Chinese Vocabulary for Beverages
Posted by Lilian Li on 2016-10-24 10:38:52 2861

Chinese vocabulary about drinks

Whether you want to order something to drink or are doing business in the beverage industry, knowing the Chinese names for different kinds of drinks is important. So, this article will review a variety in both pinyin and characters.

1. Tea

China is known for its rich variety and availability of tea. So, let’s start with the basic ones and other three special Chinese teas.

茶 chá Tea
红茶 hóng chá Black tea
绿茶 lǜ chá Green tea
乌龙茶 wū lóng chá Oolong tea
龙井茶 lóng jǐng chá Dragon-well tea (produced in Hangzhou)
普洱茶 pǔ ěr chá Pu'er tea (produced in southwestern Yunnan)
铁观音 tiě guān yīn Tie Guanyin (a variety of oolong tea)

2. Coffee

Want to order coffee in China, but don’t know how to say it? Ice/ no ice? With sugar or cream? Decaf? Don’ worry, here’s the tip:

咖啡 kā fēi Coffee
黑咖啡 hēi kā fēi Black coffee
美式咖啡 měi shì kā fēi Americano
拿铁 ná tiě Latte
卡布基诺 kǎ bù jī nuò Cappuccino
摩卡 mó kǎ Mocha
牛奶 niú nǎi Milk
奶精 nǎi jīng Cream
糖 táng Sugar
加糖 jiā táng Add sugar
不加糖 bù jiā táng No sugar
加奶精 Jiā nǎi jīng Add cream

3. Juice

Having a family dinner in a restaurant, but don’t know the names for juice for your kids? You just need to put the name of the fruit before the word ‘zhī’ (juice).

果汁 guǒ zhī Juice
橙汁 chéng zhī Orange juice
凤梨汁 fèng lí zhī Pineapple juice
苹果汁 Píng’guǒ zhī Apple juice
西瓜汁 xī guā zhī Watermelon juice
柠檬汁 níng méng zhī Lemonade
葡萄汁 pú táo zhī Grape juice
芒果汁 máng guǒ zhī Mango juice
椰子汁 yē zǐ zhī Coconut juice
牛油果汁 niú yóu guǒ zhī Avocado juice

4. Soft drinks

水 shuǐ Water
矿泉水 kuàng quán shuǐ Mineral water
气泡水 qì pào shuǐ Sparkling water
冰水 bīng shuǐ Ice water
热水 rè shuǐ Hot water
可乐 kělè Cola
雪碧 xuě bì Sprite
热巧克力 rè qiǎo kè lì Hot chocolate

Be aware that if you visit a Chinese friend’s home and ask for a glass of water, you will be served either warm water or tea. Don’t be surprised, because for Chinese people, it is not polite to give cold water to their guest. This tradition also applies to Chinese restaurants. So if you don’t specify cold water, then you will definitely be given a cup of hot water, even it’s summer. Chinese people often drink hot water because Chinese people believe that drink hot water is better for health.

In addition, most Chinese families do not drink tap water but instead have a large bottled-water dispenser at home. Also, most Chinese people are not aware of sparkling water.

5. Liquor/Alcohol

At the end, let’s see the names of alcohol:

酒 jiǔ Liquor
啤酒 pí jiǔ beer
葡萄酒 pú táo jiǔ Wine
红酒 hóng jiǔ Red wine
白葡萄酒 bái pú táo jiǔ White wine
白酒 bái jiǔ Chinese Traditional alcohol
香槟 xiāng bīn Champagne
气泡酒 qì pào jiǔ Sparkling wine
伏特加 fú tè jiā Vodka
威士忌 wēi shì jì Whisky

Also, if you are looking for the wine list, you can say:

Yǒu méiyǒu jiǔdān? 有没有酒单?
Do you have wine list?

If want to get to know more Chinese vocabulary about drinks, you can attend our daily Chinese course. Register here and book a free trial class now!

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