Canton Morning Tea (广州早茶)

As Chinese saying goes, "Eating in Guangzhou". When asked about what Guangzhou cuisine is, many people may answer "Canton morning tea". Drinking morning tea is one of the most distinct characteristics of Guangdong culture. The morning tea time for Guangzhou people usually happens between 6:50 am and 11:00am, but it may subtly differ from each tea house. With the  changes in modern people's lifestyles, tea houses was also undergoing some changes that some tea houses open all day now, so you can still be able to eat even if it's late. Although tea houses are everywhere in Guangzhou, you may still need to wait for a seat in some hot tea houses.


Guangzhou white swan hotel must be familiar to most Chinese adoptive families. Since it was decorated and reopened in 2005, the number of citizens coming white swan hotel for tea everyday was usually about 500 or 600 on weekdays and could reach up to about 1000 on holidays.


There are two reasons for the popularity of white swan hotel. First, a lot of native Guangzhou people would come here for morning tea from an early age and then took pictures at hotel scenic spot naming hometown water. White swan hotel meant a special affection for these people, so they would regularly come for morning tea to recall the scene. In addition to the affection of old Guangzhou residents, it is white swan hotel that not only think highly of their traditional tastes, but also updates the menu periodically to offer customers more choices.


Why are so many people fond of having morning tea?

There are following kinds of intentions for Guangzhou people to have tea in the morning.

Firstly, some people take morning tea as breakfast, so the whole family will sit together to share the happy time.

Secondly, some people go to work after the morning tea.

Thirdly, some people spend their leisure time on the morning tea. Most of them are neighboring retired elderly people who usually come in the earliest, stay the latest and sit in the tea house from the opening time till to morning tea closing time. Such tea drinkers never go to luxury restaurants, high-end tea houses or hotels, but to some nearby affordable small tea houses.

Fourthly, some businessmen would rather get together in tea house for discussing business.

What it come down to is that morning tea time is available to talk business, exchange information and gather friends to chat. Businessmen treat tea house as an important place to do negotiation, while ordinary people will relieve pressure here to steal some pleasurable time.


"Inviting For Morning Tea" is also a common social behavior for Guangzhou people.

Guangzhou people mostly adopt "Dim Sum Depot" meaning a cup of hot tea and two or three dim sum to have morning tea, which has become a "standard equipment" of Cantonese morning tea. Although we commonly say drink morning tea in Chinese, dim sum is the actual leading role.

I have once gone to have morning tea with friends and personally experienced the reason why Guangzhou people enjoy having morning tea is dim sum are so exquisite and really very delicious that it is OK to spend a whole morning or afternoon there. If going with your friends, you will find your leisure time wonderful while drinking tea and eating dim sum.

Enclosed the pictures we took during the morning tea time to feast your eyes.


Shrimp Dumpling --Guangzhou Must-Eat Morning Tea Top 1, known as "King of Cantonese Dishes"


Turnip Cakes


Fresh Shrimp Red Ice Sausage


Chicken Claws


Pineapple Bun


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