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Chengdu Tea Culture & Teahouses in Chengdu

When referring Chengdu culture, tea culture could not be missed. The tea culture can be found in thousands of teahouses in Chengdu city. In high class teahouses, businessmen will chat for their cooperation. In outdoor teahouses, friends can spend the time leisurely.

No matter how tea culture in Chengdu develop, it can’t deny that Chengdu is a city moistening by tea. In 1940s, the population in Chengdu was around 600,000. And among them, nearly 12,000 were worthy of the name “the friend of tea”. They could consume thousands of tons tea annually. And nowadays, the quantity demand of tea old Chengdu people is still ranked at the top in China.

Chengdu Tea Culture Terms

1. Gai Wan Cha (盖碗茶)
Gai Wan (盖碗) refers to a teaware which is a bowl with a cover upper and a small dish in the bottom. This bowl is also called San Cai Wan (三才碗), means three talents bowl. The cover refers to the sky, the bowl refers to the human, the small dish in the bottom refers to the ground.
How to used Gai Wan
► Need to drink strong tea, use the cover to scrape strongly

► Need to drink light tea, use the cover to scrape slightly


2. Long Men Zhen (龙门阵)
Long Men Zhen (龙门阵) now refers to chatting activity in teahouses. Old Chengdu people will ask friends to “Bai Long Men Zhen (摆龙门阵)” means to have a cup of tea and chat with each other in a teahouse.

Long Men Zhen comes from a story about Xue Rengui, a general in Tang Dynasty. When Xue Rengui marched to the Gaoli Kingdom, he used a battle array named “Long Men Zhen”. This battle array was set by Xue
Rengui and famous for its magical changeable function. Nowadays, people use this word to describe the plots in the story twists and turns complex. And gradually, the word now can used to refer any chat activity.

3. Da Wei Gu (打围鼓) or Wan You (玩友)

Da Wei Gu, also can called “Wan You (玩友)” is an activity that summon or invite friends after dinners to sit around and sing opera arias (without makeup and acting ).

This activity is usually held in teahouses. This activity is popular with locals because of it can offer Chuanju fans a place to enjoy Sichuan opera in a low cost.

If you are a Sichuan Opera fan, don't miss the chance to experience this 100% local custom in your Chengdu tour.

Some Misunderstandings of Tea Culture in Chengdu

1. It is true that Chengdu people have tea drinking daily. But not in the teahouses usually. They prefer to have tea at home and in the offices. Only when entertaining friends and guests or need large enough room to gathering and play mahjong, they will go to teahouses.
2. Morning tea is a custom of a few Chengdu residents
3. The young Chengdu people could not play mahjong daily. Retired people can have that kind of life in Chengdu.
4. The teahouses in Chengdu now are open during mid-day and close around 12:00 at night.

Recommended Time-honored Teahouses in Chengdu

Shunxing Old Teahouse 顺兴老茶馆

A teahouse summon professional tea experts, ancient architectural experts and excellent folk artists. Guests can drink Gai Wan Cha, eat snacks, appreciate paintings, etc..
Budget: from CNY 100 (USD 17) per person
Highlight: Sichuan opera after 8:00 p.m.

► Shunxing Old Teahouse 顺兴老茶馆
Add: 3rd floor, International Exhibition Center, No. 258, Shawan Lu, Jinniu District
Chinese Add:金牛区沙湾路258号国际会展中心3楼(沙湾国际会展中心南侧)
Tel:86-28-8769 3202
► Shunxing Old Teahouse (Century City Branch) 顺兴老茶馆(世纪城店)
Add: Xi Shu Lang Qiao, No. 166, Shijicheng Lu, Wuhou District
Chinese Add:武侯区世纪城路166号西蜀廊桥(世纪城假日酒店旁)
Tel: 86-28-8538 0007

Heming Teahous 鹤鸣茶馆

Typical Chengdu old teahouse, located in Renmin Park. Friendly price and leisure environment will let you forget the time. It is located inside Renmin Park.
Budget: from CNY 30 (USD 5) per person
Highlight: If you wat to experience exotic thing, have a try of “pick one's ear (掏耳朵)”

Add: Inside Renmin Park, No. 12, Shaocheng Lu, Qingyang District
Chinese Add: 青羊区少城路12号人民公园内
Business Time: 11: a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Yuelai Teahouse 悦来茶馆

One of the oldest teahouses in Chengdu. The most advantage is the cheap price. It is a popular teahouse with Chuanju fans to get together.
Budget: from CNY 15 (USD 2.5) per person
Highlight: it is famous as a nest of Chuanju fans

Add: inside Jinjiang Theater, No. 54, Huaxingzheng Jie, Jinjiang District
Chinese Add: 锦江区华兴正街54号锦江剧场内
Tel: 86-28-8678 2057