China Food

Can “Boiling Tea in a Stove” Win the Third Space?

The atmosphere business of Chinese tea.
In Yunnan ethnic minority areas, when winter is free, people will sit around the fire pool and bake tea in pottery cans on the charcoal fire. After the tea leaves are roasted, add hot water to cook. While drinking tea, people are chatting while baking fruits and tea with charcoal fire, which has become a unique social scene of the place.
Today, the unique experience of “cooking tea in a furnace” has become popular on the Internet unexpectedly. There are more than 30000 relevant articles on the Xiaohongshu platform alone, and the number of views on the topic of # cooking tea in a furnace has also exceeded 11.57 million. From the wilderness tea stand to the city teahouse, when young people regard “cooking tea around the stove” as a sense of ritual in winter, a new round of economic sprouts has also been born.
Boiling tea around the stove becomes a ritual in autumn and winter
“Boiling tea around the stove” can become popular on the Internet. High scene appearance and good photography are essential key elements.
A small charcoal stove, a wire mesh plate, a pottery teapot, and exquisite tea refreshments are placed beside the teapot. Bamboo chairs, mud walls, elegant courtyards and clear sky are in the background… Such a set of leisurely scenes that clearly distance themselves from busy urban life is not only a popular element for trendsetters to personally test their cards online, but also a fixed combination of “cooking tea in a fireplace”.

It is quite different from the modern decoration often seen in the city. “Boiling tea in the oven” emphasizes Chinese aesthetics. The walls are full of ink and wash paintings and folding fans. Wooden trays and bamboo futons are on hand. Whether it is a wild tea stand far away from the urban area or a new tea house located in a corner of the business district, it has adopted a simple or thick decoration style.
In order to attract more young people who are keen on “face value clock in”, some teahouses simply moved to rural courtyards in the suburbs. The shopkeeper covered the mud tile house with thatch, planted three or two ginkgo trees in the yard, covered the ground with gravel, and then directly put a wooden stool tea table and several bamboo chairs in the spacious courtyard.
If you don’t say it’s a teahouse, I’m afraid many people will think it’s a studio dedicated to shooting pastoral style. Just because this effort in scene shaping has set off a comfortable mood on the screen. This artistic conception is also magnified in the scene experience of “cooking tea in a fire”.
In order to maintain a leisurely atmosphere, teahouses generally only provide small tables for 4 to 6 people. It is also different from the traditional teahouses that drink tea and watch a play. “Boiling tea around the stove” is mainly provided by businesses with venues, equipment and ingredients. Three or five friends sit around the stove. Customers make tea and bake tea by themselves.
This self-service service, on the one hand, reduces the disturbance of the waiters and creates a private social space. On the other hand, there is no roar of cars on the city roads, only whispers and laughter between friends, which also allows customers to relax mentally in a wide vision and quiet environment.
Leading the “Cofferdam Economy”
According to the observation of the Insect Waking Research Institute, although the “cooking tea in the oven” originated in Yunnan, the vast majority of teahouses providing this service are concentrated in the southern coast. Especially in Fujian and Guangdong, which have always had a strong tea culture, and Suzhou, Hangzhou and other places, it has become very popular, even around“
The popularity of camping before is due to the outdoor scenes away from the noise of the city, and the unique social scenes that can not only meet the social needs of acquaintances between families and friends, but also meet strangers. Compared with camping, “cooking tea in the oven” has the same advantages.
First of all, the new Chinese decoration style of “cooking tea around the stove” has created a unique space different from the daily scenes of the city and catered to the psychological needs of young urban people to “escape from the world for a short time” on holidays; Secondly, the new visual experience also conforms to the value logic of “beauty economy” and provides necessary elements for popular networks; Third, “cooking tea in a furnace” itself has a clear sense of distance from urban life, but it can also meet social needs, so the value experience of “cooking tea in a furnace” goes beyond drinking tea itself.
In fact, the value experience created by “cooking tea in the oven” has already been explored by tea brands. For example, tea ‘stone, which was founded in 2018, and T9 premium tea, which is called “Hermes in Tea”. At present, the former has opened 7 direct stores in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuhan and other places, with a single store area of 200 to 400 square meters, and adopts a more modern Chinese style design style. The latter was founded in 2016, with 25 offline stores with obvious European design up to now.
However, unlike the leisure emphasized by “cooking tea in the oven”, tea ‘stone and T9 premium tea are not refined in atmosphere shaping.
In tea ‘stone stores, we can see hundreds of pure tea from 18 core production areas in China, and we can also interpret the origin, flavor, technology and other professional knowledge for customers. In addition, the store also launched a number of new tea drinks and creative cakes with online popularity attributes, and improved their popularity with the help of the strategy of selling single products.
T9 premium tea continuously strengthens the label of luxury through the visual design represented by Hermes’ color matching of the same model and the high-end offline store layout. At the same time, in the way of high-end afternoon tea in the store, combined with the highly visual design style in the store, it provides the use scene experience for the product itself. However, these two ideas may not really bring more young people into the world of Chinese tea.
It is not difficult to understand that the popularity of “cooking tea around the stove” on social networks is partly due to its own online popularity attribute of “cards and photos”. The other part is because it meets the social scene needs of young people seeking novelty and avoiding the world. As for what kind of tea to drink, whether it is good to drink tea, and whether the tea is delicious, the answers to these questions are not the core reasons why young people are keen to experience “cooking tea in the oven”.
Therefore, tea ‘stone brings more wishful feeling of powerlessness to customers by interpreting their tea expertise. The sense of sophistication brewed by T9 premium tea finally turns into a brand premium reflected in the product price. Why is it that the third space is also built around tea products, and there will be two different effects between “cooking tea in the oven” and new tea drinks? Essentially, it is also the experience of differentiation
Can “Boiling Tea in a Stove” Win the Third Space?
实际上,“围炉煮茶”所创造的价值体验,已有茶饮品牌正在摸索中。比如成立于2018年的tea’stone,以及被称为“茶中爱马仕”的T9 premium tea。前者目前已在上海、深圳、武汉等地开设7家直营店,单店面积均在200至400平方米之间,且采用更具现代气息的现代中式设计风格。后者则始创于2016年,截至目前拥有25家带有明显欧式设计的线下门店。
不过,与“围炉煮茶”所强调的悠闲惬意不同,tea’stone以及T9 premium tea在氛围塑造上并未脱俗。
T9 premium tea则是通过爱马仕同款配色为代表的视觉设计,以及颇具高级感的线下门店布置,不断强化轻奢标签。同时也以店内高档下午茶的方式,结合店内极具视觉识别度的设计风格,为产品自身提供使用场景体验。不过,这两种思路或许并不能真正将更多年轻人带入中式茶饮的世界。
因此,tea’stone为顾客解读茶叶的专业知识带来的体验感,更多了一厢情愿的无力感,而T9 premium tea酝酿出的高级感,最终也只是转化成了体现在产品价格上的品牌溢价。为何同样是围绕茶产品打造第三空间,“围炉煮茶”与新茶饮之间会出现两种截然不同的效果?本质上还是差异化的经营思维导致的路径差别。



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