Fuchun Teahouse is tucked away in an alley in Yangzhou City, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo: CGTN)
Established in 1885, the teahouse was simply a flower shop until then owner Chen Buyun introduced a variety of pastries. The place hasn't looked back since.
The teahouse was buzzing on the morning we arrived as people of all ages lined up for a coveted seat inside.
At 76 years old, Xu Yongzhen, the national-level inheritor of the Fuchun pastry craft, still has a pep in her step as she walks through the teahouse's kitchen and courtyard, and can make pastries with an enviable amount of artistry.
In one of the private dining rooms, I got a firsthand glimpse of the master at work. Xu showed me two of the teahouse's famous dishes: San Ding steamed stuffed buns, or baozi, and thousand-layer cake.
Diced chicken, pork and bamboo shoots are sealed in dough, with each perfectly pleated 28 times. The result is a hot and addictive palm-sized baozi.
If you're craving something sweet, the thousand-layer cake is your best bet. Xu showed me the secret to creating the dozens of flaky layers: fold the dough, fold it again, and again and again, adding plenty of sugar and oil along the way. The result is a subtly sweet treat topped with candied strips of winter melon.
Xu prepared a table with the teahouse's signature pastries, each with vibrant colors and intricately designed.
Pick a pastry and pair it with a cup of Fuchun's self-made Kui-Long-Zhu tea – a blend of Kuizhen, Longjing and Zhulan teas – for a relaxing start to your morning in Yangzhou.