China: A land of history and intrigue where many inventions still around today were discovered and created. One such find was the tea leaf. Tea remains a very popular drink in Asia and the tea culture in China thrives in this modern day and age.
The tea houses of China represent an aspect of Chinese culture that has resisted the headlong rush into modernism most countries have succumbed to. Even now, one can go to a tea house and watch tea being prepared the traditional way right before their eyes, just like it has been for hundreds of years.
American culture has changed so much since this country started, that almost nothing of the original culture remains. Local meeting points where you could meet your friends and hear the latest gossip while enjoying a drink have disintegrated into bars and clubs which encourage connecting to others in solely physical ways. The spiritual connection to others in public places has been all but lost.
Tea houses, on the other hand, serve the modern China in a variety of ways, from acting as a gathering spot for the older members of the community to talk, to hosting wedding receptions and business meetings.
While we in America can meet each other for lunch at a local restaurant or catch up with friends at Starbucks, there's something about a pot of tea that makes a get-together special because tea is the drink that brings everyone together.