Tea Culture and Life

How to Properly Enjoy Tea in a Chinese Restaurant

How to Properly Enjoy Tea in Chinese Restaurants

What Types of Tea Do Chinese Restaurants Serve?

Each Chinese restaurant serves different teas. However, there are some basic principles they follow when selecting teas, including choosing flavors that appeal to the general public, ensuring that even those who don't usually drink tea find it enjoyable, and serving teas with good value for money.

different Chinese restaurant serves different Chinese teas

Below are some common types of Chinese tea found in Chinese restaurants:

  • TieGuanyin
  • Jasmine green tea
  • Chrysanthemum tea
  • Raw Pu-erh
  • Ripe Pu-erh

There are also some less common types of tea that may appear in some Chinese restaurants:

Find more Chinese tea with our Chinese Tea Sampler.>>>

Chinese Tea in Different Levels of Chinese Restaurants

1. Affordable Chinese Restaurants

    Affordable Chinese restaurants tend to serve common Chinese teas, such as inexpensive TieGuanyin, Jasmine green tea, and Pu-erh tea. They may also provide some blended teas.

    Common blended teas include a mix of chrysanthemum and Pu-erh tea, as well as blends of loose leaf green tea, loose leaf oolong tea, and jasmine tea. Blended teas can compensate for the drawbacks of single-type teas by combining multiple teas to achieve a better taste.

    Affordable Chinese restaurants tend to serve common Chinese teas

    2. Mid to High-End Chinese Restaurants

    Mid to high-end Chinese restaurants tend to serve higher quality loose leaf tea, especially those often regarded as some of the best loose leaf tea, such as Da Hong Pao and Longjing tea. If you want to gift tea to a tea-loving friend, this type of Chinese tea is also suitable as tea gift sets.

    higher quality loose leaf tea

    3. Niche Chinese Restaurants

    Sometimes, the tea offered in Chinese restaurants is influenced by the owner's preferences. If the owner is knowledgeable about Chinese tea and wants to provide customers with their favorite high-quality teas, then some less common Chinese tea varieties may also appear.

    In addition to the teas provided in Chinese restaurants, there are many niche types of tea in China that are worth exploring, such as Chinese wild tea. When you have a higher pursuit of tea quality and want to find Chinese organic loose leaf tea, you can explore the range of Chinese wild tea.

    How to Choose Your Tea in a Chinese Restaurant?

    Just as pairing the right wine with a meal can enhance the dining experience in a Western restaurant, choosing the right Chinese tea to accompany your dishes in a Chinese restaurant can significantly elevate your meal.

    Here are some principles for pairing different types of dishes with Chinese tea: 
    •  Sweet Dishes

    Sweet dishes are suitable to pair with slightly bitter Chinese teas, such as jasmine green tea and raw Pu-erh. The bitterness of the tea can effectively balance the sweetness of the dishes.

    Sweet dishes suit for slightly bitter Chinese teas

    Find more jasmine tea with our Chinese Jasmine Tea Sampler.>>>


    •  Greasy Dishes

    Greasy dishes are suitable to pair with Chinese teas that have a significant digestive effect, such as raw Pu-erh tea and ripe Pu-erh tea.

    Greasy dishes suit for Chinese teas that have a significant digestive effect

    Find more loose leaf dark tea with our Dark Tea Sampler.>>>


    •  Fresh Dishes

    Fresh dishes are suitable to pair with lighter Chinese teas, such as Longjing tea and Shou Mei. This ensures that the flavor of the dishes is not overwhelmed by the strong taste of the tea, further highlighting the fresh and delicious taste of the food.

    Fresh dishes suit for lighter Chinese teas

    Find more loose leaf green tea with our Green Tea Sampler.>>>


    •  Fried Foods

    Fried foods can easily cause excessive heat in the body if consumed in large amounts. They are suitable to pair with teas that have a cooling effect, such as chrysanthemum tea and Shou Mei.

    Fried Foods

    The taste and characteristics of Chinese teas are diverse and rich. If you want to explore further, it is recommended to try a loose leaf tea sampler.

    How to Better Taste Chinese Tea

    1. Smell the Aroma

    In addition to having a good taste, rich, lingering, and memorable aromas are another major characteristic of Chinese tea.

    Smell the Tea Aroma

    Different types of Chinese tea have distinct aromatic styles. Floral teas such as jasmine tea and chrysanthemum tea have obvious and fragrant aromas. The best oolong tea, like TieGuanyin and Da Hong Pao, have unique and high-pitched aromas. Green teas like Longjing have especially elegant fragrances.

    To fully experience the beauty of Chinese tea, the process of appreciating its aroma is indispensable.

    2. Let the Tea Linger in Your Mouth

    Many people, when first tasting Chinese tea, might find the flavor not as intense, especially compared to other beverages like coffee.

    Let the Tea Linger in Your Mouth

    In reality, the taste of Chinese tea is very rich and requires a more detailed experience.

    When you drink Chinese tea, let the tea linger in your mouth for a while, allowing every part of your mouth to feel the tea. This makes the flavor of the tea more pronounced, allowing you to fully experience its subtle taste and appreciate its layers and beauty.

    3. Savor the Bitterness and Sweet Aftertaste of Tea

    Some Chinese teas may have a bitter taste initially, which you might not be accustomed to at first.

    You can try to savor the bitterness of the tea. After the bitterness fades, a sweet aftertaste will emerge. This subtle transition from bitterness to sweetness is worth experiencing.

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