In this edition of our guide to the proper pronunciation of Chinese tea terms, we give you another fundamental tea term: “black tea“!
Meaning: Just like the Chinese term for “green tea“, by adding another character before “chá” we arrive at the Chinese term for “black tea”! Although the literal meaning of this term is actually “red tea”, it refers to what English speakers call “black tea”, and should not be confused with rooibos, which is often mistakenly referred to as “red tea”.
Pronunciation: This term is pronounced “hongchá.” Since many of us have the affliction of a Mid-Western accent, we should take extra care on this first part “hong.” The vowel should be pronounced as though we were saying the word “hoe”, then closing it off with the -ng. The tonality for this term is actually just a repetition of the rising tone twice. The “hong” part should sound like a question, as should the “cha” part.
Now you’ve got the Chinese pronunciation of three essential tea terms under your belt! Stay tuned for our next installment, “pu-erh tea“.
November 12 2010 10:00 am | Tea Pronunciation