Chinese Tea Guide

Shanghai’s Best Tea Houses

When the cold winter air chills you to your bones, there is no better way to warm up than one of Shanghai’s charming tea houses. Settle in with a steaming cup of your favourite brew and while away the day.

Usually populated by a few gossiping taitai on weekdays, Nanxiang Tea House serves tea from three of its own plantations in Hangzhou, Fujian and Yunnan. The cheapest teas brew for RMB 88 per person, and you can spend upwards of RMB 2,000 if you want the best they have to offer, but you’re paying for quality.

Nanxiang Tea House. 438 Xiangyang Nan Lu, near Jianguo Lu. Tel: 6431 5012

Named after the expansive garden that opens on to the streets of the leafy French Concession, Gu Yuan Tea House is a good bet for a sunny day, and the indoors is as cosy and quaint as 960 year old tea houses come. Revel in the history of it all with an aged pu’er while sampling snacks from Shaanxi province.

Gu Yuan Tea House. 1315 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Fenyang Lu. Tel: 6445 4625

De He Tea House offers modern convenience to its customers. WiFi capabilities make De He the Chinese equivalent of a coffeehouse, but Mac users beware – their stubborn connection only works with PCs. The all-you-can-eat buffet featuring fruit, soups, mains and cold dishes and a wide selection of tea are definitely worth a trip.

De He Tea House. 135 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu. Tel: 5468 1117