Guangzhou, a bustling port city located northwest of Hong Kong, is the birthplace of dim sum and has an active food scene. Accompanying the food scene is speciality drinks, a staple feature of the city. The features of drinks can be fully experienced only upon visiting and consuming the drinks there itself. So, even if your Guangzhou accommodation is of the highest quality such as Somerset Riviera Guangzhou, it is recommended that you travel to a proper tea house or a serving house, and immerse yourself in the culture.

Herbal tea, now becoming popular in the west as a part of healthy lifestyle, has been a habitual drink of the local people since history. Herbal tea is believed to reduce the heat from the human body during summer’s heat and soothe dry throats caused by winter’s dryness. Out of numerous types of herbal tea available, Wang Laoji is the most famous. Tea drinking is of such importance to the locals that all teahouses are usually filled up before 11 in the morning. Apart from Wang Laoji, another popular type of tea is Gongfu Cha. Initially popular in Chaozhou and Shantou, the art of Gongfu tea drinking is now enjoyed by Guangzhou as well. In the art of tea making, strict attention has to be paid to the teapot, tea leaves, and the water quality. The teapot is about the size of a fist, and the tea cup is usually the size of half a ping-pong ball. There is a method and way to pour the tea and even drink it, so the best option would be to observe a local and trying to follow their lead.

In addition to tea, another speciality drink is Tangshui; which literally means Sweet Water. It is more akin to soft drinks, with main ingredients being fruits and vegetables. Local people are quite partial to Tangshui, and believe it to be a nutritious substitute for food. Tangshui is served hot as well as cold, each delicious in its own way.

While the staple drinks of Guangzhou are many and varied, what makes it special is the culture and tradition surrounding it. So go ahead and try it out – you might end up falling in love with the subtle art of tea drinking!

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+