Hangzhou is a historic and cultural capital in Eastern China. The tea culture in Hangzhou dates back the Song Dynasty. Hangzhou was the capital city of the Southern Song (the second period). Known for the West Lake and scenic views, Hangzhou attracts tourists throughout the world.
Benefiting from abundant underground water and humid climate, the Hangzhou area produces many world-known teas, such as the West Lake Longjing. Drinking tea is not only a lifestyle to them, but also a matter of aesthetics.
According to an article about Hangzhou from Baidu Baike, water is the soul of Hangzhou. Historically, Hangzhou is the most environmentally friendly city in China. People call the water of the West Lake the “water of the heavens.”
People in Hangzhou worship a delicate lifestyle. Unlike other metropolises, Hangzhou is more laid back and relaxing. Hanging out in a teahouse is popular among both the young and older populations. There are over seven hundred teahouses in Hangzhou; that’s more than any other city in China.
Teahouses have themes in Haozhou. Some are famous for the tea ceremony performances; some are popular for their unique environment and design; some are tea museums whose exhibitions help broadcast the overall tea culture.
Let’s visit some most representative teahouses in Hangzhou.
Taiji Teaism teahouse
According to a report from Xinhua.com, in the Qinghefang, many traditional buildings and stores paint a dreamy scene of a classical Chinese environment. Taiji Teaism teahouse is one of them. Dressed like an ancient server, the waiters in the tea house, who are well-trained performers and experts, are called “Dr. Tea.”
Taiji Teaism Teahouse is also famous for its furniture and décor. The owner believes that to Chinese pursue the harmony between nature and human beings. All furniture and decorations are hand-made of wood without polish.
The traditional tea snacks there are popular too, including some classic Suhang desserts. Xiangnanxiang dumplings have juicy filling — a mixture of pork and cabbage. Xihu Oufen is an appetizer made of lotus toot power. Xiancai tofu is best served with the Pumpkin porridge. There are many other popular snacks: Ningbo sweet dumplings, baked green beans, tea cakes, black sesame paste, and spicy bamboo.
The minimum consumption is around 10 RMB per person.
Address: 184 Hefang Street
Jinyong is one of the most famous Chinese writers, who has contributed a lot to Chinese Kongfu literature. Jingyong teahouse was founded by the Jingyong fan club. Initially, Jinyong teahouse was a website for literature comments and critiques. As the number of fans continued to grow, Zhangting, the club founder, believed that it was time to have a real place for club gathering.
Located near the West Lake, according to a review from uuyoyo.com, Jinyong tea house was built in woods. Faced with a delicate garden, within which is a small river and bridge, the owner wants to create a poetic environment for fans.
According to another review from Youyou.com, you have to make a reservation before going there. If there will be a fans gathering, only invited people can participate. There are both praises and critiques on Jinyong teahouse. Some people think the prices are too expensive. Compare to other famous teahouses in Hangzhou, they believe the minimum consumption of 50 RMB per person is too high. However, others hold a different opinion. They think it’s worthy to expend a nice afternoon in the beautiful scenery.
If you are a super Jinyong fan and want to meet other fans, Jinyong Teahouse is absolutely a place to go.
Address: North Yanggongdi
According to a introduction from Hupan’s homepage, Hupan teahouse is one of top teahouses in Hangzhou. Located by the West Lake, the teahouse enjoys the best view of Hangzhou. Hupan was founded by the Hangzhou government and the Tourism Department, and has served a lot of international celebrities, including the ex president of the United State – Bill Clinton.
According to a review from Sina.com, Hupan teahouse has more than one hundred tea choices on menu and countless dishes and snacks. You can taste the most famous and popular teas through China here, including the West Lake Longjin, Qimen black tea, Sichuan jasmine tea and so on. Also, if you are a fan for the Huiyang Cuisine, Xihu fish and braised meatball are your first choices. Xihu fish is tender and juicy seasoned by the Zhenjiang vinegar (one of the most famous vinegar in China). The braised meatball is chewy and mellow. If you just want a to relax yourself and escape from pressure, you’ll lose yourself in the beautiful views and delicious snacks here.
The first floor is for walk-in customers. There are some theme boxes on the second floor. Most of them are named after famous teas. Also, some seasonal tea banquets are held here too. In the banquets, the customers can appreciate teas throughout the world — Korean tea, British tea and Indian tea. You can also reserve a balcony on the third floor. Enjoy the great view while hanging out with your friends and family.
The minimum consumption is around 120 RMB per person. The snacks are refilled freely.
Address: 1 Shengtang District
Unlike Hupan teahouse, Ziyi teahouse is more popular among local residents because it’s special snacks and warm service. According to the article from Hanghaozaixian, Ziyi was founded in 1994, and the owner Ke Chen is versatile in traditional Chinese arts: gardening, China (pottery) appreciation, Guzheng (a Chinese instrument), Go chess and so on. Since 1998, the Ziyi teahouse has won a lot of domestic and local awards.
Here are several highly rated snacks in Ziyi teahouse. Beef rice noodle is famous for its mellow soup and tender beef. Soaked in the soup, which was cooked for hours with chicken and fish bones, the rice noodles have a rich flavor. The chicken feet are cooked for hours in home-made marinade, which is chewy and flavorful. The Osmanthus sweet dumpling is a traditional southern dessert and is popular for the young girls. With sweet fillings, the dumplings are steeped in the soup seasoned with Osmanthus flowers.
The minimum consumption is 100 or 198 RMB per person. The snack buffet is free. There is lot of seasonal promotion.
Address:172 Suguang Road