According to the old people, Beijingers care much about their lives in the early years. There is a phase saying Beijingers go to Zhengming Zhai for snakes and Zhang Yiyuan for tea.
The earliest Zhangyiyuan Tea Shop was established in the 26th year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1900) at Beijing Dashila by Zhang Changyi with the given name of Wenqing. Zhang Changyi came from Shexian County, Anhui Province and at that time he finally set up his own teashop after decades of hard work. It was named Yiyuan following the saying of "a new year renews and refreshes everything and blesses his prosperous and evergreen business".
Zhang Changyi opened another ten teashops in the next decade and the "Yiyuan" brand was very famous in Beijing for its honest business operation, high quantity and excellent services.
Born poor and suffered enough from being uneducated, Zhang Changyi didn't want his posterity to suffer from it again and then made a will requiring his posterity to engage in study rather than to do business. According to the will, his posterity left the management of teashops to agents and turned to develop in other respects. In 1992, Beijing Zhang Yiyuan Tea Co., Ltd. was established and then the company set the Zhang Yiyuan Tea Co. Quality Standard, which was the first one among Beijing old-trade-names. Nowadays, Zhang Yiyuan has achieved an annual sales income of RMB200m, set up almost 60 branches around China, developed and sold several hundred varieties of teas, which has created wonders in the new century.