Sip and Savor: How to Order Bubble Tea in China?


Bubble tea is very popular now in China. I know someone here will even have several cups in a day. Let’s learn some words about bubble tea this week.

Bubble tea is 珍珠(zhēnzhū)奶茶(nǎichá). 珍珠 (zhēnzhū) originally means pearls. Here it refers to the bubbles in the bubble tea. But actually we usually just say 奶茶(nǎichá), milk tea in Chinese.

Traditionally, bubble tea is made of black tea. Black tea in Chinese is 红茶(hóngchá) red tea. But we also have bubble tea 奶茶(nǎichá) made of green tea 绿茶(lǜchá) or oolong tea 乌龙茶(wūlóngchá).

Actually, I don’t like the bubbles, 珍珠(zhēnzhū). I’ll just order bubble tea without bubbles, just tea and milk is the best for me!

And there are many different kinds of topping for bubble tea as well.

Different toppings for Bubble Tea
  1. 红豆 hóngdòu – red bean
  2. 芋泥 yùní – taro paste
  3. 西米 xīmǐ – sago
  4. 椰果 yēguǒ – coconut jelly
  5. 仙草 xiāncǎo – grass jelly

And there is a new kind of topping very popular now. 奶盖(nǎigài), milk cap. It’s like a thick layer of milk foam or cream on top of the tea. Tasty but not very healthy.

To be a little healthier, I’ll usually order bubble tea with half sugar.

半糖 bàntáng – half sugar
无糖 wútáng – sugar free

And for bubble tea, you can order hot or iced.

Do you want to have hot or iced bubble tea?

Also in bubble tea shops, you can customize your ice level.

去冰 qùbīng – no ice
少冰 shǎobīng – half ice

Nǐ hǎo, wǒ yào yì bēi nǎichá, bú yào zhēnzhū, yào yēguǒ, bàntáng, qùbīng, xièxie!
Hello, I want a cup of bubble tea without the tapioca balls, add some coconut jelly, half sugar, no ice, thanks!

Have you tried bubble tea? What kind of bubble tea do you like? Leave a message and let us know!

Interested More in Learning Chinese?

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the Chinese language and culture, consider exploring the programs offered by Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). BLCU’s primary mission is to teach Chinese language and culture to foreign students. From teaching the Chinese language to speakers of other languages to international politics and business, BLCU brings ideas and brilliant minds together, inspiring global communications and exchanges with real impact today and in the future. In addition to teaching Chinese, the university also offers courses in foreign languages, computer science, technology, finance, and accountancy to Chinese students. Whether you want to master the Chinese language or enhance your cultural understanding, BLCU has a program for you.

Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU)

Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) is a public language university located in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, 12 km from Tian’anmen, the center of the city, and was founded in 1962. The BLCU campus covers an area of 38 hectares, with a floor space of 240,000 square meters.

BLCU is the only international university in China with its main task set at teaching the Chinese language and culture to non-Chinese students and serves as the center for teaching Chinese and the study of the Chinese language.

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Angel is from the Philippines and is responsible for a wide range of tasks at China Admissions to help students achieve their dreams. She is focused on boosting the company's growth presence, writing articles, and assisting with applicant screening.
Angel Tolentino

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