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5 of Beijing’s Most Well-known Teahouses

By Benjamin Donaldson , eChinacities.com Comments (1 )     Add your comment Newsletter

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As Guinness is to the Irish, Champagne to the French and Rosso to the Italians, so too is tea to the Chinese. Traditionally Tea was the medium under which many social and formal events were carried out, and today still holds great symbolism in the minds and hearts of the Chinese. As a result, there is no shortage of teahouses in the city, big and small, franchised and independent. While it would be impossible to list all the great teahouses in the city, here are five of the better known ones in Beijing.

Just a quick note you may (or may not) be surprised to hear that certain types of tea can sell for thousands, or even tens of thousands of RMB. There is, lo and behold, such a thing as 'fake' tea that has not been processed in the correct way. So although it may taste similar it will not be worth the advertised price. My advice? Always ask for a price list before ordering...


Laoshe Teahouse

Lao She Teahouse 老舍茶馆 View In Map
This is one of the most famous teahouses in Beijing and if you are pressed for time while passing through the great capital then this should be high up on the itinerary. Although Lao She has since branched to several locations, it’s still well worth a visit , especially the one located off Qianmen Xidajie, slightly off the beaten track. It is not only a teahouse but a symbol of changing times in China as it is named after the tea house in the 1957 drama written by the author Lao She. The play covers a volatile period of Chinese modern history including the war with Japan. The tea house consists of three floors bedecked in décor, supposedly, reminiscent of the 'old Beijing'.

The 3rd floor plays host to evening shows including stand up comedians, folk artists and Traditional Beijing Opera performers. The second floor is a more quiet and tranquil area reserved primarily for the enjoyment of tea and sophisticated conversation while the 1st floor holds a restaurant. This has been frequented by foreign leaders and diplomats and is seen by some as a place to promote Chinese culture and mutual understanding between China and its foreign interests.

Add: Building 3 Qianmen Xidajie, Xuanwu District, Beijing
地址:北京市宣武区前门西大街三楼
Tel: 010 63036830
Opening Hours: 09.00-21.20
Website: www.laosheteahouse.com


Performers at Tianqiaole Teahouse

Tianqiaole Teahouse 天桥乐茶馆 View In Map
Located northwest of the Temple of Heaven the Tianqiaole Teahouse is an ideal stop after spending a day wandering through the symmetry of the Temple of Heaven. Although it does not boast the renown of the Laoshe Tea house it is still a must see. It also plays host to a variety of diverse folk performances including cross-talk, magic, qigong and wrestling. The waitresses are dressed in colourful qipao in an attempt to make the whole experience a more authentic one. Also, in keeping with the spirit of ancient tradition guests must exchange modern currency for ancient copper coins in order to pay for their purchases.

Add: No. A1, Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区北纬路乙1号
Tel. 010 63040617
Opening Hours: 09.00am – 21.00 (performances from 19.30 – 21.00)


Wufu Teahouse

Wufu Teahouse 五福茶馆 View In Map
Wufu, meaning “the five happinesses”, was established in 1994 as one of the founding forefathers of tea franchises that now seem to be springing up all over the place. It is still relatively small with just 11 branches throughout the city, and has not managed to dominate the market place like chains such as Wuyutai. This means that there is still a rather a unique and authentic feel about the place. This is less of a pretentious show place and more a humble space to appreciate the history and value of tea. As well as selling handcrafted tea sets and books they have also gone to the liberty of organising lectures and group discussion on tea in some branches. If tea is a great passion of yours, then this is highly recommended.

Add: Building 3, Fuchengmenwai Dajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区府城门大街三楼
Tel: 010 68036467
Opening Hours: 12.00-24.00

Wuyutai Teahouse吴裕泰 View In Map
Wuyutai is a franchise of tea houses and tea related products with 190 chain stores across Beijing. It was first founded in 1887 and has ever since been devoted to the production and distribution of tea and other tea related articles. The Beijing Tea Co. Ltd was founded in 1997. Their tea is sourced directly from Anhui, Zhejiang and Fujian and all boasts natural and authentic flavoursome aromas. Although the chain store element perhaps kills the romance that you might associate with tea and China, the tea itself is of a very high quality and you shouldn't leave without first taking a sip of their renowned sweet scented jasmine bundles.

Add: No. 186, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市东城区王府井街 186 号
Tel: 010 65254961
Business Hours: 08.30 – 21.00
Website: www.wuyutai.com

Zhangyiyuan Tea Shop 张一元茶庄View In Map
The origins of Zhangyiyuan lie in the Qing Dynasty (1910) and the first outlet was established just outside Qianmen. The advantages of having 100 years of experience are apparent when sampling the tea on offer. All in all there are some 200 varieties of tea just waiting to be enjoyed. It is most famous for its long lasting flavour, which remains in the mouth even after the cup has been emptied, and the wonderful aromas that erupt from the glass once the tea has been poured. The majority of the tea is cultivated in Fujian province before being distributed around China.

Add: 22 Dazhalan Jie, Xuanwu District, Beijing
地址:北京市宣武区大栅栏街22号
Tel: 010 63034001
Opening Hours: 09.00-21.00
Website: http://www.zhangyiyuan.net/

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Keywords: Teahouses Beijing famous teahouses Beijing tea house Beijing most well-known teahouses Beijing

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1 Comments ( Add your comment )

1
comment|10964|0
Roy

Beijing people don’t drink much tea, this is a coffee drinking city.

All the tea houses listed are for tourists.

They didnt mention any of the wonderful and beautiful real traditional teahouses hidden around Beijing.

If you want tea though, head to Jiangsu, Zhejiang or other tea loving provinces...in Beijing be like a local, drink coffee.

Jan 22, 2011 18:59

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