Tea houses around China


Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea

Tea houses around China

Postby thirst » Jul 3rd, '13, 10:06

I’ll probably shortly be around China this summer and I’m interested in going to tea houses. Does anybody have tips? The province doesn’t really matter, though because there’s not too much time it’d be best if it were an area that was relatively highly concentrated. To clarify, I’m also interested in more contemporary tea houses (by which I don’t mean bubble tea places :D).
I’ve heard that Sichuan has the most tea houses. Or how about Shanghai, Hong Kong or Taipei?
Well, maybe the scope is too large?! :oops:
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby wyardley » Jul 3rd, '13, 16:59

Don't have a lot of specific suggestions, but in my limited experience, most tea houses (and of course, there are some notable exceptions, such as Wistaria in Taipei) are more about the social aspect / ambiance, than the tea itself, and of course, the nice ones will usually have high prices.

While Sichuan is known for tea houses, I think most of these teahouses serve flower scented teas (e.g., jasmine) and local green teas.
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby thirst » Oct 4th, '13, 18:03

I’m not sure if it’s more rude to dig out this thread or to leave the reply unthanked, but I’m going with the latter, so, thank you for the reply!

I ended up going to Taiwan and visited a few tea houses, though not as many as I would have wanted, haha. Going to a proper tea house really was a novel experience for me. It never occurred to me before to have perpetually boiling water (is this something a lot of people here do?).

Wistaria was the first we went to, and it was absolutely lovely – I’m glad it was the first one we visited. I also liked Jiufen Tea House. Outside of it, Jiufen was so overrun with tourists that it didn’t seem as ideal a getaway. High season, maybe? Maokong seems to be packed with tea houses, but I had the feeling that their main selling point was the view; at least the one we went to have lunch at wasn’t very special, comparatively. We ran out of time and didn’t actually have tea there, but Chun Shui Tang at the fine arts museum in Taichung has a reception with a highly aesthetic array of shelves packed with beautiful tea ware.

Plus, the people in Taipei are generally the nicest people I’ve ever met.* After asking a random passer-by for help with finding a bus stop, she actually helped searching for it! And after asking at the metro information where to find a specific museum, the lady after us whipped out her phone and found out that it had been turned into a shop. I was pretty amazed.

*The staff of one tea house wasn’t very welcoming at all, perhaps because we asked to have some pu er instead of a Taiwanese oolong, but we’ve had quite a bit of those the days before and wanted a change of pace. I also wanted to know what pu er would taste like at a tea house, and it was quite different from the admittedly few ones I’ve had (it also was very tasty).

/ramble
/Tl;DR
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby Poohblah » Oct 4th, '13, 20:20

thirst, I'm glad to hear you had a good time! I would also like to visit Taiwan sometime in my life.
wyardley wrote:While Sichuan is known for tea houses, I think most of these teahouses serve flower scented teas (e.g., jasmine) and local green teas.
That was certainly my experience when I visited Chengdu.
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby thirst » Oct 7th, '13, 10:52

Poohblah wrote:thirst, I'm glad to hear you had a good time! I would also like to visit Taiwan sometime in my life.
wyardley wrote:While Sichuan is known for tea houses, I think most of these teahouses serve flower scented teas (e.g., jasmine) and local green teas.
That was certainly my experience when I visited Chengdu.


Thanks! Taiwan’s definitely a place to return to. :mrgreen:

Regarding Chengdu and such, I imagine they serve what the province mostly produces, so oolongs in Fujian and Guangdong, pu ers in Yunnan, and mostly greens in the other provinces? Guess it makes sense then that teahouse culture centered around gongfuing is more prevalent in these first three places – just hadn’t thought about it before :lol:.
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby Poohblah » Oct 7th, '13, 11:09

That's not entirely the case.

Tea has been traded among the provinces for hundreds of years. For a modern example, Hong Kong is a (the?) major market for pu'er, which is produced hundreds of miles away in Yunnan. And despite the fact that Zhejiang province is perhaps most famous for its green teas, I've heard that most of the green tea consumed on a daily basis in China comes from Sichuan province, which does not produce teas of notable quality. I have no idea where the tea in the Chengdu teahouses comes from, though the tea they serve are the common types of green found all over China (jasmine tea, bi lo chun imitations, etc.).
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby thirst » Oct 8th, '13, 16:15

Ah, interesting. I’ve been to China a few times, but that was before I got into tea, so I never paid attention to what was served – also, I’ve never been to a teahouse there. Though I think I remember having green tea in a tall glass somewhere…
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby Poohblah » Oct 8th, '13, 21:38

thirst wrote:Though I think I remember having green tea in a tall glass somewhere…
That's pretty much the norm everywhere; it's like an American drinking coffee out of a thermos
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Re: Tea houses around China

Postby Da Hong Pao » Nov 8th, '13, 20:50

Next time someone is taking a trip, let me know where you're going and I can hopefully give you some places to try
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