Last night I stumbled upon this small tea house down a small alley in Beijing. The owner, originally from the Bai minority in a tea-growing region of Yunnan Province, came to Beijing to promote the traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony. Hidden behind an unassuming exterior in the Beiluoguxiang hutong, the tea house uses simple design, natural colors, and classic tea ware to accentuate the tea ceremony.


The owner, Yuan Zhen, described her training as a tea master. We reflected on the word yun (韵), often used to describe tea's aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. With no direct English translation, the word simultaneously means rhyme, tone, and charm. Yuan Zhen compared yun to the lingering resonance of a chime once struck. We marveled at how one word can reflect the essence of the tea ceremony: a combination of poetry, music, and art.