Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The most popular beverage in China


Undoubtedly, tea is the most popular beverage in China. It is said to possess curative properties, from improving eyesight to helping reduce weight. Whether those claims are true or not, a nice warm cup of tea is undeniably delicious!

There is a wide variety of Chinese tea but the most popular are mainly divided into the following categories:

綠茶 Green tea • lü3cha2 (for Pinyin Talker use the following lv3cha2)
This is an unfermented tea with a clear taste and dark green color. The most famous brand is the West Lake Dragon Well Tea - xi1hu2 long2jing1cha2 which is produced in Hangzhou.

紅茶 Black tea • hong2cha2
This is a fermented tea with a fruit fragance and mellow taste with a sweet aftertaste.
Funny enough this tea is not black but red. In fact, "hong2" means red.

烏龍茶 Oolong tea • wu1long2cha2

This is a semi-fermented tea with a sweet aroma and concentrated taste. It is produced in Fujian and Taiwan. One of the most famous brands is the Iron Goddess of Mercy Tea - tie3guan1 yin1 cha2.

花茶 Scented tea or Herbal tea • hua1cha2

This variety of tea is produced by smoke-processing tea leaves with flower petals. Jasmine tea - mo4li4hua1cha2 - with its clear taste is an example of this kind of tea.

So how do you ask for a cup of tea?

我想喝茶 wo3 xiang3 he1 cha2 • I would like to drink tea
(I) (want) (drink) (tea)

喝红茶还是绿茶? hong1cha2 hai2sh5i lv3cha2? • Black tea or green tea?
(red/black tea) (or) (green tea)

绿茶,謝謝 lv3cha2, xie4xie5 • Green tea, thank you

To your health!



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