What kinds of Tea do Chinese New Year Food go with?

Wenzhuo Liu

Good news for Chinese readers: related article has been published in the February 2021 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, 德国东弗里西亚:新年蛋糕、新年茶和中国狂欢节”. 

No matter rich or poor, every family has to eat dumplings in the new year’s festival. It is an important feast that can not be replaced by any delicacies on New Year’s Eve, it means “happy reunion 喜庆团圆” and “good luck 吉祥如意”. Tea can not only be added to the stuffing of dumplings to make delicious tea dumplings, but also has the allegorical saying of tea and dumplings, “when you cook dumplings in a teapot, you can’t pour them out. 茶壶里煮饺子,有口倒不出 It’s a metaphor that you want to say, but it’s hard to say. Or it means knowing in the heart but not saying it in the mouth. “. Tea food needs to match the tea, salty and sweet taste is different, tea food is exquisite, just as safflower and green leaves complement each other. A good cup of tea, with delicate snacks, tasting tea is more interesting. A teapot of good tea, some tea food, coupled with a completely relaxed mood, can taste the charm of good tea. Read More

Compared with traditional dim sum, tea food is more exquisite in production, paying attention to the color and shape of tea food, the ornamental of tea food. The traditional tea shrimp dumplings are steamed in a small and delicate bamboo steamer. They are crystal clear and innovative “green white rabbit dumplings”. The dumplings are transformed into the shape of small white rabbits, with ham as eyes and coriander as bottom plate. It looks like a group of small white rabbits playing on the grass. It seems that it is especially for tea guests to welcome spring. Southern Fujian Province and Chaoshan region of Guangdong Province like to drink oolong tea, and most of them make oolong tea with small teapot and cup, sipping it slowly. The tea food is not only delicious, but also elegant in appearance. 

Dumpling 饺子

Cantonese morning tea is commonly known as “one cup of two pieces 一盅两件”, which means one cup of tea and two snacks, which can satisfy the stomach without losing the taste of tea. Shrimp dumpling is the preferred feature of morning tea. Now morning tea in Guangdong is popular all over China, morning tea in Guangdong is an extension of drinking tea custom, which is mainly based on tasting delicious food and supplemented by tasting tea. In fact, dumplings are not only found in China, but also in many countries in the world, especially in Italy, Ukraine and Russia. Dumplings are also one of the important national traditional foods for them, they can also be used to match tea.

Tang Yuan 汤圆

Tangyuan, glutinous rice ball, the most characteristic food of Chinese Traditional Festival Lantern Festival, also expresses the ancient people’s yearning and expectation for a happy life. Eating Tangyuan also means family happiness and reunion in the new year. Therefore, it is a necessary food for the Lantern Festival on the 15th of the first month. Homemade tea Tangyuan, tea can also be made into stuffing package into Tangyuan. Tangyuan stuffing is rich in sugar, and glutinous rice skin is not easy to digest, tea can relieve the greasiness and help digestion. The effect of reducing fat and removing greasiness of tea makes Tangyuan taste especially refreshing. The Tangyuan with different fillings can be mixed with different teas, people can eat the cooked Tangyuan with hot tea soup, or directly put the tea in while cooking Tangyuan. After eating Tangyuan, tea leaves can be chewed, the light bitterness of tea leaves neutralizes the sweetness of Tangyuan. When drinking tea, tea guests who like to eat Japanese tea food Mochi, may as well try Tangyuan with tea.

Mochi 麻糬

On the day of Lunar New Year’s day, the Chinese people paid special attention to it. Every family is busy or cleans up the courtyards, removes the old and put on new things, decorates with lanterns and decorations, welcomes their ancestors home for the new year, and worshippes them with New Year cakes, three sacrificial offerings, three teas and five wines. New Year cake is a kind of glutinous rice cake, it sounds like it means “getting higher year-on- by year”, which can imply children’s height, rise in business success, better grades in study, promotions at work, etc..

New Year Cake 年糕

The emphasis of tea food tasting is to chew slowly and savor carefully, so the New Year cake as a tea food should be full of tasting. Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces like to drink local famous green tea, not only are the tea sets exquisite, but also the refreshments delicate and delicious, rich of local style. Suzhou tea food is served with lard new year cake, which is made with fresh food seasonally. Rose, osmanthus, mint, jujube, four colors and four tastes represent the four seasons of the new year. Sour and sweet cake can be matched with black tea, black tea is sweet and smooth, which can neutralize part of the irritation of sour taste to the mouth. “Lychee Hong Bubugao” New Year cake is made of lychee black tea soup mixed with water chestnut starch, it is red and white, layered. Chew carefully, cool and smooth, elegant black tea fragrance lingers in the mouth, with a cup of black tea, a long aftertaste.

German New Year Cake “Neujahrskuchen”

There is also tea food called the name of new year cake, in German “Neujahrskuchen”, which is full of new year flavor, will make Chinese people associate with the traditional Chinese New Year cake. Some Chinese and German translation software even translate it directly into new year cake. However, it is not a timely food for Chinese Lunar New Year, but a kind of horn shaped crisp egg roll called “Rullekes” in German. East Frisia, a coastal area in northern Germany, is a place where people must drink tea during the new year. New Year’s Eve and new year’s holiday are definitely a good time to get together and enjoy tea. This kind of egg roll is the traditional tea food of East Frisians when they welcome the new year, it is customary to eat this in East Frisian tea ceremony. Read More


Spring Roll 春卷

In southern China, people don’t eat dumplings during the New Year Festival, but spring rolls and sesame Tangyuan. In addition to providing food for their own families, they are often used as tea food when entertaining guests. Spring rolls are salty food, which can be supplemented with dark tea, Fu Brick and Shu Pu’er tea, because generally salty food is heavy oil, so avoid excessive salt and fat intake. The sweet taste of Tangyuan is easy to be greasy. With refreshing raw Pu’er tea, it can not only eliminate the greasiness, but also bring rich taste bud experience of producing body fluid and returning to sweetness. Naturally, this kind of tea food collocation suggestions are based on experience, not absolute. It’s normal to have differences in personal preferences.

Good news for Chinese readers: related article has been published in the February 2021 <Tea Times 茶博览> tea magazine in Chinese, 德国东弗里西亚:新年蛋糕、新年茶和中国狂欢节”. 

<Tea Times 茶博览> February 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *