Tea Time at Laoshe Teahouse: Experiencing Unique Beijing Culture

Laoshe Teahouse was built in 1988 by Mr. Shengxi Yin, to commemorate Mr. Laoshe, one of the representatives of traditional Beijing Culture, and his magnum opus Tea House. Ever since its opening, the tea house has been a desirable place for both tea lovers and Chinese culture vultures.

Location: No. 3, the west street of Qianmen, Xicheng District Beijing 

best Beijing Tea house

Of over 500 tea houses in Beijing, Laoshe Teahouse stands out not only for the association with cultural celebrities, but also for its origin from stall tea or Dawancha (Big Bowl Tea). Inspired by the play of Tea House, Laoshe Teahouse attaches much importance to the Beijing local culture traditions and lifestyle, apart from ancient tea culture.

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Beijing tea culture 

Constant change has made Beijing a brand-new metropolis, though, the ancient capital has much more to offer beyond the gaudily ornate buildings.  

Laoshe Teahouse is one of the most well-known ‘trendy’ areas of Beijing and incredibly cool. From food to fun, from waiter’s dialect to architectural design, everything creates a Beijing-style cultural ambience. The three-floor building is of typical Beijing courtyard design, and involves traditional art and modern comforts. Travelers may find it to be a folklore museum by seeing its elegant old-fashioned tables and chairs, palace lanterns, painting &calligraphy works and couplets hung on the walls, as well as the memorable sculptures and pictures. It’s worth mentioning that Laoshe Teahouse has received 47 heads of state such as former U.S. President George W. Bush, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Beijing culture tour

The performing artists of Laoshe Teahouse keep the traditional Beijing art alive 

Difference tea ceremony performances, including oolong tea ceremony, farm tea ceremony, and jasmine tea ceremony are available in Laoshe Teahouse. Here you can also taste various traditional foods and snacks of Beijing or Shanxi or Shandong flavor.

Chinese tea ceremony

Most travelers to Laoshe Teahouse are most impressed by the various forms of traditional performances: Peking Opera, Chinese shadow puppetry, dramas, plays, ancient music, ancient dancing, comic dialogue (cross talk), acrobatics, oral stunts, Chinese Kung Fu, face changing of Sichuan Opera, etc. With a different culture background and difference languages, international travelers may not fully understand the stories or what performers try to express, but most people are able to feel the charm of traditional Beijing art and also take a deep look into Chinese culture.

You know what, many traditions and traditional artistic forms in China are disappearing or are in danger of disappearing. So the performing artists in Laoshe Teahouse are trying their best to keep the traditions and arts alive.

Beijing Opera at tea house Chinese tea house performance

Beijing’s Best Teahouses: Drinking Tea, and Experiencing More

Famous for its long history as being the royal capital and 7 UNESCO world heritage sites, as well as numerous great places of interest, Beijing also has a fascinating tea culture and boasts about 170 featured teahouses. The tea houses witnessed the fluctuation and fall of Qing Dynasty, and now become cultural places for drinking tea, killing time, chatting, and enjoying the folk arts and culture and traditional local performances.

Beijing’s tea houses can be classified into three types: traditional teahouse (of classic design and decoration and with Chinese folk performances), modern business teahouse (with modern equipment and engaged in business meetings and activities), and special featured teahouse (of various style and cultures). Outgrowing its past as a place for tea drinking, teahouses in Beijing develop into multifunctional entertaining places today.

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Beijing tea trip

Laoshe Teahouse (老舍茶馆)

Address: Building 3, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen Xidajie, Xuanwu District

Transportation: Bus 17, 22, 43, 826 or Subway Line 2 at Qianmen stop

Named after a famous Chinese writer, Lao She (老舍)and his drama “Teahouse”, Laoshe Teahouse is the most famous tea house in Beijing and beyond. Built in 1988, it retains a quaint and elegant decoration of Old Beijing in 1930s. The waiters dress in long gown, while the waitresses dress in Qipao (cheongsam). Here you can admire at the various Beijing folk performances such as Peking Opera, acrobatics, allegro, tea ceremony, and story-telling in Beijing dialect with drum accompaniment. Meanwhile, famous teas, delicate desserts and local snacks are available.

Laoshe Teahouse Beijing

Top teahouses in Beijing China

De Yun She or Tianqiaole Teahouse (德云社 or 天桥乐茶园)

Address: 1 Beiwei Road, Xuanwu District

Another time-honored teahouse in Beijing, Tianqiaole was built in 1933 and converted from the original Tianle Theater. With an area of 1300 square meters, the teahouse can hold 200 guests and audience at a same time. Here you can enjoy interesting performances including Beijing Opera, acrobatics, wresting, martial arts and folk art showing everyday. Never miss the wonderful comic dialogue performed by famous actor Guo Degang and his colleagues. Tianqiaole is of old Beijing theater design, and accepts the ancient copper cash.

Tianqiaole Teahouse

 the wonderful comic dialogue

Meng Hui Tian Qiao — Sanlitun Theater of Deyunshe (梦回天桥—德云三里屯剧场)

Address: No.4, Gongti Dong Lu, Chaoyang District (opposite to the Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market)

Another teahouse and theater for comic dialogue performance (crosstalk), Meng Hui Tian Qiao is of solemn and elegant Ming and Qing dynasty architecture style, and can hold up to 500 people. In view of culture differences, all the shows are given English translation properly. It will be delightful to enjoy the tea and tasty snacks while enjoying the comic dialogue.

Meng Hui Tian Qiao Teahouse

Best China tea tours

Zhangyiyuan Tianqiao Teahouse (张一元天桥茶楼)

Address: 18, Wanming Lu, Xicheng District (just facing the Oriental Hotel) 

A short distance to Tianqiaole Teahouse, Zhangyiyuan Tianqiao Teahouse is also a good place for leisure, drinking tea and experiencing the unique Beijing tea culture. Authentic Beijing folk performances include storytelling, opera, acrobatics, and comic dialogue. Besides, tourists can also buy various local souvenirs here.

China tea culture tours

what to eat in Beijing teahouse

Minghui Teahouse (明慧茶院)

Address: inside Dajue Temple, Bei’an he Village, Sujiatuo Town, Haiding District

Hided in the serene Dajue Temple, Minghui Teahouse features superior Longjing green tea and Biluochun green tea, with fresh spring water. Apart from the tasty vegetarian diet, the teahouse also offers mouth-watering dishes like West Lake Vinegar Fish, and Longjing fried Shrimps.

Drinking tea in Beijing China

Best China tea shops

Liuxianguan Teahouse (留贤馆)

Address: 28, Guozijian Street, Dongcheng District

Liuxianguan locates on the 600-year-old Guozijian Street, and close to Yonghe Lamasery and Confucius Temple. It was recommended by The Times Magazine in 2007, and received US Vice President Biden and his granddaughter in 2013.

Best Beijing teahouses

best teas in Beijing China