Drinking early tea in Guangzhou

21 Jul

Last week I had a business trip to South China, both Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Before I left I had lunch with a colleague who had lived in South China and he asked me if I had ever had Guangzhou “Early Tea” aka “早茶”.

I have been to Guangzhou previously a few times, but I had never heard of it, which made me curious. He said that very close to our office was a famous “Early Tea” restaurant and if I had time I should go.  Wednesday night during a dinner with the team I asked where the restaurant was and agreed with another Shanghai colleague that we would meet to go there the next morning at 8:30.

It turns out Early Tea is Dim Sum!  Or rather, dim sum with some serious tea – a separate pot, boiling, tea service with fresh leaves and the waitresses serve you.  Along with the tea you can choose whatever your heart desires from a two page, single spaced menu of dim sum options.  Since the entire menu was in Chinese, I depended upon my colleague to steer us in the right direction.  We had a table full of steamed buns, dumplings, rice porridge, sweet date cakes with coconut milk, egg tarts – truly the best I’ve ever had.  The restaurant was packed with families and friends, drinking tea and eating and eating and eating…

After eating so much, let’s just say I may have skipped lunch.

I think my favorite dim sum are the shrimp dumplings with a little bit of vinegar dipping sauce.  Anyone else have a favorite?

One Response to “Drinking early tea in Guangzhou”


  1. Hong Kong – the home of dim sum « 中国 Jumble - June 10, 2012

    […] of my first posts as I started this blog nearly a year ago was when I had “early tea” in Guangzhou.  ”Early tea” is dim sum and it is something that Cantonese […]

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