Top 7 Tea Houses in China to Explore Chinese Tea Culture
In China, teahouses are almost as old a tradition as tea production, forming an integral part of China’s unique tea culture. They are the tea-lovers paradise, places for entertainment and rest.
Believe it or not, to some degree a teahouse tells the story of a city. So which of China’s top 7 tea houses (below) have you been to?
1. Chengdu: Heming Teahouse
- Chinese: 鹤鸣茶社
- Highlights: observe the daily lives of local people, have a break
- Address: 12 Shaocheng Street People’s Park, Qingyang District, Chengdu
- Opening hours: daily 11 am–10 pm
- How to get there: bus nos. 13, 43, 47, 53, 58, 5 or 62 to People’s Park
Chengdu, the heart of Sichuan, is home to thousands of tea houses, among which some are very old and echo the lifestyles of past times. One of the most worth visiting is Heming Teahouse.
Packed with bamboo chairs, coffee tables, special teacups, and pewter teapots, Heming Teahouse presents a living tapestry of the daily lives of local people. It offers unlimited refills at a reasonable price and is a leisurely meeting place for local citizens.
Whether you want to join in the gossip and chess games of local tea-drinkers, or just enjoy yourself in the relaxing atmosphere along with a bowl of fragrant tea, this is a great place to go.
To experience the best of the teahouse culture in Chengdu, why not create a private tour with us?
2. Chongqing: Jiaotong Teahouse
- Chinese: 交通茶馆
- Highlights: old fashion, photography, painting
- Address: 20 Huangjueping Street, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing
- Opening hours: daily 6 am–11 pm
- How to get there: bus nos. 223, 244, 823, 233 or 441 to Huangjueping Street
Opened in 1987, Jiaotong Teahouse is the only teahouse in Chongqing maintaining the style of the 1970s and 1980s. Its old-fashioned wooden structure, uneven beams, and gray-brick and mottled walls express a unique moment in time.
Such a teahouse enhances the daily lives of nearby residents. Over the decades it has calmly welcomed local tea-drinkers, curious tourists and artists, film crews and photographers alike.
With its low prices, however, this teahouse was almost shut down in 2005. At that time an art professor, Chen Anjian, partnered with the owner to save the old teahouse. Chen paints with oil on the theme of teahouse life, making teahouses come to life in painting.
Streets in Chongqing are complicated, full of ups and downs, making it difficult to find the unassuming Jiaotong Teahouse. Why not contact us for help?
3. Beijing: Lao She Teahouse
- Chinese: 老舍茶馆
- Highlights: Chinese folk shows, Beijing-style snacks, and desserts
- Address: Building 3, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
- Opening hours: daily 9:30 am–10:30 pm
- How to get there: bus nos. 9, 22, 44, 67, 332 or 901 to Qianmen West station
Named after famous Chinese novelist and playwright, Lao She, and his masterpiece drama, Teahouse, Lao She Teahouse is a place of traditional entertainment in Beijing. It is a cozy corner for inviting friends or family to sip tea and taste local dishes.
Apart from providing tea and snacks, the teahouse also arranges performances of various China-style shows in the evening, including tea art, Peking opera, shadow plays, acrobatic shows and other Chinese folk art. It’s an ideal place for witnessing the entertainment lives of Beijingers.
4. Shanghai: Old Shanghai Tea House
- Chinese: 老上海茶馆
- Highlights: collections of old 1930s Shanghai stuff
- Address: 385 Fangbing Middle Road, Huangping District, Shanghai
- Opening hours: daily 9 am–9 pm
- How to get there: take a bus or metro line 10 to Yuyuan station
Old Shanghai Tea House
Old Shanghai Tea House is a great place for you to escape from the skyscrapers of the modern metropolis.
Find its small and inconspicuous façade, with a poster of beauty wearing a cheongsam, on Shanghai Old Street near Yuyuan and step inside across its old wooden ladder. You’ll arrive at the Shanghai of the 1930s.
The owner of this teahouse loves collecting antiques, and most of the stuff here, like its counter, coffee maker and lamp, can be traced back to the 1920s and 1930s. You can easily sense the passage of time here, peeking back at a slice of old Shanghai.
You might be interested in: Half-Day Old Shanghai Exploration Cycling Tour.
5. Hangzhou: Hu Pan Ju Teahouse
- Chinese: 湖畔居茶楼
- Highlights: lakeside views, West Lake
- Address: No.1 Shengtang, Xihu District, Hangzhou
- Opening hours: daily 7:30 am–11 pm
- How to get there: bus nos. 5, 12, 18, 25, 46, 71, 102, 118, 305 or 586 to Liugongyuan station
Among the various teahouses encircling West Lake, Hu Pan Ju offers some of the premier views from any of its 3 stories, placing it among the very top teahouses in Hangzhou.
Hu Pan Ju offers over 100 types of tea, including its homegrown pride, West Lake Longjing tea.
Snacks and food come free with your purchase of tea. When you find a window facing the lake and admire the panoramic view of West Lake with a cup of sweet tea in your hands, the free snacks may make up somewhat for the regret you feel that you can’t live by the lakeside.
If you like, add the Hu Pan Ju Teahouse experience to our 1-Day West Lake Walking Tour.
6. Guangzhou: Tao Tao Ju Teahouse
- Chinese: 陶陶居茶楼, To To Kui in Cantonese
- Highlights: morning tea, dim sum
- Address: 22 Dishifu Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou
- Opening hours: daily 7 am–10 pm
- How to get there: Metro line 1 or line 6 to Huangsha station, or bus no. 6 to Baohua Street station
Guangzhou Dim Sum
Tea is the central element in the lives of Cantonese people. In this region, if someone wishes to invite you for lunch, he will tell you he is inviting you to drink tea.
Tao Tao Ju is a century-old teahouse among hundreds of teahouses in Guangzhou, with a rich variety of tea and dim sum. Soaking up a cup of tea and biting on a piece of the chicken foot, local people exchange gossip with their neighbors and share their lives together.
Don’t forget to contact us if you would like to try out the mouthwatering dim sum and morning tea culture in Guangzhou.
7. Hong Kong: Lin Heung Tea House
- Chinese: 莲香楼
- Highlights: traditional HK-style morning tea, dim sum
- Address: G/F 160-164 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
- Opening hours: daily 6 am–11 pm
- How to get there: bus no. 55 to Central station
HK-Style Morning Tea
The teahouses in Hong Kong are similar to those in Guangzhou – dim sum has higher priority than tea. To experience the traditional HK morning tea, Lin Heung Tea House, an old-fashioned teahouse opened in 1918, is the best place to go.
Lin Heung maintains the style of a 1930s restaurant and has all kinds of authentic HK-style dim sum.
Most of its waitresses are fifty years old or more. Wearing white aprons and shuttling between the tables, some of them carry large teapots to pour tea for diners, while others maneuver carts around to distribute the dim sum or collect the dishes for washing.
You might be interested in our Essence of Hong Kong tour, which will make your trip simpler and less trouble.
Experience Teahouse Culture with China Travel
Experience Teahouse Culture
China Travel has developed dozens of exclusive teahouse experiences throughout the country. Here are some sample itineraries via which you can experience the richness of teahouse culture, while at the same time touring the must-see attractions:
- 2-Day Panda and Giant Buddha Tour: giant pandas, Leshan Buddha, People’s Park
- 3-Day Shanghai and Tongli Water Town: Shanghai highlights, plus a water town
- 8-Day China Experience Trip: time-travel from Beijing, to Xi’an, to Shanghai