Chinese Language Blog

Drinking in China Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Culture, Vocabulary

Eating in China can be quite the experience. From mouth-numbing Sichuan hot pot, to Beijing roast duck, to all sorts of funky snacks in street markets, there’s never a dull culinary moment in the Middle Kingdom. All that food makes you thirsty, though, so today we’re going to take a closer look at drinking in China.

All the Tea

Time for tea!

It’s only fitting that we start off a post about drinking in China with tea (茶 – chá). This post discusses the tea culture in China, different types of tea, and the ever-present tea scams. There’s also a great vocabulary list so you’ll be able to order your favorite tea in Chinese.

How to Order Coffee in Chinese

A Starbucks in China.

At least it looks Chinese…

While tea is definitely the king of drinks in China, coffee (咖啡 – kā fēi) is getting more and more popular. Check this post out for a vocabulary list on how to order your coffee in Chinese, and then practice reading the sample conversation.

Get Your Drink On

The drink shelf in my local 小卖部.

This post has you covered for ordering drinks in China. There’s a big vocabulary list with all different kinds of drinks, including the Chinese names for some famous cocktails. A sample conversation is a great way to practice with a friend!

Culture Shock in China – Drinking

China <3s beer.

Culture shock happens a lot in China, and drinking is no exception. From their love of scalding hot water, to the funky smelling mung bean milk (豆汁 – dòu zhī), to the rocket fuel known as bai jiu, get ready for an adventure when it comes to liquids.

Chinese Rocket Fuel AKA Bai Jiu

China’s cheapest brand of baijiu – Er Guo Tou.

Speaking of bai jiu (白酒 – bái jiǔ), this Chinese rocket fuel definitely deserves its own post. Learn all about China’s favorite liquor, which has been described as a “mix between cheap perfume and cleaning agents.” Apparently you develop a taste for it after 300 shots or so, but I never made it that far.

Qingdao Beer Festival

Beer and meatsticks!

The Qingdao Beer Festival (青岛啤酒节 – qīng dǎo pí jiǔ jié) is China’s answer to Oktoberfest, and while it’s not quite as famous as its German counterpart, it’s a beer-soaked good time nonetheless. Read all about it in this post and then check out the video for some hilarity.

Craft Beer in China

Craft beer in China.

Craft beer is here to stay!

Chinese beers are watered down and tasteless for the most part. Thankfully, the craft beer movement has reached China and it’s going strong. Learn all about the craft beer revolution in Chinese cities in this post, and be sure to check out this video of a Beijing craft beer festival.


After these two epic compilation posts, you should be ready to eat and drink your way through China!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.

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