Bangkok’s Chinatown is a lot of things, but relaxing it is not. A day spent exploring the endless alleyways of traders and vendors is culturally stimulating but physically exhausting. That is why Double Dogs Tea Room proves such a welcome harbour from the frenetic pace of life outside. This air-conditioned shophouse on Yaowarat – the high street of Chinatown – serves a range of premium teas and Chinese cakes with all the pride and ceremony of a traditional tea room, and yet it is a casual hangout for weary visitors and more than the odd local too.
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The decor is fairly simple, but spotlessly clean and everyone is given a heartfelt welcome by the owner, appropriately named, Khun Tee, and his staff. For newcomers to the world of tea, the menu is informative and easy to read, with separate sections on different tea types and regions. At Double Dogs Tea Room there are speciality teas from China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Japan. These are further split into different types of tea, roughly based by colour: green, red, blue, white and oolong. Depending on the particular type, tea is either served in miniature ceramic tea pots that hold enough water for one small cup, or in a larger bone china cup with the leaves still inside.
The tea set is a nice option for anyone looking for a refreshing drink together with a small snack. For 160 baht you get a Da Hong Pao tea, a well known blue tea from Fujian in China, with one Chinese baked tea cake from a selection of six. Tea is served on an ornate tea tray, with one small tea pot, your baked treat and a separate kettle of freshly boiled, high quality water. Water is added to the miniature pot for around 30 seconds and poured directly into a cup to be enjoyed. Due to the high quality of the tea, the leaves can be reinfused several times as you enjoy tea cakes wrapped in a light pastry and packed with black bean or taro.
With the white tea leaves, it can take many minutes for the tea to infuse and it is interesting to watch the dried leaves unfurl before your eyes and expand to fill half the cup. While you wait, there is a library of books lining the shelves of the tea room and light melodic music to allow for total relaxation. Double Dogs Tea Room also serve reasonably priced beer and wine, as well as a limited food menu consisting of noodles, desserts and ice cream.
If you enjoy your tea so much you would like to take some home then you are in luck because Double Dogs sells most of its tea per 50g. It is quite expensive compared to some of the market traders but this price is justified by the higher quality of the leaves. The owner has also marked a map of Chinatown with several of his favourite restaurants and dining establishments that visitors would otherwise struggle to find. Amazing tea, relaxed atmosphere and friendly, English speaking owners – make sure a pit stop at Double Dogs Tea Room is part of your Chinatown exploration.
Double Dogs Tea Shop
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 13:00 - 21:00 – Friday to Sunday: 13:00 - 23:00 (Closed on Monday)
- Address: 406 Yaowarat Road, Chinatown
- Tel: 0863293075