Gourmet Trips

Shanghai – Drinking tea at Dak Town 大可堂

We held a business meeting in a historic colonial building in Shanghai, a very unique place called Dak Town. And they only served one kind of tea – Pu’er from Yunnan.

Traditional tearoom with old-fashioned, European-style decor serving tea accompanied by snacks. The three-story villa hidden in an alley has a garden with a magnolia tree older than the house. It has an asymmetrical layout, with a porch downstairs and a tower facing the garden. Decorated with a belt line, a stone-like surface, a brown brick surface and a geometric facade, the Art Deco decoration creates a unique architectural style which existed in Shanghai in the 1930s.


Historic Building

Until recently Shanghai was too busy making money to worry much about its history, but now retro gems such as this one are riding a wave of nostalgia. The Art Deco building is built in 1993 by a local tycoon in a French bungalow style. Only the exterior remained, the interiors have all been converted into a haven for pu’er tea.

大可堂普洱会所始建于1933年,是当初一位浙江富商邀请法国设计师修建的佳作,大户人家的派头十足。而现在,除却门口大得从容、绿草如茵的庭院,内里已俨然成为普洱茶的天地。大可堂的“大可”二字是主人名字中间的“奇”字上下拆分之后而得;英文又可译作“DAK TOWN”,即城市驿站,象征了此处是现代忙碌生活中心灵得以休憩升华的驿站。最重要的是,“大可堂”的精髓“无所不可又事事可心”,将识茶、知茶、品茶、爱茶的茶生活图卷描绘得淋漓尽致。

In January 2007, the old villa became a teahouse with 17 private rooms, three open halls and a garden. Many historical details have been preserved, such as baroque old sofas, Italian crystal chandeliers, Romanesque pendulums, illustrated calendars in traditional Shanghai style, push-button typewriters and limited edition wire-bound books.


Tea House

The teahouse provides old teas from the 1970s to the 1990s, the most recommended being Chitse Beeng tea 七子饼茶, which was a famous kind of Pu’er produced in the Menghai Tea Factory from the late 1960s.

上下三层的大可堂共有十多个厅房,无论中西何种风格,都以云南著名的茶山命名,每间包厢的墙壁上也会挂上产自这座茶山的茶饼,令人印象深刻。而在大可堂一楼的大堂内,右手边有一个玻璃柜内陈列着四十四款产于建国前的“号字级”普洱茶,数目之齐全在全球的普洱茶会所内都数一数二。听工作人员介绍,现在市面上流通的普洱茶,陈期在60 年左右的已很珍贵,而在这44 款内,就有100年陈期的福元昌号普洱圆茶。

The teahouse is like a mini-museum of tea-related memorabilia. Interesting enough,  I found my doppelgänger – there’s a “Tea Diploma” that has been award to a person with the same first name as me 80 years ago.



Nothing is served here but the bitter black brew known as Pu’er tea and traditional accompaniments from sunflower seeds to candied mandarin oranges. Pu’er tea, is a famous Chinese tea originating from a very ancient tradition. It is harvested from particular varieties of tea trees (Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica mostly) in natural gardens of Yunnan Province (South East China). These trees can be very old and even wild. There are two types of pu’er tea : the “Sheng Cha” 生茶 (raw or green pu’er) and the “Shu Cha” 熟茶 (fermented, also known as “red” or ”ripe” pu’er).

A characteristic of this tea is that it mellows over the years due to the process of “post-fermentation”. Ripe pu’er also improves with time like a good bottle of wine.

环境很好,这里的普洱泡出来汤色红浓明亮,充满着老上海的风情!服务也非常的到位的!普洱的种类挺多的,称它为‘会所’是理所当然的了,主要是大家相聚,也还要去这个茶呢,很有情调的地方感觉就是老上海啊,正好又饿,还可以加水,独栋的老洋房,但是老姐相亲,,但是从装修和一些摆饰来看. 还是物有所值的. 去那里拍过一次照片. 那边有茶道表演,有很多人都是慕名而去的,可以办会员,价格当然不算平民,进门就是一排陈列着陈年茶饼的玻璃柜,期待的所谓别有洞天,配上一壶上等的普洱茶喝喝,边吃小食,这里是在襄阳路上的一个弄堂里的,看着就很爽的,看着穿旗袍的小姐穿梭而过,现在看大家对她的点评蛮高的,建筑也要赞一把,总之,人特别少,有了拾级而上的理由,搁在烧着小蜡烛的底座上温着,单行道的原因。


Current owners are related to the famous author Yu Qiuyu 余秋雨. Their signboards are written in the beautiful cursive of the author. And there’s a plaque that he wrote about the teahouse and drinking tea in general.

A nice little detour and a quiet oasis for the bustling city.

Daketang Pu’er Teahouse 大可堂普洱茶馆(襄阳南路馆)
388 Xiangyang S Rd, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China
Tel : +86 21 6467 6577

Date Visited : Dec 2019

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