The Top Tea Houses in Shanghai

Chinese Tea House
Chinese Tea House | ©vhines200/Flickr
Rachel Deason

Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture, and what trip to Shanghai would be complete without experiencing a slice of traditional Chinese life. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing atmosphere, nuanced flavors, or health benefits, Shanghai has a tea house for you.

Zenjoy

Zenjoy is all about the atmosphere. This two story tea house in the French Concession is surrounded by a garden and pond, creating a tranquil hideaway in which to enjoy your tea. The inside is dark with the classic features of a Chinese tea house made slightly trendier for the upscale business clients it often attracts. As far as tea goes, you can have one of the staff brew you a pot in a traditional manner, or you can opt to do so yourself.

A Time for Tea

Located in a three-floor western-style villa, A Time for Tea gives you a complete tea house experience from the moment you walk in the door. Seemingly existing just for your arrival, the proprietor will greet you with her signature charm and lead you to the tea tasting area. A Time for Tea is as concerned with your enjoying the carefully-selected high-quality tea as it is with your understanding tea culture, giving each patron a lesson in the significance of the art.

Wanling tea house

Wanling tea house, named for its owner, is separated into three zones. The first is the tea shop, where visitors can try teas from China and India. The second is a public tea room for tastings, and the third is a private reservations-only VIP tea room. Wanling tea house specializes in Tie Guanyin, a premium variety of oolong tea that goes through a nine-step process to make it into your cup.

Yi She

Rated the number one tea house in Shanghai on Chinese review website Dianping, Yi She is an intimate tea tasting experience that must be booked in advance. Each tea is extraordinary in itself. Try a tea that is pu-er aged and fermented in a mandarin orange. The proprietor will pour all the teas himself and share his vast tea knowledge with you throughout the process.

Qingyun Ping Pavilion

Qingyun Ping is as much a tea house as it is a place to learn all about Chinese culture. In addition to tea tastings and classes, Qingyun Ping offers seminars and classes such as calligraphy and Chinese mythology. It’s easy to spend an afternoon soaking in everything this tea house has to offer, and while you do so, enjoy the complimentary dried fruits, nuts, and desserts selection.

Wang De Chuan

Wang De Chuan is a famous Taiwanese tea brand established in 1862. They entered Shanghai in 2010 and now have four stores throughout the city, primarily located in high-end shopping districts. The best thing about Wang De Chuan is that you’re allowed to sample as much tea as you want for free before you buy it. They specialize in oolong and pu-er and also offer bilingual tea courses.

Xuyou Tea house

Xuyou Teahouse was established in 1951 right here in Shanghai. They sell over one hundred varieties of tea from around China as well as selected tea wares. Like Wang De Chuan, you’re welcome to “try before you buy” at Xuyou, although samples are only offered for certain teas.

Renjian Chuanshuo Immortal Tea

Interested in traditional Chinese medicine? Renjian Chuanshuo, which means “The Legend of the Human World”, is the tea house for you. Even if you know nothing about tea, the attendants will be able to recommend the perfect tea for you based on the conditions of your body. The atmosphere is elegant and classical, and you will leave feeling refreshed and healthy.

Jiaoran Tea Garden

Jiaoran Tea Garden makes tea tasting easy with a series of set deals for up to 16 people at a time. It’s no accident that Jiaoran calls itself a tea garden. You enter into a courtyard with a rock garden and stream, flowers, grass, and koi. All the tea was hand picked by the proprietor herself according to her professional sensibilities, so you know you’re getting the good stuff.

柿Home from Home

Located in a lane off of expat-frequented street Fumin Rd. in the French Concession, 柿Home from Home is a peaceful little hideaway, from the Japanese courtyard entrance to the cozy interior. In addition to offering tea tasting packages, the tea house offers Chinese-style terrarium classes and also has a calligraphy station.

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