Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Laughtea Teahouse, Taichung (悲歡歲月人文茶館)

Taichung is famous for tea houses and believe me, they’ve got some cool ones. The Wu Wei traditional tea house on Gong-Yi Road with its bamboo patios overlooking the koi pond, or even the ultra sleek, like the Eslite 2nd floor tea house next to the reading room.
But if you’ve tried those and found them a little overcrowded on a Friday night, perhaps you should try the Laughtea Teahouse, a true Taichung hidden secret.
It is located at No. 29, Dàquán Street, West District, 04-2371-1984, and it is absolutely not to be missed.
The Laughtea Tea House is a throwback to Taiwan’s colonial past and still maintains its Japanese style decorum.
It was the childhood home of its owner, Dr. Wu Hao-chi, and the home was built in 1924.
With partitioned rooms separated by elegantly crafted and dark stained sliding doors made of wood and rice paper, with a little Zen garden, and intricately decorated with cool old stuff… it is just an awesome experience to hang out and take in the sights.
Oh, and the tea is killer too! There is a set menu, but not overly priced… try the mint water, and a somewhat helpful staff… not like at Wu Wei where they pour the tea for you… but she did speak English to me, and showed great patience at my fumbling with the tea leaves.
I mean, even the bathroom looks cool. But overall, whether sitting in the secluded back room or cross legged on the low tatami mats, you are immediately embraced in this house by the warm atmosphere.
These places don’t much exist anymore in Taiwan… of course in China… they abound… and coming here, I really thought I would find more and more places like this, but have completely failed to find them
The Laughtea Tea House is… a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life… relax over a pot of tea, and leave your cares behind.

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