Lei cha

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Lei cha

Lei cha (Chinese: 擂茶; pinyin: léi chá; literally "pounded tea") or ground tea is a traditional Hakka tea-based beverage or gruel. Lei cha is very traditional among Hakkas in Mainland China, especially Southern China. It is also popular in Taiwan, Malaysia, and any locales with a substantial Hakka diaspora population. The custom began in the Three Kingdoms period.

It is not the same as Chinese tea because there are always other ingredients. Pounded tea consists of a mix of tea leaves and herbs that are ground or pounded together with various roasted nuts, seeds, grains, and flavorings.

Production[edit]

Although commercially prepared and prepackaged Lei cha can be bought, the drink is usually made "from scratch" just as it is about to be consumed.

Pounded tea is a varying mix of:

The ingredients are ground in a food processor, or with a mortar and pestle, or in a large earthenware basin with a wooden stick. The mix should be reduced to a powder that resembles fine cornmeal.

The powder is then placed into a serving bowl and hot water is stirred into it such that a thin soup-like beverage is produced.

Consumption[edit]

The tea is drunk for breakfast or on cold winters as a tasty and healthy restorative.

Lei cha may also be taken as a dietary brew. In that case, it is served with rice and other vegetarian side dishes such as greens, tofu, and pickled radish.

Traditionally, Lei cha is a savory brew; however, in contemporary interpretations it is often consumed as a sweet drink.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]