|Liu Xiaoqing's Tea Space（上霖悦苑·茶空间）|
|Address :||Room B09, B1 Floor, Century Tea Trade Center, No. 1 Courtyard, Chama North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing|
Liu Xiaoqing established Liu Xiaoqing's Tea Space at Maliandao, a well-known tea street, in Beijing, in June 2015. The teahouse mainly offers customized tea gifts, including white tea, black tea, dark tea, Wuyi rock tea and pu'er tea. It also offers tea-art training classes.
"I learned tourism management at college. However, I was assigned to work as a waitress after I graduated from the college. I was not satisfied with my job. I thought the work was not what I wanted. So, I was reassigned to a teahouse in 2007. When I entered the teahouse for the first time, I was attracted by the place. The floor was paved with stones. A Moonlit Night on the Spring River, classical folk music, was playing in the teahouse. I thought the teahouse was an ideal place for me. I believed working in the teahouse was the job that I wanted," recalls Liu.
"In the beginning, I washed teacups and teapots in the kitchen. Three months later, I learned (about) different kinds of tea, so, I could recommend tea to customers, and so I could order tea for them. When I had free time, I studied the tea ceremony in another teahouse, and I obtained the certificate for tea-art specialist. I opened a teahouse in Yuncheng, my hometown and a city in North China's Shanxi Province, after I got married. I returned to Beijing in 2013. At first, I worked as a tea-art teacher at a teahouse. In 2015, I opened my own tea house at Maliandao," Liu continues.
"Our tea house only offers high-quality tea. I go to the tea-producing areas to select tea personally. However, I believe, for a person, there is no good or bad tea. A tea that is suitable for a person is valuable for the person. Nowadays, many people lack patience and they rush to do everything. Drinking tea is a good way for people to calm down. It is difficult for us to find out the right tea and the right person to drink tea with us. I hope all the people can find out the right tea and the right people to drink tea," says Liu.
The teahouse has organized many activities on weekends. The activities have included meditation, making flower arrangements, tea art, incense art, reciting Confucian classics and playing guqin (a seven-stringed plucked instrument). Liu gives lessons about tea art, and she invites teachers to teach guqin, flower arranging and incense art. The teahouse also offers free tea-art lessons to children. Liu teaches the children about the etiquette of preparing, serving and drinking tea, the knowledge of tea sets and the process and methods of making tea. The activities even attract many foreign customers.
"I think we should have a good view of drinking tea. I hope tea will be a necessity for more people in their lives, and drinking tea will become their habit. Tea brings happiness, leisure and comfort to us. I do not need to say many words at the tea table. What I only need to do is to make tea for my customers or friends. They can feel my mood, no matter happy or sad, from the tea," says Liu.
When talking about the reasons why the teahouse attracts many customers, Liu says, "In my opinion, the tea house belongs to all my friends. I want to not only sell tea, but also promote the tea culture. I hope people who like drinking tea can get together in the tea house, drink tea and enjoy their lives."
Room B09, B1 Floor, Century Tea Trade Center, No. 1 Courtyard, Chama North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
(Executive Editors: WEI XUANYI and ZHANG PING, Women of China English Monthly June 2017 Issue)
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