There are nearly 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the US and tea drinking is an inherent part of the culture. But ordering the tea can be a real challenge at times because most people have no idea what the list of options on the menu means.
Perhaps not all of us are tea enthusiasts but it's interesting to note what are some of the common types of tea served at Chinese restaurants in the US, so that you can finally order tea like a boss.
After all, tea is second only to water as the world's most popular beverage.
Most Chinese tea can be classified into six different types namely green tea, white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, red tea (known as black tea in the West) and dark tea ("hei cha").
Although all Chinese tea are made from the leaves of the same species namely Camellia sinensis, this classification is based on fermentation and the different procedures used in processing tea.
Aside from Chinese tea, there are also Chinese herbal teas, scented teas, flower teas and more.
- Pu-erh Tea (Pu-erh cha)
Pu-erh is perhaps one of the most popular teas served in Chinese restaurants. It has a "deep, woody, sweet old tea". It is the traditional choice of tea for dim sum lovers because it helps with digestion and the perfect antidote for the oil found in fried dim sum dishes.
It is believed that drinking pu-er can help to lose weight but it is crucial to drink it at the right time, otherwise it will actually cause you to gain weight instead.
- Pu-erh with chrysanthemum (Ju pu cha)
Ju pu cha is a combination of chrysanthemum and puerh, where they're blended together to get that distinctive earthiness of pu-erh while enjoying the aroma and sweetness of chrysanthemum. It is also popular ordered during dimsum as it is believed to help with digestion.
- Jasmine Tea (Xiang Pian cha)
Jasmine Tea is the most popular scented Chinese teas, as jasmine blossoms are used to flavour the tea. The fragrant jasmine flowers are usually blended with green tea to provide a smooth and floral taste, resulting in a rich, greenish-yellow color infusion.
It is believed that it has many health benefits including to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system.
- Chrysanthemum Tea (Ju hua cha)
Ju hua cha is a type of Chinese herbal tea and is easily the most appetizing drink in the Chinese herbal tea family. It is a popular tea hence, can be easily found in bottles and tetra pack at any Chinese supermarket nowadays, besides Chinese restaurants and tea houses.
Delicately sweet, it is thought to be a type of cooling tea with detoxification properties that can be drunk on any occasion.
- TieGuanYin Tea
Tie guan yin Tea, literally translated as 'Iron Goddess Oolong Tea', is one of the most famous oolong tea. It is known for its intense flavor and gentle sweetness of the floral fragrance.
This tea originated in the 19th century in Anxi in Fujian Province. Tieguanyin produced in different areas of Anxi have different gastronomic characteristics. This particular tea is known for its natural organic health elements, including weight loss.
- West Lake Dragon Well Tea (Long jing cha)
This popular tea is produced in the Longjing Village of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. It is a type of green tea with rich antioxidant content and has refreshing taste and delicate aroma.