I am not lying when I say I drink Chinese tea almost every morning, when my love for Chinese tea rekindled after trips to Taiwan’s Alishan and China’s Shantou which is the land of origin of kungfu tea. Some may consider it an ‘old man’s drink’, or that preparing gongfu tea is a set of tedious process.

Psychologically (and even physically), drinking Chinese tea makes me feel cleansed, rejuvenated and relaxed, as though all the greasiness from food is ‘washed away’. While English tea houses are very popular locally, I think it is about time Chinese tea gets some attention and perhaps be more glorified.

While I am a tea drinker, there are many mistakes that I make in drinking tea. I met up with Derek from online tea shop Peony Tea S to find out about the finer arts of tea drinking.

Here are 10 Things You Probably Do Not Know About Chinese Tea

1. The 6 categories of teas are green tea, white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, black tea and dark tea otherwise known as post-fermented teas.

2. If you see someone tapping on the table after drinking tea, there are actually thanking the tea master. The fingers tapping signify a bowing servant and a sign of respect.

3. Light-coloured teas go better with lighter-coloured food (chicken, fish, seafood), while darke- coloured teas go better with red meats and oiler food.

4. Black Tea is known as Red Tea in Chinese (think about your bubbletea red tea) because Westerners name teas after the color of the leaves while Chinese name it after the color of the brewed tea.

5. Oolong tea and Pu-er are the most popular teas in Singapore due to the predominant Hokkien community.

6. Tea that has been left overnight should not be drunk as bacteria will grow on it when left unattended.

7. Tea should not be drunk immediately before and after meal times (half an hour before and an hour after) because this will hinder with absorption of iron in the body.

8. Do not drink cold tea (I am so guilty of this) as cold tea is ‘damp’ and damages the stomach and digestive system. So how about bubble tea? At least the traditional Taiwanese style is not brewed hot and cooled with ice but rather ice-brewed.

9. Loose tea leaves are always better than tea bags because the quality of the tea is usually much better, tea leaves can unfurl to release more flavours, over-steeping of tea bags often lead to bitterness (‘siap siap’ taste).

10. Black tea generally survives better in tea bags than green tea since freshness and shelf life is less of an issue. Have black tea if you really need to drink from a tea bag.

[Giveaway Ended] Peony Ts Chinese New Year Giveaway
Online Teashop Peony Tea S will be giving 3 sets of Peony Tea S Starter Kits (worth $68 each) to 3 blessed Daniel’s Food Diary readers.

The Starter Kit includes a tea set and 2 ‘servings’ of a variety from each of the 6 major categories of tea. This way, you can also try everything and find your preferred types of tea.

All you need to do is to
Step 1: LIKES the FaceBook pages of Daniel’s Food Diary and and Peony Tea S
Step 2: SHARE this post on Facebook or RETWEET the post on twitter
Step 3: Leave a comment below to share your favourite Chinese tea type and why

Results will be announced 18th Jan 2013.

Peony Tea S
Peony Tea S is an online tea shop that specializes in loose tea leaves and brewing utensils from China and Taiwan. They are not only selling tea wares – they want to help you enjoy your tea to its fullest- whether it is maximizing the taste of your drink or minimizing the hassle. Plus, their tea comes in attractive modern packaging and makes a really suitable gift for the Chinese New Year and other festive seasons.
Website: www.peonyts.com

*The above entry is an advertorial.


  1. I’m like a tea advocate as I drink like all sorts of tea – red, green, pu-er, jasmine, rose, slimming etc. Hence, this Tea Starter Kit will be excellent to reinforce my appreciation and love for tea! =)

  2. My favorite Chinese tea would be Green tea as it has a lot of health benefits and also burn more calories!! =`)
    I love tea so much and would be so happy to win the Tea Starter Kits!! =`)

  3. I’ve always loved to drink tea and recently, looking into more types of tea to drink and the health benefits. I love osmanthus coz it always feels light and refreshing. 🙂

  4. I could say that I drink chinese pu-er since I was a kid until now I have the habit of drinking tea everyday. My fav tea would be pu-er tea because whenever I had oily meals and pu-er just cleanse the oily-ness straight away!

  5. My favorite tea is green tea because it is refreshing & has health benefits such as maintaining clear skin. Learnt so much about tea from this post, thanks! 🙂

  6. My Frav will be Green Tea as its the health tea that is packed with so much of antioxidants; which is such a MUST for everyone, not just females 🙂

  7. It’s so rare to see youths appreciate tea like this. My Mum drinks tea every single day, though we are definitely guilty of drinking it straight after meals – what about during, like yum cha? Still shouldn’t?

  8. To clarify, point 7- partaking of tea immediately before or after meals is more applicable for chronic, daily consumption.
    Certainly the thought of our favorite dim sum or bak kut teh without some Pu-er or oolong tea is quite inconceivable. As a sporadic occurrence, it’s not going to hurt but for daily tea drinkers, its something to take note of.

  9. Hi Daniel! Liked the page and shared! So far i only tried green tea and Chrysanthemum. I would really like to find out more about tea.. hope i can win the tea starter set and i am sure this will allows me to gain more insights into tea drinking! 😀

  10. It has to be “兰贵人”, a kind of 人参乌龙茶. The tea leaves are in small round pellets..and slowly when you brewed them…they kinda open up to full leaves. The taste, if you want to understand the meaning of "huigan" (回甘)…drink this.

  11. My favourite kind of tea is little known in Singapore. It's called " the oriental beauty tea" (東方美人茶), a kind of white tip oolong tea. Rumour has it that the name was given by Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth II after being presented by a British tea merchant.

    Due to the need of one particular insect to start the oxidation as the leaves are growing, no pesticides are used during its cultivation. The main plantation area is in Hsinchu County, Taiwan and they hold competition every year to award the best of them.

    The tea is light amber coloured and has honey-like fruity aroma.

  12. I love Oolong Tea. The variation of the taste makes it unique. It can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas, woody and thick with roasted aromas, or green and fresh with bouquet aromas.

  13. I love Oolong Tea. The variation of the taste makes it unique. It can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas, woody and thick with roasted aromas, or green and fresh with bouquet aromas.

  14. I drink self-brewed hot green tea on a daily basis after meal, as I learnt that it aids in digestion and is also beneficial in lowering cholesterol level. It is light and gives me the happy feeling (I don't know why haha). However, when I have dimsum, I would prefer Pu-er as they just seem to be a match! 😀

  15. Biluochun. I went to a tea appreciation session once and this tea stood out amongst the rest. It’s so refreshing. I still think about it to this day.

  16. Congrats to Jenny Choo, Tan Li Charng, and Chin Ming. You have each won a set of Peony Tea S Starter Kits in the DanielFoodDiary.com giveaway. The Starter Kit includes a tea set and 2 ‘servings’ of a variety from each of the 6 major categories of tea.

    Please reply with your contact details and address to DanielFoodDiary@gmail.com

    Thank you to Peony Ts for picking the winners. Do support them at http://www.peonyts.com


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