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Tea House

Tea Off: Cool outdoor houses for supping fragrant stuff
The sun's fuzzy orange mouth sucks the air back in through the Beijing haze as the cab lurches forward one last gasp along the Second Ring Road

Amidst the angry horns, a man comes on the radio, reports more massacres in Kosovo, killings in Kashmir and 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. Oh boy. It's that-last-summer-before-the-end-of-the-world feeling.

Lao She Teahouse
The Lao She Teahouse, established in 1988, is named for the famous Chinese author, Lao She, and one of his better-known works, "Teahouse." At Lao She Teahouse, customers sit in an old-world Beijing setting, and can drink the best teas in China, watch all kinds of traditional Chinese performance art, enjoy delicious traditional Beijing-style snacks, and delicacies the likes of which were eaten by Qing Dynasty Emperors. Since it opened, Lao She Teahouse has entertained many famous people from China and all over the world, and as a result the Teahouse is known and loved in many different countries.

Chinese Tea Party

The Chinese take their tea seriously. No doubt about that. Everyone, from taxi drivers to company presidents, drinks tea every day, all day long. Tea is consumed in liters: cups upon cups of the lovely, steaming, fragrant stuff. But any Chinese tea expert knows that much of the action and excitement takes place long before the first heavenly sip. While most everyday tea is just a matter of water sloshed over tea leaves, a true tea aficionado knows there are meticulous details of brewing time, water temperature, quality of water, types of tea pots and cups that make a big difference in the result. And that's after all the care has been taken to grow and ferment the delicate leaves, to blend and so on.

The Tao of Tea

The Chinese tea ceremony is known as gong fu cha as it requires considerable effort (gong fu) to perform the elaborate process, which is restricted to the preparation of oolong tea. The Chinese tea ceremony does not involve the ceremonial details or strict adherence to procedural rules of its Japanese counterpart. However, as my Chinese friends are quick to point out, the Japanese art of drinking tea is another example of an ancient Chinese practice that was adopted by Japanese people in former times.

Teahouses in Beijing

Bai Cao Yuan Teahouse
22a Gaoliangqiaoxie Street, Haidian District

Canglangting Teahouse
5 Zhichun Rd., Haidian District

HongLu Teahouse
38 Haidian Rd., Haidian District

Jiamu Teahouse
5 Xipenglan Rd., Haidian District

Laoshe Teahouse
3 Xida Street Qianmen, Xunwu District

Minglu Teahouse
35-10 Zhixin Rd.,Haidian District

Mingxiangtai Teahouse
8a Xinwaida Street, Xicheng District

Saint's Alp
Dapaifang Chengfu Rd.

Simingzhai Teahouse
19-1 Haidian Rd.

Tianming Teahouse
3 Fangxingyuanerqu,Fangzhuangxiaoqu

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