What kind of tea do Chinese restaurants use?

When it comes to Chinese restaurants, tea is often an essential part of the dining experience. Many restaurants serve tea to their guests as a way to cleanse the palate and complement the flavors of the food. But what kind of tea do Chinese restaurants use?

The type of tea served in Chinese restaurants can vary widely depending on the region and the establishment. However, there are a few types that are particularly common:

1. **Jasmine Tea (茉莉花茶)**: Jasmine tea is one of the most popular types of tea served in Chinese restaurants. It is made by infusing green tea leaves with jasmine flowers, resulting in a fragrant and floral tea with a sweet and mellow taste.
2. **Green Tea (绿茶)**: Green tea is another common choice in Chinese restaurants. It is made from unfermented tea leaves and has a refreshing, slightly astringent taste with a hint of sweetness. Green tea is known for its health benefits, including its rich antioxidant content.
3. **Oolong Tea (乌龙茶)**: Oolong tea is a partially fermented tea that falls somewhere between green tea and black tea in terms of oxidation level. It has a unique flavor profile that is both fruity and floral, with a sweet and lingering aftertaste. Oolong tea is often served in dim sum restaurants and some Cantonese establishments.
4. **Black Tea (红茶)**: Black tea is a fully fermented tea that has a robust flavor and dark color. It is less common in Chinese restaurants compared to jasmine, green, and oolong teas, but it can still be found in some establishments, especially those that cater to Western palates.
5. **Pu-erh Tea (普洱茶)**: Pu-erh tea is a type of fermented tea that originates from Yunnan province in China. It has a unique earthy and mushroomy flavor that some people find very appealing. Pu-erh tea is less common in Chinese restaurants outside of Yunnan, but it can still be found in some establishments that specialize in Yunnan cuisine.

When it comes to selecting tea for your Chinese restaurant, it’s important to consider the preferences of your guests as well as the cuisine you serve. Jasmine tea and green tea are generally safe bets for most restaurants, while oolong tea, black tea, and pu-erh tea can be great options for adding variety and catering to specific tastes. Ultimately, the best way to determine what kind of tea to serve is to experiment with different types and see what resonates with your guests.

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