Chinese tea has been a cherished tradition for over 4000 years, deeply ingrained in the rich tapestry of Chinese culture.
Tea cakes, a type of dim sum, have emerged throughout the history of tea drinking. These delicately crafted snacks showcase the essence of oriental aesthetics. Carefully curated to complement the flavors of tea, they embody a harmonious fusion of factors like seasonal nuances, regional customs, and cultural influences.
In this article, we present a selection of the finest contemporary Chinese teahouses and restaurants in Shanghai, highly regarded for their exceptional reputation. Immerse yourself in the world of tea as you savor the offerings of esteemed tea masters and indulge in the timeless essence of oriental tea culture.
Step into the tranquil ambiance of PUSU Tea, a spacious tea room spanning approximately 200 square meters. The tasteful decor features a soothing grey-green palette complemented by elegant mahogany tables and chairs.
At the heart of PUSU Tea is the tea master, Mr. Shi, who passionately crafts handmade tea cakes tailored to each season. Carefully curated ingredients grace these delectable creations. Spring tea cakes incorporate yams and roses, invigorating the spirit and alleviating melancholy. Summer tea cakes embrace lotus seeds and Chinese water chestnut, offering respite from the summer heat. Autumn’s offerings boast tangerine peel and red beans, aiding in harmonizing the body’s energy and dispelling dampness. During winter, tea cakes feature bird’s nest and taro, providing nourishment and hydration to the body.
Indulge in the artistry of tea at PUSU Tea, located at L204, 2nd floor, Shipyard 1862, 1777 Binjiang Avenue. The tea room welcomes visitors from Monday to Sunday, between 9:30 AM and 9:30 PM.
T9 Premium Tea
Leading the revival of teahouses to their former glory, T9 Premium Tea emerges as a homegrown brand in Shanghai. Setting itself apart as China’s premier boutique tea brand, T9 offers a refined selection of flavors within an upscale setting. While they embrace modern tea creations such as tea lattes and herbal fruit teas, their commitment lies in upholding the timeless essence of traditional tea culture reminiscent of Victorian England.
Established in 2016 as an online tea supplier, T9 expanded its reach to open teahouses, with their latest addition in Xujiahui opening just a month ago. Step into this elegant café adorned with sophisticated decor that exudes a captivating charm, reminiscent of the refined ambiance where even Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot would feel at ease.
Discover T9 Premium Tea on the sixth floor of Grand Gateway 66, situated at 1 Hongqiao Lu, near Huashan Lu.
Hu Xia Zhi Yu. Ji (户下之羽·集)
Tucked away with just six seats, Hu Xia Zhi Yu. Ji is a Chinese dessert store that may easily go unnoticed due to its small entrance. However, stepping inside reveals a world of hidden wonders. Traditional horse lanterns, intricately carved wooden windows, and meticulously hand-stitched Su embroidery cushions adorn the space, exuding an unmistakable charm of classic Chinese aesthetics that beckons closer inspection.
What sets this teahouse apart is the owner’s dedication to reviving the ancient art of preparing white tea and whisked tea from the Song Dynasty, as detailed in centuries-old books. Every sip carries the essence of an 800-year-old tradition.
Discover Hu Xia Zhi Yu. Ji at No. 5, Lane 161, South Xiangyang Road, where its doors open from Tuesday to Sunday, welcoming visitors from 11:00 to 21:00.
Since the Tang Dynasty, teahouses have stood as timeless symbols of Chinese culture, providing a space for diverse conversations to unfold. Bliss Light embraces this rich tradition while infusing it with a modern flair that evokes a sense of Oriental elegance. Step inside, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a captivating ambiance reminiscent of a luxurious vintage train carriage. Eight spacious compartments branch off from the main passageway, each boasting high ceilings and exuding a refined charm.
The interior design seamlessly blends clean, contemporary elements with carefully reclaimed timber and subtly patterned walls, creating a tranquil haven that encourages a natural alignment of thoughts and inner calmness. It comes as no surprise that Bliss Light has already earned the title of Changning’s finest teahouse on Dianping. The tea served here is an exquisite delight, while the homemade snacks served alongside are equally delightful.
Indulge in the harmonious atmosphere of Bliss Light, located at 640 Dingxi Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu, where tradition and contemporary elegance intertwine to create an unforgettable experience.
Yuan Gu Yun Jing (元古云境)
In ancient China, the year was divided into 24 solar terms, each marking the changing position of the sun and reflecting the shifts in climate. At Yuan Gu Yun Jing, the skilled chefs craft exquisite seasonal cakes that align with these solar terms. With each passing season, a new cake is created to capture the essence of the solar term.
For instance, during the solar term of “Xiao Man,” the chef presents the delicately crafted “Xiao Man” cake. This delectable treat features seasonal Kaman oranges and almonds, offering a sweet and tender taste that perfectly embodies the spirit of the season. Similarly, the solar term of “Grain in Ear” is celebrated with the “Grain in Ear” tea cake, a delightful fusion of midsummer melons, mulberries, and cherries. This confection symbolizes the abundance and vibrancy of life during this time.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Yuan Gu Yun Jing, located at No. 137, Wu Yuan Road. Open from Monday to Sunday, from 12:00 to 20:00, it invites you on a gastronomic journey through the seasons, where each bite tells a story of nature’s ever-changing beauty.
Koi 5715.01 (锦鲤 伍柒壹伍点零壹)
Drawing inspiration from a distant superhabitable planet located 3,000 light-years away, Koi 5715.01 offers a teahouse experience that transcends earthly boundaries. Combining elements of futuristic design with traditional teahouse aesthetics, this enchanting establishment creates a captivating atmosphere. As you step inside, you’ll discover a series of private tearooms surrounding a central garden adorned with tranquil pools inhabited by graceful koi fish, accompanied by the soothing melodies of Chinese folk music.
While Koi 5715.01 transports you to a realm beyond, the essence of its drinks and service remains firmly grounded in the rich heritage of tea culture spanning over 1,000 years. The menu boasts an array of offerings, including raw Pu’erh and Yancha, showcasing the diverse flavors and nuances of tea. Additionally, they specialize in Chabaixi, an exquisite art form originating from the Song Dynasty, where intricate pictures are delicately painted on the velvety foam atop whisked tea.
Indulge in the ethereal ambience of Koi 5715.01, located at Room 305, Third Floor, Raffles City The Bund, 88 Tongren Lu, near Yanan Zhong Lu. Prepare to embark on a sensory journey that marries timeless elegance with futuristic allure, creating a haven for tea enthusiasts seeking a truly transcendent experience.
Nestled in an old house along the vibrant Huaihai Road, Turtle takes its name from the store’s beloved alpaca pet. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by a light and elegant neo-Chinese decor, adorned with simple yet stylish accents that add to its charm.
At Turtle, tea enthusiasts have the freedom to choose their preferred cup for savoring their favorite brews. It’s a personalized touch that enhances the overall experience.
The tea cakes offered here are masterpieces in their own right, meticulously crafted with precision. Take, for example, the “Groundbreaking” – a delightful combination of black tea and prune mousse. Another enticing option is the dessert called “Not to leave,” featuring a captivating gradient blue pear adorned with luscious pear puree and cream. Every bite unveils a smooth and delectable texture that simply melts in your mouth.
Visit Turtle at No. 1250-6, Huaihai Zhong Road, and embark on a journey where tea and art converge. From the tasteful ambiance to the artistic tea cakes, this establishment invites you to indulge in a sensory experience that is both visually captivating and palate-pleasing.
Operating hours are from Monday to Sunday, 13:00-21:00, ensuring ample time to relish the unique delights that Turtle has to offer.
Jin Yun’s Tea Garden
For those who appreciate the allure of classical nature, Jin Yun’s Tea Garden is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Located at the end of a picturesque lane off Yuyuan Lu, which is also home to Spectres, this enchanting teahouse offers a truly magical experience. Step inside, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of tranquility and beauty.
The indoor tearoom areas are meticulously crafted with wooden structures reminiscent of gazebos, exuding an elegant charm. As the name suggests, the teahouse boasts a picturesque garden that invites you to escape from the bustling energy of central Shanghai. Whether you visit during the day or night, Jin Yun’s Tea Garden offers a respite from the demands of everyday life. During daylight hours, it serves as a peaceful sanctuary, shielding you from the urban chaos. As dusk descends, the garden comes alive with the soft glow of fairy lights, creating an ethereal ambiance that transports you to a realm of pure tranquility—an Instagram-worthy paradise.
Discover the serenity of Jin Yun’s Tea Garden at Bldg F, 753 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiangsu Lu. Prepare to be captivated by the harmonious blend of nature and culture, where time seems to stand still.
Zui Xi Lou: National Style Tea House (醉西楼 . 国风茶舍）
Step into Zui Xi Lou, and you’ll find yourself transported to a realm of timeless beauty and traditional charm. Inspired by ancient Chinese literature, the owner has meticulously designed this teahouse to capture the essence of China’s rich cultural heritage. Every detail within the building is a testament to the owner’s dedication to authenticity and aesthetic excellence.
As you enter, you’ll be greeted by the captivating sight of vermillion lacquer paintings adorning the walls, intricately carved with majestic dragons and graceful phoenixes. The delicate curtains dance gently in the air, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and refinement. A mist hovers above a serene pool, where graceful koi gracefully swim, adding a touch of enchantment to the surroundings. To complete the immersive experience, the soft melodies of the Lute resonate in the background, transporting you back to ancient China, where the past comes alive.
Visit Zui Xi Lou, located on the third floor of No. 4, Lane 290, Panyu Road, and immerse yourself in the captivating ambiance of this National Style Tea House. It’s a haven where you can savor tea, indulge in serene moments, and appreciate the beauty of China’s cultural legacy.
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Step into Kaiji Teahouse, the self-proclaimed hub of youth culture, and discover a refreshing blend of old and new in a welcoming and inclusive setting. Embracing the belief that teahouses should be a space where people from all walks of life can gather, Kaiji brings a contemporary twist to traditional teahouse culture. The menu showcases a selection of small dishes that pay homage to forgotten culinary traditions.
The design of Kaiji Teahouse seamlessly blends modern Bauhaus-inspired aesthetics with nostalgic elements. You’ll find a variety of low tables and stools that evoke a sense of simplicity and nostalgia. But don’t be fooled by appearances—Kaiji is anything but conventional. Here, tea leaves are pressed into waffle-shaped bricks, cleverly wrapped to resemble vinyl records. The serving area resembles a stylish cocktail bar, and their cold brew drinks are chilled to a precise 4°C in just 20 seconds, ensuring optimal flavor and a refreshing experience free from bitterness.
Visit Kaiji Teahouse, located at 119 Nanchang Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu, and embrace the fusion of tradition and modernity that defines this vibrant teahouse for the youth.
Indulge in a unique teahouse experience at Tea’Stone, a place where modernity meets relaxation in perfect harmony. Drawing inspiration from sleek and trendy coffee shop concepts, Tea’Stone captures the essence of Chinese heritage with a refreshing twist. Situated in the vibrant Xintiandi neighborhood, this teahouse embodies a rejuvenated vision of traditional culture.
Whether you choose to sit inside or enjoy the outdoor seating, Tea’Stone offers a laid-back atmosphere. Soft indie music fills the air, while warm lighting and natural elements, like light woods and abundant greenery, create a soothing ambiance that invites you to unwind and reconnect with nature.
Tea’Stone goes beyond being a teahouse, offering an impressive selection of loose tea leaves for sale, as well as an extensive range of ceramic and glassware tea paraphernalia. Immerse yourself in the world of tea and discover a renewed appreciation for Chinese heritage in this modern and stylish setting.
Find Tea’Stone at 380 Huangpi Nan Lu, near Xinye Lu, and savor the blend of tradition and contemporary allure that defines this captivating teahouse.
Chi Cha Qu (喫茶去)
Indulge your senses at Chi Cha Qu, where an array of tantalizing refreshments awaits. From rose red bean cake with lychee filling to bun mousse with double filling and plum-flavored tea jelly, the menu is sure to entice your taste buds.
But Chi Cha Qu is more than just tea and treats. Prepare to be captivated by the delightful ambiance created by the owner’s passion for pottery and Chinese antique furniture. The teahouse boasts an impressive collection of unique pieces, showcased amidst lush greenery, creating a joyful environment perfect for savoring tea, enjoying delectable treats, and leisurely strolling through the tea garden.
Discover Chi Cha Qu at No. 549, Yan’an Middle Road, and immerse yourself in a world of sensory delights.
Meet the Time You Want (遇到你要的时光)
Every nook and cranny of Meet the Time You Want exudes poetry and charm, with the first-floor water deck (reservation required) being a particular highlight. As you step on the stones and enter the tea terrace, you’ll be greeted by a serene pool enveloped in a delicate mist. Additionally, the teahouse offers the unique opportunity to rent ancient Chinese costumes, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere.
You can find Meet the Time You Want at three convenient locations: No. 10 Baoqing Road, Xuhui District (Huaihai Branch); No. 67 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District (Bund Branch); and No. 25 Jimo Road, Pudong District (Lujiazui Store). Open from 11:00 to 20:00, this is a place where time slows down and special moments are cherished.