Move Over Matcha, Chinese Herbal Tea Is Here!

There’s a new kid on the block and its name is leung cha!

Matcha has enjoyed an international boom in recent years and has traveled a long way from its traditional Japanese roots. Since big-name American coffee chains like Starbucks picked up the drink, you’ll now be hard-pressed to find a fancy coffee shop that doesn’t feature a matcha latte.

But there’s a new kid on the block. Let me introduce you to the world of Chinese herbal teas.

涼 茶 (pronounced leung cha in Cantonese and liang cha in Mandarin) directly translates to “cooling tea”. Originating from southern China’s Guangdong province, leung cha is a tea brewed from traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. It plays such an important cultural role that in 2006, it was officially considered part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage.

While many traditional Chinese medicinal herbs are known for being bitter and difficult to drink, leung cha is lightly sweetened with a smooth, refreshing taste that makes it a popular beverage even today.

Leung cha gets its name because of its ability to “cool” the body of its excessive “heat”. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the body possesses inner harmony and that there is a balance between “cooling” and “heaty” — like your body’s yin and yang.

This balance in our bodies can be thrown off when we eat too much “heaty” food — anything deep-fried, salty, or spicy counts as “heaty”. Your body’s harmony can be restored by eating or drinking something “cooling” like leung cha.

In addition to its “cooling” properties, it’s also believed that leung cha can help reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and improve digestion.

All these health benefits while still tasting good? You bet — which is exactly why leung cha has been around since the early 1800s and still has a strong presence today.

As far as natural health drinks go, leung cha is the next matcha. What are you waiting for? Get yours today from!

Written by Allison @theconflictedmillenial

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