Stupid Question re: Chinese Restaurant Tea

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Feb 20th 09 3:31 pm
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 16th 09 1:02 am

Stupid Question re: Chinese Restaurant Tea

by shesallthat » Feb 20th 09 3:31 pm

Forgive me if this sounds stupid...but I would love to purchase tea that I drink in a Chinese Restaurant. Everytime I go to a Chinese Restaurant I ask the waiter what kind of tea is this and he says "I don't know". I ask "Oolong"...he says "yes"...I say "Jasmine"..he goes "I don't know". They also will not sell me this mystery tea. Whenever I have tried to buy tea (in shops) I have been disappointed...maybe the tea in the restaurants is inferior :?: ...or maybe the ones from the shops are too superior (not crazy for Monkey Picked). So tell me, as I am new to teas and new here...what is the Adagio Oolong that will bring me the joy that I am looking for? Thank you so much :) .

User avatar
Feb 20th 09 4:29 pm
Posts: 1885
Joined: Mar 23rd 08 2:26 am
Location: Yixing

by chrl42 » Feb 20th 09 4:29 pm

Hi, I've noticed Chinese restaurants in US mostly serve Oolong or Jasmine, depending on the mood.

I assume it was Jasmine, most beginners fall for Jasmine when they first apporach TEA :)

Feb 20th 09 6:03 pm
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 16th 09 1:02 am

by shesallthat » Feb 20th 09 6:03 pm

If it is Jasmine...I notice there are a couple that Adagio sells. So which one would it be. also I always thought Chinese restaurants served oolong...isn't Jasmine considered a green tea? Thanks again.

User avatar
Feb 20th 09 6:16 pm
Vendor Member
Posts: 2084
Joined: Sep 24th 08 10:38 pm
Location: Boston, MA

by gingkoseto » Feb 20th 09 6:16 pm

shesallthat wrote:If it is Jasmine...I notice there are a couple that Adagio sells. So which one would it be. also I always thought Chinese restaurants served oolong...isn't Jasmine considered a green tea? Thanks again.
But does the tea have jasmine flavor? That is the most direct way to tell if it's jasmine tea :D

Most jasmine teas are made with green tea. But the cheaper jasmine green tea will show darker (yellower browner) color, hum, similar to the lager/beer color (that's why some Chinese restaurants used to sell beer in their teapot :P) One of my grandmas drink cheaper jasmine tea in her entire life and that's the color I saw from her cup :D

Or the tea may be some dark oolong. Older Cantonese people like dark oolong or puerh with their meals, so that's what some Chinese restaurants serve. If you have been a black tea drinker, you may like dark oolong.
By sitting in peace and doing nothing,
You make your one day worth two days.

Feb 20th 09 6:18 pm
Posts: 123
Joined: Dec 8th 08 7:21 pm
Location: MA

by disillusioned » Feb 20th 09 6:18 pm

There are some places that sell a jasmine oolong, i know some of the chinese restaurants by me serve it

User avatar
Feb 20th 09 7:54 pm
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 28th 08 5:48 pm
Location: Montclair NJ

a mix of jasmine and wulong

by jasonowalker » Feb 20th 09 7:54 pm

Hi, I asked at one Chinese restaurant, and they said they mixed a wulong with a jasmine green for their version.

Also, I reviewed a Qi Lan Wu Long (Review #10) from Grand Tea that, to me, tasted similar to wulongs from Chinese restaurants.

Jason
walkerteareview.com

User avatar
Feb 20th 09 8:53 pm
Posts: 356
Joined: Jul 30th 08 9:42 pm
Location: Springfield, MO

by Bubba_tea » Feb 20th 09 8:53 pm

Might help if you can describe the flavor - jasmine is pretty flowery smelling, pu er is not! :lol: Like posted above, jasmine is yellowish and pu'er (most likely cooked pu in a restaurant) is going to be pretty dark.

You can even just get jasmine teabags in most grocery stores to see if that's in the ballpark. Jasmine is pretty distinctive. Teabags probably won't be very high quality, but usually restaurants aren't serving expensive tea.

I think it's safe to say it doesn't matter much if jasmine is green or not - oolongs are between green and black because of the amount they are oxidized.

User avatar
Feb 20th 09 9:47 pm
Posts: 2044
Joined: Jan 12th 07 1:47 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by wyardley » Feb 20th 09 9:47 pm

Distinguishing between a weakly brewed bad cooked pu'er and a weakly brewed bad oolong can be more challenging, especially if it's teabag tea. I had this problem the other day - I couldn't tell what kind of tea the restaurant was serving me, other than that it was absolutely awful. In some cases, it may even be a mix of two or more types.

To the OP: Chinese restaurant tea really varies, depending on the location of the restaurant, its main clientele, the region the owners are from, and the type of food served. Here in the SGV area of Los Angeles County, one of the biggest ethnic enclaves of Chinese food in the US, and arguably home of some of the most authentic regional Chinese food in North America, almost all restaurants serve teabag Jasmine tea (or, less commonly, teabag oolong or pu'er). And yes, they serve the same junk to ethnic Chinese customers as to white people, typically. If you're lucky, you might get a choice of teas, or something slightly better (bad quality cooked pu'er, green-ish Tieguanyin oolong, or a better grade of looseleaf jasmine) at dim sum places / Cantonese banquet places.

If you can tell us what the leaves look like (assuming it's looseleaf tea), or better, show us a picture, that might help. Honestly, though, most Chinese restaurant tea is pretty bad stuff; if you're looking for stuff to drink on its own (not to accompany food), you might try to find some slightly better tea that has some of the same characteristics you find enjoyable about whatever tea it is you're drinking. I.e., if it's earthy and dark, try cooked pu'er. If it's roasty and fairly dark, but not that flowery, and with maybe a bit of a raisin-y taste, you could try darker roasted oolongs. If it's really floral (in a scented, jasmine kind of way, not in a natural way), try Jasmine tea. I would think that part of the secret of getting that kind of bland, unoffensive taste that restaurant tea often has is simply to brew it with a small amount of leaf, and let it sit for a while.

I have seen bags of "Chinese Restaurant Tea" (maybe Foojoy brand or something like that) at some markets and stores, usually in 5 lb bags. Dynasty also makes a "Chinese Restaurant Tea" teabag tea, which they claim to be a mixture of jasmine, oolong, and green tea (sounds awful); this is available in smaller boxes.

I know there was a really godo thread about this somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. I did, however, find a few threads that might be of interest:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?t=7314
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/349556
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food ... n&ie=UTF-8

Feb 21st 09 3:07 pm
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 16th 09 1:02 am

by shesallthat » Feb 21st 09 3:07 pm

Thanks all...that helps a lot.

Jun 20th 09 10:28 pm
Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 15th 09 11:15 am

by jennytea » Jun 20th 09 10:28 pm

I always thought chinese resturant tea was pretty decent. They taste like oolongs to me. Not black tea, and not green. Maybe a mix of oolong and green. I don't know. I don't really have a low opinion of it.

User avatar
Jun 23rd 09 6:22 am
Posts: 169
Joined: Aug 24th 08 4:28 am
Location: Southeast NYS

by sneakers » Jun 23rd 09 6:22 am

In the NYC area, it's usually cheap oolong, much closer to black than green. That applies even to Chinatown. In Vietnamese restaurants, they serve green, and it's often rather good, not too vegetal. At one favorite place, Than Truk, a busboy walks around with a pitcher and keeps refilling your cup, so it's always hot and fresh..

User avatar
Aug 22nd 09 2:38 am
Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 5th 08 5:08 pm
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Re: Stupid Question re: Chinese Restaurant Tea

by android73 » Aug 22nd 09 2:38 am

I always really like Chinese restaurant teas too! I think many of the ones in my area serve FooJoy of some sort.

Aug 6th 21 6:28 am
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 13th 20 6:12 am
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Stupid Question re: Chinese Restaurant Tea

by Willv60 » Aug 6th 21 6:28 am

Hi! Does anyone know which of all Chinese teas are detox? I found these https://www.bestadvisor.com/detox-teas teas. I'd like to visit some Chinese restaurants, so I want to choose tea before I go.
Last edited by Willv60 on Aug 6th 21 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Aug 8th 21 12:35 pm
Posts: 136
Joined: Oct 24th 17 4:41 pm
Location: Amsterdam
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Stupid Question re: Chinese Restaurant Tea

by 12Tea » Aug 8th 21 12:35 pm

Willv60 wrote: Hi! Does anyone know which of all Chinese teas are detox? I'd like to visit some Chinese restaurants, so I want to choose tea before I go.
This article pretty much summarises the teas you can expect in a Chinese restaurant:
https://helloteacup.com/2020/03/13/a-ch ... tea-guide/

For detox, I think you should either go for Jasmine tea or Chrysanthemum tea.