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How to Order Coffee in Chinese Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

When you’re in China, you’ll learn quickly that a big part of the culture is drinking tea. While tea is great and all, sometimes you’ve just got to get a good cup of joe. As Western things are super trendy in China, there are more and more coffee shops popping up every day. While still not nearly as popular as in Vietnam or South Korea, coffee is definitely on the up and up in China. If you’re in need of some java in the Middle Kingdom, you’ll need to be equipped with the necessary vocabulary in order to get what you want. Study this post and you should be able to order your coffee confidently in Chinese.

A Starbucks in China.

At least it looks Chinese…

 

General Vocabulary

  • coffee (咖啡 – kā fēi)

  • ice coffee (冰咖啡 – bīng kā fēi)

  • hot coffee (热咖啡 – rè kā fēi)

  • coffee shop (咖啡馆 – kā fēi guǎn)

  • Starbucks (星巴克 – xīng bā kè)

  • sugar (糖 – táng)

  • milk (牛奶 – niú nǎi)

Types of Coffee

  • Americano (美式咖啡 – měi shì kā fēi)

  • cappuccino (卡布奇诺 – kǎ bù jī nuò)

  • mocha (摩卡 – mó kǎ)

  • latte (拿铁 – ná tiě)

  • espresso (浓缩咖啡 – nóng suō kā fēi)

  • single (单分 – dān fēn)

  • double (双分 – shuāng fēn)

  • caramel macchiato (焦糖玛奇朵 – jiāo táng mǎ qí duǒ)

Sizes

  • small/short (小杯 – xiǎo bēi)

  • medium/tall (中杯 – zhōng bēi)

  • large/grande (大杯 – dà bēi)

  • extra large/venti (特大杯 – tè dà bēi)

Cup of coffee in the big time.

Mmmmm… coffee

Here’s a sample conversation between a barista and customer in a coffee shop:

Chinese

欢迎光临!您好先生
你好
您需要什么咖啡?
我要一杯美式咖啡
你要热的还是冰的?
我要冰的
你要中杯还是大杯?
大杯多少钱?
大杯三十五块
中杯呢?
中杯三十
好..  那我要一个中杯吧
你需要牛奶或者糖吗?
都要
好的,请坐
谢谢
不客气

Pinyin

huān yíng guāng lín! nín hǎo xiān shēng
nǐ hǎo
nín xū yào shén me kā fēi?
wǒ yào yī bēi měi shì kā fēi
nǐ yào rè de háishì bīng de?
Wǒ yào bīng de
nǐ yào zhōng bēi hái shì dà bēi?
dà bēi duō shǎo qián?
dà bēi sān shí wǔ kuài
zhōng bēi ne?
zhōng bēi sān shí
hǎo.. nà wǒ yào yī gè zhōng bēi ba
nǐ xū yào niú nǎi huò zhě táng ma?
dōu yào
hǎo de, qǐng zuò
xiè xiè
bù kè qì

English

Welcome! Hello, sir.

Hello.

What kind of coffee would you like?

I’d like a cup of Americano.

Would you like hot or ice (coffee)?

I’ll have an ice one.

Would you like a medium or large?

How much is the large?

The large is 35 RMB.

How about the medium?

The medium is 30.

Ok, then I’ll have a medium.

Do you need milk or sugar?

Both.

Great. Please sit down.

Thanks.

You’re welcome.

Here’s a decent YouTube video that has a similar conversation with subtitles:

There you have it, folks – you’ll never need to be without your caffeine fix in 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.


Comments:

  1. Amalia Robles Martínez:

    It’s very nice and also very interesting: I have enjoyed very much your lesson about how to order cofee. To be honest I did not have the slitest idea about how to order coffee in China. As there are so many different teas, please, if you do not mind, send me a lesson about how to order tea in China with some explanations about each tea. Thank you very much. Yours, Amalia Robles.


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