Understanding the World of Chinese Morning Tea

“Dim Sum”   ,  “Yum Cha”  ,  “Morning Tea”   or  “Zao Cha”

Drinking Tea has always been an important part in the daily routines of most Chinese people, but Morning Tea specifically has been enjoyed by Cantonese Chinese  for hundreds of years. Nowadays Morning Tea, Yum Cha, or Zao Cha are all ways to describe the activity Westerners might call “Brunch”,  and Dim Sum refers to the dishes that are served at this leisurely mealtime. As with much international Chinese culture, this tradition has it’s roots in Guangdong province, but is practiced regularly throughout Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Chinatowns worldwide. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for first-time morning tea patrons!

Kungfu Tea at your Table

Kung fu Tea

Don’t miss the chance to Pao Cha with your hosts while you sip on piping hot kung fu tea in small tea cups. All Morning Tea establishments provide the option of small tea sets with boiling hot water that you can use to make tea at your table. Sometimes the tea alone costs as much as the food, but worth it for first-time visitors. A common favorite among Cantonese is Pu-er tea, which is a darker tea that reminds me of coffee. It’s known for aiding disgestion and doubles as a dieting tea.

An alternative to Kung Fu tea is just a simple pot of house brew that varies place to place. The cups are usually bigger too.

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Asian Secret #7 1 cup coffee, 1 cup tea

Loose leaf Green Tea

Western science has discovered that the health benefits of tea greatly outweigh the benefits of coffee. But if you like coffee, keep drinking it. But challenge yourself today by drinking 1 cup of tea for every cup of coffee. That way you are not depriving yourself of the cancer-fighting polyphenol antioxidants in tea, especially green tea.

In fact, Green tea was used for medical purposes in ancient China and is now ubiquitous across Asia. If you follow just one Asian secret it should be this one!

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Asian Secret #2 Trouble sleeping?

A warm cup of milk

There are countless natural ways to get more sleep. Sleeping pills should be a last resort.

Try drinking a cup of warm milk before going to bed tonight. Milk contains tryptophan, which is often attributed to the sleepy feeling you get after a turkey dinner.

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Healthy Alcohol: Drink to your health!

In the West we have a basic grasp of the health-related properties of red wine, especially French wine. In China, there exists a family of alcohol referred to as “保健酒” (Bao Jian Jiu); or medicinal alcohol. In fact, I’m enjoying 125ml of it while I type this post.

So, what’s good about it? After the 35% alcohol content, you can enjoy the benefits of  枸杞子(Gouji),仙茅(Rhizome),and 当归(Chinese Angelica), among many other common Chinese medicinal herbs…

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Green Tea To-Go!

Green Tea To-Go

All of my guests who have visited China notice the basics: delicious food, hospital people, beautiful landscapes, questionable hygiene, and ancient customs. One aspect of Chinese culture I often get asked about is tea culture. One specific part of the tea culture has been left untouched on AL.ME for years: Green Tea To-Go! So today I finally weigh in on an ancient custom that has been born through thousands of years of medical practice and remains a cornerstone in modern Chinese culture.

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