Chinese Tea House

Written by Sally Guo Updated Apr. 5, 2021

Tea House has been ranked as a public place for drinking tea, relaxing, and entertainment since ancient times, acting as a vivid epitome of Chinese tea culture and Chinese people’s leisure life.

Besides providing a place for drinking tea, Chinese teahouses constantly launch new varieties in order to meet the different needs of various people. In winter, tonics with the effectiveness of keeping bodies warm are added to the tea. In summer, something with the effectiveness of driving away summer heat is added to the tea. Besides, in summer, some cold drinks are also sold in teahouses, such as sweet bean paste, stewed plum water, and papaya juice.

As for tea sets, there are custom-made tea sets varying from different kinds of tea, revealing the reach and long-standing culture of teahouses in China.

Chinese Tea House
Chinese Tea House

Tea Houses in Beijing

Teahouses of Beijing boast high grade, among which, there are teahouses with a minimum charge of 1,000 Yuan per person; 

There is a great variety of teahouses in Beijing, including Big Teahouse, Qing Teahouse, Storytelling Teahouse, and Wild Teahouse. In ancient times in Beijing, there were a number of storytelling teahouses, where listening to storytelling was the main purpose. The famed teahouses in Beijing are arranged and decorated fastidiously, creating the atmosphere for listening to storytelling.

In Qing teahouses of Beijing, pergolas are built outside the gate, where customers can chat and enjoy tea in every season except winter. Qing teahouses are deeply fond of by the old. In addition, in Beijing, there is also Chess Teahouses suitable for playing chess.

Beijing is always a top destination for visitors throughout the world. After climbing the marvelous Great Wall and the magnificent Forbidden City, just throw yourself in a local old teahouse, and you’ll find a totally different world.

Lao She Teahouse in Beijing
Lao She Teahouse in Beijing

Tea Houses in Chengdu

People of Sichuan Province have been keeping the habit of drinking tea. Drinking tea in teahouses is the typical tea activity of Sichuan. In Chengdu, teahouses and tearooms of different sizes are spread all over the cities. Some are decorated with calligraphy, paintings, flowers, and mediascape, creating a beautiful and quiet environment.

Join our Giant Panda and Chengdu Highlights Day Trip to visit 50 cute pandas and experience teahouse culture just like the Sichuan people!

Teahouse in Chengdu
Teahouse in Chengdu

Tea Houses in Hangzhou

The teahouse culture in Hangzhou originated from the Southern Song Dynasty. Though there are not as many teahouses in Hangzhou as that in Sichuan, the cultural atmosphere of the teahouses in Hangzhou is full-bodied. Hangzhou teahouses are particular about culture, environment, internationalization, and marketization. People in Hangzhou mainly drink West Lake Longjing Tea. According to the present condition, Hangzhou is universally acknowledged as the city managing teahouses best. Every year, during the National Tea Expo Fair and The West Lake International Tea Party held in Hangzhou, participants from everywhere speak highly of Hangzhou teahouses.

According to statistics, there are more than 700 teahouses in Hangzhou at present. Some boast tea ceremony, such as Tai Chi Teahouse; some feature tea cakes and relaxation, such as Qingteng Teahouse; some boast ecological environment; some integrate aesthetic enjoyment and tea-tasting, such as Ziyige (紫艺阁) Teahouse and Heji (和记) Teahouse.

In addition to West Lake, Hangzhou is also famous for its Longjing Tea, hence being commonly regarded as the best city managing teahouses. Our 2-Day Hangzhou Tour from Shanghai will be a great experience for you to escape from the busy world and enjoy a slow and peaceful tea culture trip.

Tea Houses in Tianjin

The teahouses of Tianjin are just like the teahouses of Beijing, containing tea, snacks, singing opera arias (without makeup and acting), and storytelling. However, its cultural atmosphere is not outstanding. In China, the famous cross talk, which is deeply loved by many Chinese people, originated from the teahouses of Tianjin. These years, listening to a cross-talk in a teahouse in Tianjin has become a fashionable and unmissable experience. Audiences burst their sides with laughter at the cross-talk. A number of audiences from other areas flock to Tianjin to listen to teahouse cross-talk, spending a day of relaxation in peals of laughter.

Teahouse in Shanghai
Teahouse in Shanghai

Are you interested in Tianjin teahouse cross talk? Why not customize your private trip with China Travel?

History of Tea Houses in China

Chinese teahouses enjoy a long history, dating back to the Tang and Song dynasties. 

Chinese teahouses prospered in the Song Dynasty, with teahouses all over cities and villages, when teahouses were as many as restaurants.

In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the number of teahouses exceeded that of restaurants, becoming more popular and famous. The owners of teahouses in the Song Dynasty preferred to decorate their teahouses with calligraphy and paintings of celebrities and various rare and precious plants, in order to attract customers. In the Qing Dynasty, with the acculturation of Western culture, the teahouses of China took on a new look. Teahouses could be found in the beautiful suburbs, by the pool, and in the vineyard, providing a peaceful and quiet place for drinking tea as well as enjoying the natural scenery in every season. Besides, some magnificent Western-style teahouses were built during that period.

It became prosperous in modern times and the early years after liberation. In the contemporary era, it has become glorious. The developing courses of the teahouse reveal the developing condition of the economy, society, and culture in a certain period.

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