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Cultural Heritage / Trip Ideas

Visit Laoshe Teahouse for a sip of genuine Beijing culture

By Xinzhu Xiao

November 25

When you’re feeling all touristed-out and need to relax with a good cup of tea, an excellent stop would be Laoshe Teahouse at Qianmen.

When you’re feeling all touristed-out and need to relax with a good cup of tea, an excellent stop would be Laoshe Teahouse at Qianmen.

The main entrance of Laoshe Teahouse [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
The main entrance of Laoshe Teahouse [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
Built in 1988, Laoshe Teahouse was named after the famous writer and artist Laoshe and his drama Teahouse. It was the first modern teahouse after the reform and opening up of China, with the price of a big bowl of tea only costing two cents.

The main hall of Laoshe Teahouse [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
The main hall of Laoshe Teahouse [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
It has since become a cultural center with food, tea and Beijing folk art.

A miniature model shows the old Beijing lifestyle. [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
A miniature model shows the old Beijing lifestyle. [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
In old Beijing, people met at teahouses to drink and enjoy performances by storytellers and musicians. Teahouses declined in the late 1950s and vanished completely during the Cultural Revolution. Since 1978, they have made a modest comeback, but Laoshe Teahouse is the only one that retains all the traditional features.

The late Qing Dynasty-style decoration [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Ai Jingwei]
The late Qing Dynasty-style decoration [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Ai Jingwei]
The hall is decorated and furnished in the late Qing Dynasty style, with dozens of tables in the hall seating 50 to 100 in front of a stage.

The staircase to second floor [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
The staircase to second floor [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
Palace lanterns hang from the ceiling, and traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy adorn the walls. The waiters wear Qing-style gowns, while the waitresses wear cheongsams.

Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
Yunnan Chi Tse Beeng Cha [Image Credit: Xiao Xinzhu/China.org.cn]
“Laoshe Teahouse is a good place to enjoy some of China’s famous tea varieties, like Longjing and Maojian,” said one Austrian customer.

There is also a tea art performance team, who can perform routines for all sorts of teas.

Tea arts performance [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Ai Jingwei]
Tea arts performance [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Ai Jingwei]
Guests can see also see operas, acrobatics, magic, and face changing shows.

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