Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
This teahouse on a quiet street in the south of Tongzilin has all the characteristics of a good neighborhood teahouse: comfort, good ventilation, hospitable service, and just enough space between tables that you can either keep to yourself or listen to others' chatter. What makes the place stand out is the proprietor's unique 'zhuangxiugan' or decorating sense. The textures on the walls give the space a lived-in and comfortable feel. Live and dried plants bring nature in, sculptures and art and family photos make the place feel like your friend's living room, and the neighborhood types slapping down playing cards in their games of 'beat the landlord' really bring in the character of Chengdu. There are magazines to browse and free wireless.
The short and very typical menu has quite a few local favorites. Most of the teas are 15 RMB per person: qing shan green tea (青山绿), Korean buckwheat tea (韩国大麦茶), chrysanthemum tea (菊花茶), both plain and jasmine mao feng (素毛峰、花毛峰), gao shan (高山雪芽), 'floating snow' jasmine (碧潭飘雪), green bamboo leaf (竹叶青). I tried the gao shan, one of my favorites, which has a slight bitterness that complements the mouthfeel.
You can also order special teas for 50 RMB per pot, including a fruit and flower tea (花式果茶), a high end Iron Goddess of Mercy (观音王), fragrant guihua oolong (桂花乌龙), and a pu-erh (普洱). These pots of tea serve two. You can add cups for an additional 15 RMB per guest.