Teahouses to Sample the Taste of the Season

“Tea is the national drink of China and Hangzhou is the capital of tea.” which explains the roles of both the much-loved commodity and the city in terms of history and culture. Hangzhou, as the hometown of Xihu Longjing green tea and Jiu Qu Hong Mei red tea, is widely known for its profound history and culture of tea.

Your journey during this season would not be complete without sampling the city’s finest brew in any one of its characteristic teahouses. There are over 300 teahouses in Hangzhou each boasting its own unique charm- the perfect locations for quenching your thirst.

Chenghuang Tower Teahouse (城隍阁茶馆)
Chenghuang Tower Teahouse offers more than a place to savor teas, it is also a place to enjoy dazzling views of the West Lake and to listen to a performance of the beautiful Jiang Nan Si Zhu (a string and wind musical instrument prevailing in Jiangnan Region). The Ming-dynasty-redwood-furnished tea house can accommodate about 150 people at one time.

It offers six traditional tea varieties such as Xihu Longjing as well as many modern teas. The refreshments Chenghuang Tower Teahouse offers are of strong Hangzhou characteristics, and include ones such as Mao Er Duo (Cat’s Ear猫耳朵), Cong Bao Hui and West Lake Lotus starch, as well as cakes themed on Hangzhou’s unique elements like the “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.”

Address: 3rd Floor, Chenghuang Tower, 3 Wushan Hill, Wushan Square, Shangcheng District (上城区吴山广场吴山3号城隍阁3楼)

Fuquan Teahouse (福泉茶院)
Hangzhou’s Buddhism tea culture is the most appealing of all Hangzhou’s tea cultures and Hangzhou tea culture has a close relation with Buddhism. It was recorded that the first place to grow tea was inside a temple. Those into drinking tea may have tried all sorts of tea varieties, but I bet very few of you have tasted Buddhism tea in a temple.

Yongfu Temple, characterized by Tang-dynasty-style architecture and the layout of a Jiangnan garden, is located at the foot of Shisun Peak (石笋峰) in the west of Lingyin and is surrounded by lush green bamboo forests and trees. Inside Yongfu Temple, there is a small tea garden where one can always spot monks busy picking tea leaves around the time of Qingming Festival. Yongfu Temple has its very own teahouse, called Yongfu Teahouse, which is full of charm and natural mountain views.

The most popular tea variety in Yongfu Teahouse is Yongfu Longjing, which is grown in the temple’s very own tea garden and brewed by spring from the forest. Jiu Qu Hong Mei then comes the next.

Address: inside Yongfu Temple, 16 Fayun Lane, Lingyin Road, Xihu District (西湖区灵隐路法云弄16号永福寺内)

Hu Pan Ju Teahouse (湖畔居茶楼)
There is nothing more relaxing than sipping a cup of tea and dazing at the banks of the West Lake. Climbing to the Hu Pan Ju Teahouse surrounded by the lake on three sides, your views of the West Lake will be complete. There prevails a saying among tourists, which perfectly illustrates the status of Hu Pan Ju Teahouse, and it is, “There is Laoshe Teahouse in the northern China and Hu Pan Ju Teahouse in the southern China.”

In Hu Pan Ju, one can taste the wildly-known Xihu Longjing variety as well as more than 100 famous tea varieties from all over the world, all of which are brewed by Hupao Spring, one of the top three springs in China. Also, tea sets used in the teahouse are of a wide variety and feature both traditional and modern elements. This tea house caters to everyone’s needs, and offers a delicate West Lake tea feast, flower teas from both China and abroad, a uniquely charming Jiangnan tea feast and various kinds of tea performances too.

Address: 7th Floor, Hangzhou Lakeview Hotel, 2 Huangcheng West Road, Xiacheng District (下城区环城西路2号望湖宾馆7楼)
Telephone: 86-571-87020701

Wushe Teahouse (吾舍)
Wushe Teahouse sounds like a small teahouse, but it is in fact a villa with seven private rooms and a courtyard. Wushe, meaning My Place in Chinese, observes strictly ancient tea rituals by applying Cha Xi (茶席: Cha Xi, is the place to perform tea skills and hold a tea ceremony, and the place to show the beauty of a tea ceremony and the spirit of teaism. Not all places to brew tea can be called Cha Xi, only those well-planned performing venues can be called Cha Xi.) Cha Xi stems from the Tang Dynasty and was created by a group of scholars. In the Song Dynasty, people set Cha Xi in a natural environment and put artworks inspired from nature on Cha Xi. It is also during the Song Dynasty that tea was listed as one of the Four Arts along with flower arranging, incense burning and hanging scroll paintings.

All objects, furnishings, paintings and calligraphies in Wushe Teahouse are all elaborately picked and arranged. Every detail, from tea brewing, flower arranging to incense burning, speaks out the professional and meticulous service.

Address: 4 Zhaogong Causeway, Xihu District (西湖区赵公堤4号)
Telephone: 86-571-88302567