Chinese Drink in Food Culture

What do Chinese drink?

What are the special characteristics of Traditional Chinese Drinks?

What is the history of Chinese Drink?

Why Chinese drink hot water?

Classifications and famous examples of traditional Chinese Drink.

What do Chinese drink?


Water, Tea, and Alcohol are the most common and popular drinks throughout the history of China. 

Besides, there are many other types of traditional beverages that are delicious and healthy. 

What are special characteristics of Traditional Chinese Drinks?


  • Seasonal. 

Most of the traditional Chinese drinks are made of seasonal ingredients, besides those modern, industrialized ones. 

According to the Yin-Yang and Five Elements Theory, every season have some suitable drinks that believed good for people's health. 

  • Regional Diversity. 

Most traditional Chinese drinks include diverse ingredients that are regional and not standardized, nor industrialized. 


Therefore, every region has its popular drinks, and one drink may not taste similar in different places. 


  • Functional.

According to Chinese medicine and diet therapy, many Chinese drinks serve certain functions, such as detoxification, digestion, etc.

What is the history of Chinese Drink?


About 5000 to 6000 years ago, tea originated in China, and wine appeared around 3000 years ago.


The use of maltose, honey, and ice had been documented in the Classic of Poetry (or Book of Songs) that contains poems of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 771 BC) and Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC — 476 BC). 

Bronze Container (Jian) that Could Place Ice Cubes to Cool Drink and Food, Unearthed from Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng (about 475 BC — 433 BC) — National Museum of China

In the Sui Dynasty (581 — 619), using herbs, fruits, and dairy to make different types of drinks had been popular. 


Later, in the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907), people could easily make ice by dissolving saltpeter in water, which made it possible for civilians to enjoy cold drinks in summer. 


Therefore, during this period, many shops that specifically sell drinks were quite welcome.


In the prosperous Song (960 — 1279), the only dynasty that had no curfew in ancient Chinese history, more types of ingredients were applied in making different beverages. Since then, more and more tasty drinks had been invented, documented, and inherited. 

Shops on Main Street of Song's Capital City, Part of the "Qingming Shang He Tu" ( or Along the River During the Qingming Festival), Painted by Artist Zhang Zeduan (1085 — 1145) — The Palace Museum

Why Chinese drink hot water?


In China, drinking boiled water (named Shu Shui in history) has been a popular tradition. Today, most Chinese still like drinking boiled water and consider it's good for health. 


The most important reason is that boiling is the best way to sterilize water in ancient times; this made the boiled water is believed good for health in Chinese culture and preserved as an important tradition.

Classifications and examples of traditional Chinese Drinks 

Jiang: Juice that squeezed from fruits, vegetables, or flowers.

Lao: Traditional Chinese Drinks that are made of dairy.

Tang or Geng: Soups that made by boiling or stewing ingredients.

Jelly and Others

Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

  • Facebook Fun withChinese Culture
  • Twitter Fun withChinese Culture
  • G+ Fun withChinese Culture
  • YouTube Fun withChinese Culture
  • Pinterest Fun withChinese Culture
  • Instagram Fun withChinese Culture
© All Rights Reserved