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tea and greasy foods

I’ve been told by my mother (who isn’t Chinese) that Chinese people drink so much tea because it helps to ‘wash’ down greasy food (in a detoxifying-type of sense). Has anyone else heard this too?

7 Replies

tea for them is part of eating with the five senses: Looks. taste, feeling, and hearing. Tea is a complement to a diet much like having wine with some good food, beer with burgers type of pairing.

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Well I have noticed that tea sometimes helps tone down the grease effect after I’ve eaten! :)

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My family is Chinese and here’s what I’ve observed. Tea is rarely drunk with a meal unless it’s dim sum/yum cha (kinda like brunch). Dim sum usually consists of greasy foods and here the tea is drunk to cut the greasiness. The astringency of tea refreshes the taste buds from all the heavy foods. That said, the food is an accompaniment to the tea, not the other way around. It’s not really thought of as detoxifying, only as a good complement to the type of food being consumed.

All other meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast) are not accompanied by tea but a brothy soup. Tea can come after a meal, but usually not during. When my friends come over and eat with my family, they have to ask for a drink because we simply don’t have drinks during meals. We forget that westerners do. Of course, China is a huge country with diverse cultures. Keep in mind that I’m only speaking of my family’s tradition. We are from Southern China in the Canton province.

In conclusion, tea is a drink that you can have all day. It’s delicious. It’s the first thing you offer guests the moment they are sitting comfortably. It’s not only for use with greasy food, and rarely drunk at meals other than yum cha.

Plus, many Chinese people, especially in the older generation, prefer hot drinks to cold ones. And since you’re having a cup of hot water anyways, why not add some tea leaves to it?

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I’ve heard that oolong really helps calm the stomach after a large or greasy meal. Personally, I have a rather weak stomach and after a ‘heavy’ meal, drinking a nice oolong always seems to help me out.

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TeaVivre said

indeed, tea has the function of “washing” down the greasy food, but it is not main reason that many Chinese people drink tea, we drink it because we like it. Generally, most of the teas have this function.

Pu-erh tea: it has the function of helping digest, remove greasy, Pu-erh tea also is well known for a weight loose tea. It is a kind of mild tea, can warm stomach, especially pu-erh shu tea.

Oolong tea: it is a kind of semi-fermented tea, the ingredients contain in this tea can resist the absorb of your daily fat intake. Such as Tie Guan Yin, Da Hong Pao, Taiwan Oolong. It is very helpful for loosing weight.

Attention: after you ate the greasy food, please do not drink tea at once. This could be very harmful to your body’s health. Usually, it is better to drink after meal in half or one hour later.

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Just to add to what has been said already, tea does help relief the greasy feeling after a heavy meal when it’s strong enough. It wouldn’t help much if it’s too light.

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ashmanra said

I had some of Teavivre’s puerh tea last night several hours after having eaten two rather greasy meals while we were traveling. It helped immensely. I love puerh for soothing my tummy! And the one from Teavivre was so mild and earthy without any fishy aroma or taste. Delicious and soothing!

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