Why do Chinese Drink Tea After a Meal?

Tea is extremely popular in China. Chinese people commonly drink two or three cups per day, usually after meals. This is something rather curious for some people who wonder why Chinese people drink tea after a meal.

There are several reasons why. But some of the most common are:

  • It is a cultural tradition
  • Help digestion
  • Boots metabolism
  • Relaxation 

Naturally, these are not the only reasons. But we had to compress the information for those looking for a quick answer. However, make sure to stick a little longer if you want to know more about tea culture in China. 

Is Tea Popular in China?

Many people think that tea is just an English drink. But China is one of the major, if not the major, tea consumers in the world. To give some perspective, you should know that the accumulated revenue of tea was around 100 billion dollars in 2022. So, yes. Tea is a big deal in China. 

When Do People Drink Tea in China?

There is no established time to enjoy a steamy cup of tea in China. Most Chinese people drink at least three cups daily, evenly spread throughout the day. But one thing is certain: They enjoy tea after big meals. Let’s see why.

Chinese Tea Drinking Habit

Tea is much more than a simple beverage in China. It is something deeply embedded in Chinese culture. Initially, tea was reserved for the upper classes only, quite like what happened in Japan, India, and England. The other, less wealthy people drink hot water instead. 

Chinese people started drinking tea even before the English adopted the habit. And due to its believed medicinal properties, it quickly became the brew of choice to accompany meals, conversation, and events. The rest, as people say, is history.

Why Drinking Tea After Meals

The benefits of drinking tea are well-researched. So, it comes as no surprise that Chinese people drink tea regularly, even after a meal. Here you have some reasons why:

It is a Tradition

As we said before, drinking tea is a habit in China. It has been done for hundreds of years and will continue to be like that for hundreds of years to come. That’s why, even if there is no other reason to drink tea after a meal, the Chinese people will continue to drink it regardless. 

Yeah, I know. This is not an interesting reason or fact. But that doesn’t make it less true. 

Help Digestion 

The effects of tea on digestion are well documented. The reasons change from tea to tea. But in general, there are components in each herb that either aid with the digestive process or calm the effects of indigestion. 

For example, some teas help you reduce gasses, which is something useful if you have a delicate stomach. 

Other people report that a hot beverage helps them relax after a meal, which helps them with digestion. Furthermore, the caffeine content in some teas might speed up the digestive process as well. 

Boost Metabolism

Most tea herbs have something called catechins, which might help you boost your metabolism. In addition, the caffeine present will increase your energy reserves, which could drive you to burn more calories during the day. 

Naturally, we are not suggesting that you will lose weight or get in shape by drinking tea alone. However, it is still a fact that, after prolonged use, tea will boost your metabolism. It is up to you to take full advantage of this. 


There is nothing better than taking a rest after eating a rich meal. In fact, many doctors recommend doing so to promote good digestion. 

A warm cup of tea is a quick way to achieve relaxation. Especially if you share it with another person over a deep and interesting conversation. 

Adds Antioxidants to Your Diet

Chinese people started drinking tea not only because it tasted good. They also did it because of the health benefits that come with it. 

Tea provides antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, all essential for keeping a healthy immune system. Plus, antioxidants are proven to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. 

On the other hand, drinking a cup of tea will make you feel full, which keeps you from overeating. 

Tea and Meals: Wrapping it Up

Tea is quite a popular drink in China. They have been drinking it for centuries now. It is believed that they started this practice long before any other culture. 

Chinese people drink so much tea that they even use it as a digestive brew. That’s why many people drink tea after meals in China. But it not only helps with digestion. Tea also provides you with healthy minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Additionally, it boosts metabolism and promotes faster digestion. Lastly, tea also makes you feel full, preventing you from overeating, which will later result in digestive problems. 

Ultimately, drinking tea is so deeply embedded in Chinese tradition that it is impossible to take it away. It has become a habit. 

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