Chinese Tea Culture



This blog post kicks off a new series of educational videos created by CLI. In this series we will explore and learn Chinese culture and vocabulary by speaking to local Chinese experts in a variety of fields. Each installment focuses on a single topic, shares an interview with an expert from that field, and includes a downloadable transcript and vocabulary list. We look forward to sharing this educational series with you! Please post your comments, questions, and subjects you’d like us to cover in our comments section at the end of each posting. 加油!



It’s common knowledge that tea is a major part of Chinese culture. But to what extent? Does drinking tea relate to Chinese Medicine? Does weather influence what tea we should be drinking?

In this video Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, interviews a Guilin local tea expert named Yangyang who provides us with excellent cultural insight. Sit back, listen, learn, and enjoy.

While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.



Tea Interview Transcript

Dayong (00:04 – 00:13)

我们想问一下您,您记得第一次喝茶的时候自己有多大吗?

Wǒmen xiǎng wèn yīxià nín, nín jìdé dì yī cì hē chá de shíhòu zìjǐ yǒu duōdà ma?

We would like to ask you: Do you remember how old you were the first time you ever drank tea?

Yangyang (00:15 – 00:30)

应该说是从小开始喝 但是真正自己喜欢并且去了解的话还是 从学校毕业出来 步入社会之后.

Yīnggāi shuō shì cóngxiǎo kāishǐ hē dànshì zhēnzhèng zìjǐ xǐhuān bìngqiě qù liǎojiě dehuà háishì cóng xuéxiào bìyè chūlái bù rù shèhuì zhīhòu.

I should say from a very young age. But in reality, I really didn’t become interested in understanding tea until after graduating from university and entering into society.

Dayong (00:31 – 00:43)

步入社会以后真正开始喝茶,是您的朋友还是家人介绍的?是怎样的一个机会来呢?

Bù rù shèhuì yǐhòu zhēnzhèng kāishǐ hē chá, shì nín de péngyǒu háishì jiārén jièshào de? Shì zěnyàng de yīgè jīhuì lái ne?

After you had entered society and began drinking tea, was it a friend or relative that gave you this opportunity to understand tea?

Yangyang (00:43 – 01:09)

是朋友吧,因为工作,他会接触到这些人,然后他们自己开了一个茶庄,我就会去他的茶庄喝茶,慢慢发现其实茶 无论是从口感、营养方面还是从养生方面都是挺好的.

Shì péngyǒu ba, yīnwèi gōngzuò, tā huì jiēchù dào zhèxiē rén, ránhòu tāmen zìjǐ kāile yīgè chá zhuāng, wǒ jiù huì qù tā de chá zhuāng hē chá, màn man fāxiàn qíshí chá wúlùn shì cóng kǒugǎn, yíngyǎng fāngmiàn háishì cóng yǎngshēng fāngmiàn dōu shì tǐng hǎo de.

It was a friend. While employed I found myself meeting many people, and some of these people opened their own tea shop. Because of this I often went to their shop and drank tea. At that time, I found that in terms of taste, nourishment, and health, tea was great.

Dayong (01:11 – 01:22)

所以您喝茶的一个原因可能是为了自己的健康或者是自己的生活情趣 ,对不对?

Suǒyǐ nín hē chá de yīgè yuányīn kěnéng shì wèile zìjǐ de jiànkāng huòzhě shì zìjǐ de shēnghuó qíngqù, duì bùduì?

So, your reason for drinking tea is for your health and lifestyle interests, right?

Yangyang (01:22 – 01:30)

对, 其实也是想 学习更多的我们自己国家的文化吧.

Duì, qíshí yěshì xiǎng xuéxí gèng duō de wǒmen zìjǐ guójiā de wénhuà ba.

Right, but also because I wanted to gain a better understanding of our own country’s culture.

Dayong (01:32 – 01:47)

那您觉得在您的日常生活中,这个喝茶的时间是怎么选择的?比如说早上可能会喝茶还是晚上会喝茶?有什么事情会喝什么样的茶呢?

Nà nín juédé zài nín de rìcháng shēnghuó zhōng, zhège hē chá de shíjiān shì zěnme xuǎnzé de? Bǐrú shuō zǎoshang kěnéng huì hē chá háishì wǎnshàng huì hē chá? Yǒu shé me shìqíng huì hē shénme yàng de chá ne?

Within your daily life, do you find yourself drinking tea in the morning or at night? How do you choose when to drink tea and in what sort of situation do you drink which kind of tea?

Yangyang (01:48 – 02:29)

其实喝茶也需要讲究时间段,早中晚都适宜。但是就是要看您 还有您的体质来喝茶。早上的话,像我们女孩子 就可能会比较适合一些红茶 或者说普洱茶 ,养胃暖胃, 就是比较温和一点。 像晚上呢, 也会喝普洱茶这类的。 男士的话,喜欢喝生普 也都可以。 最主要的是个人喜好吧.

Qíshí hē chá yě xūyào jiǎngjiù shíjiān duàn, zǎo zhōng wǎn dōu shìyí. Dànshì jiùshì yào kàn nín hái yǒu nín de tǐzhí lái hē chá. Zǎoshang dehuà, xiàng wǒmen nǚ háizi jiù kěnéng huì bǐjiào shìhé yīxiē hóngchá huòzhě shuō pǔ’ěr chá, yǎng wèi nuǎn wèi, jiùshì bǐjiào wēnhé yīdiǎn. Xiàng wǎnshàng ne, yě huì hē pǔ’ěr chá zhè lèi de. Nánshì dì huà, xǐhuān hē shēng pǔ yě dū kěyǐ. Zuì zhǔyào de shì gèrén xǐhào ba.

Right, time is an important factor to consider when drinking tea. But, in fact, morning, noon, and night are all suitable. It is also important to look at yourself and your own physical condition.   For a woman, it is better to drink a red tea, or a Pu’er tea in the morning. Drinking a warm tea will warm a woman’s stomach and promote good health. At night, it is also good to drink this kind of Pu’er tea. For men, they tend to like more raw Pu’er teas, but in fact they are all good.   The most important factor is to look at what that individual’s tastes are.

Dayong (02:30 – 02:38)

那从这个男女喝茶的不同来说,是不是我们中医的一些营养跟茶有关系呢.

Nà cóng zhège nánnǚ hē chá de bùtóng lái shuō, shì bùshì wǒmen zhōngyī de yīxiē yíngyǎng gēn chá yǒu guānxì ne.

So in regards to this difference between men and women drinking tea, is it that tea and Chinese medicine have a strong connection?

Yangyang (02:39 – 03:02)

对,这个也有关系,也离不开体质这个问题。每一个人的体质都不一样。像你的体质,如果说是比较凉,就是虚一点,那你就要喝一些温和性的,像红茶,主要是暖胃养胃,普洱也是一样的.

Duì, zhège yěyǒu guānxì, yě lì bù kāi tǐzhí zhège wèntí. Měi yīgè rén de tǐzhí dōu bù yīyàng. Xiàng nǐ de tǐzhí, rúguǒ shuō shì bǐjiào liáng, jiùshì xū yīdiǎn, nà nǐ jiù yào hè yīxiē wēnhé xìng de, xiàng hóngchá, zhǔyào shi nuǎn wèi yǎng wèi, pǔ’ěr yěshì yīyàng de.

Yes, there is definitely a connection. We can’t separate one’s physical health from this question, and every person’s physical condition is different. If you have a colder body temperature and weaker health, you will need to drink warmer tea to promote a healthy body. The main function of a Red or Pu’er is to regulate body temperature and promote warmth and comfort.

Dayong (03:04 – 03:17)

比如说今天天气很好,非常晴朗,阳光很足,跟前几天不一样,今天您喝什么茶。

Bǐrú shuō jīntiān tiānqì hěn hǎo, fēicháng qínglǎng, yángguāng hěn zú, gēnqián jǐ tiān bù yīyàng, jīntiān nín hē shénme chá.

For example, today’s weather is terrific, very clear, sun is shining bright. What tea would you drink on a day like today?

Yangyang (03:17 – 03:22)

像今天这样的天气的话,来点绿茶比较好。

Xiàng jīntiān zhèyàng de tiānqì dehuà, lái diǎn lǜchá bǐjiào hǎo.

On a beautiful day like today, drinking green tea would be ideal.



Vocabulary List:

Hànzì Pīnyīn Definition Part of Speech
1. 步入社会 bù rù shèhuì to step into society *idiom
2. 接触 jiēchù come in contact with; get in touch with v.
3. 茶庄 chá zhuāng tea shop n.
4. 营养 yíngyǎng nutrition; nourishment n.
5. 养生 yǎngshēng to maintain good health v.
6. 日常生活 rì cháng shēnghuó one’s daily routine *idiom
7. 讲究 jiǎngjiù be particular out; pay attention to adv.
8. 早中晚 zǎo zhōng wǎn morning, noon, and night n.
9. 普洱茶 pǔ’ěr chá Pu’er tea (produced in southwestern Yunnan) proper n.
10. 体质 tǐzhí physique; constitution; health n.



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