I spent the night with my good friends in a tea house at Lujiazui in Shanghai. Tea house is becoming more and more popular in Shanghai, as in other areas in China. When more and more Starbucks appears, the business of traditional Chinese tea house is also booming.
For Starbucks, the typical charge range from 15 RMB for Coffee of the Day to 35 RMB for some newer coffee. For the tea house, however, the charge is typically 68 RMB, as the one we went to.
The tea house are typically very traditional Chinese building with Chinese decoration. Many move the interior or exterior decoration of ancient Chinese buildings from Shanxi, or Shaanxi. Although it is more expensive, but it includes many things – all kinds of fruit, a cup of nice tea that you can continue to refill water, and even includes noodles and small dishes, which makes a good option for dinner.
Many people get there to combine dinner and tea together and spend the night there. This is the kind of business I like – the typical Chinese way serving customers in China. They know their customers better. Although there are large percentage of people in Shanghai willing to try some new things (from aboard), the majority still prefer the cost-effective options like tea houses. It is an interesting phenomenon to see tea houses and coffee shops sit side by side at the Shanghai street.