Thank you.