Tea is undeniably a cornerstone of Chinese culture. Since its discovery there over 4,000 years ago, tea has come to play a major role in the country’s heritage and tradition. It is also an integral part of the Chinese dining experience, with most restaurants featuring an array of teas on their menus.
So, if you’re wondering what tea is served in Chinese restaurants, read on for the answer.
Types of Tea Served in Chinese Restaurants
When it comes to tea, the diverse range of styles and flavors on offer in Chinese restaurants can be baffling. Oolong, green, black, Pu-erh — the list goes on. Fortunately, there are some basic rules of thumb to help you navigate this labyrinthine landscape of teas.
- Green Tea
One of the most popular varieties of Chinese tea served in Chinese restaurants is green tea. Green tea has a grassy, earthy flavor that is both light and refreshing, particularly when served hot. It can range from yellow-green to deep forest-green in color, depending on the variety. Some of the most popular green teas include Longjing, Bi Luo Chun, and Mao Feng.
- Black Tea
Black tea is the other major tea served in Chinese restaurants. In contrast to green tea, it has a more robust, full-bodied flavor, and it is usually darker in color. Various types of black tea can be found, such as Keemun, Pu-erh, and Tieguanyin.
- Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized tea that falls between green and black tea in terms of flavor. It has a rich aroma with hints of fruit, flower, and honey. Its taste is both savory and sweet, with a smooth and silky mouthfeel. Popular types of oolong tea served in restaurants include Golden Lily and High Mountain Oolong.
- Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are also a popular choice in Chinese restaurants. Herbal teas are made from combinations of herbs and spices, and they can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Popular varieties of herbal teas include chrysanthemum tea, rose tea, and jasmine tea.
Apart from the teas themselves, drinking tea in Chinese restaurants also follows a specific etiquette. Firstly, it’s important to never pour your own tea — this is considered rude and is offensive to the server.
Secondly, when you’re done drinking, place your teacup on the saucer instead of leaving it on the table. This lets the server know that you’re done.
Chinese tea culture is an integral part of the Chinese dining experience, with most restaurants offering an array of teas on their menus. The most commonly served teas are green, black, oolong, and herbal, each with its own unique flavor profile.
Well.. When it come to drinking the tea, it is important to follow the proper etiquette, such as never pouring your own tea and placing the teacup on the saucer when you’re finished. By doing so, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your tea-drinking experience in a Chinese restaurant.