Chinese Afternoon Tea - Chadian (茶点)

Updated: 5 days ago

What is Chadian? What Chadian can you choose when drinking Yunnan tea? All concerns can be answered here.

Flower Cake - A Traditional Yunnan snack

Drinking tea whilst eating Chadian (茶点) has been a living habit in China since ancient times. This ancient Chinese tea culture has influenced multiple generations. ‘Chadian’ roughly translated as ‘refreshment’ in English is a type of snack developed during the tea drinking process.

Its collocation with tea emphasises regional habits.

In its long development, it has formed many varieties with different patterns and styles. Typically Chadian are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, spanning various flavours, usually consumed in small shapes and quantities. Its collocation with tea emphasises regional habits.

What time is appropriate for Chadian?

1. Morning tea

The Cantonese people drove the morning tea trend to all parts of China, and now drinking morning tea has become an enjoyable entertainment across the country.

Cantonese steamed dumplings

Chadian accompanied with tea in the morning are various in style, typically ranging from salty to sweet.

2. Afternoon tea

Although ‘afternoon tea’ originated in China, it became culturally known by the United Kingdom as it became a more increasing part of British culture. Afternoon tea, hence the name is generally from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

For what time is normally after a long working day, drinking afternoon tea can not only supplement physical strength but also helps relax.

British afternoon tea

The benefits of eating Chadian

Eating Chadian has many benefits, it affects mood, it acts as a social activity and it improves the whole tea tasting process.

In China, Chadian plays a very important role on the tea table, tea time is a special time for meeting and relaxing, giving people the satisfaction of interesting taste, vision, and smell makes the tea experience more worthwhile if served to a guest it is seen as a respectful and kind gesture.

Chadian also prolongs the time of drinking tea, it forms as an opener for conversation and allows people to speak more freely to each other, this pragmatic way of aiding meetings helped establish its importance.

What Chadian are the best choices to match with tea from Yunnan?

People who have lived in Yunnan for a long time have learnt to appreciate it. In addition to the beautiful scenery and ethnic culture, there is also Yunnan’s unique cuisine.

Yunnan’s moderate climate makes weather and temperature enjoyable all year round. The life rhythm of the Yunnan people is very slow. Every day around 4 pm, many Yunnan people can be seen bathing in the sun and accompanied by a plate of snacks and a cup of tea. Enjoying the little things makes everyday special.

local people making dumplings

1. Flower cakes (鲜花饼)

Flower cakes, a popular dessert unique to Yunnan, are a type of shortcake made with edible roses. It is a representative of Yunnan's classic desserts with Yunnan characteristics. The freshly baked flower cake is very refreshing, rich in fragrance. In addition to edible roses, flour, sugar, and honey are important ingredients.

The production of flower cakes originated from the Qing Dynasty more than 300 years ago according to historical records. The flower cakes made from the finest roses have been loved by Emperor Qianlong because of their characteristic flavour, being fresh, sweet, and not too greasy.

Every April, when roses become seasonal, flower cakes are the common expectation of the local people. It has become a common phenomenon to wait in long queues to buy fresh flower cakes.

Edible roses have a limited flowering period, as the cake only uses the petals of edible roses, the fresh dessert very sought after. Edible roses are deciduous shrubs and are distributed in most parts of China, but they are considered a real speciality when grown in Yunnan.

Yunnan is known as 'the kingdom of plants' and 'the kingdom of flowers' in China, more than 70% of the flowers in China are produced here, the advantages compared to other regions could be explained by its moderate climate, abundant sunshine, unique geographical location.

2. Soybean powdered sweets (豆末糖)

Soybean powdered sweets is a traditional product from Tonghai, Yunnan has been well known in the Qing Dynasty and has a history of more than 200 years. Known as 'fragrant, sweet, crisp, and with no residue'.

Soybean Powdered Sweets

Select high-quality soybeans are used as the main raw material, adding sugar, caramel, and other refined products. The layer is as thin as paper and as white as milk. It is both sweet but not greasy when eaten.

3. Buckwheat cakes (苦荞粑粑)

Buckwheat is a speciality of Yunnan. It has a brownish-red colour and a sweet and fragrant flavour. There are many varieties of buckwheat products and the most popular among The people of Yunnan is the buckwheat cake.

Buckwheat cake with Honey

Buckwheat is rich in nutrients, whether it is sweet buckwheat or Tartary buckwheat, grains or stems, leaves, or flowers, its nutritional value is very high. Tartary buckwheat flour is higher in protein than wheat flour and cornflour, containing rich amounts of protein and vitamins. It suggested it has the effects of helping lowering cholesterol, protecting eyesight, and lowering blood sugar. At the same time, buckwheat has anti-inflammatory properties.


4. Tangyuan wrapped in soybean powder (豆面汤圆)

Tangyuan wrapped in soybean powder is a popular snack in Yunnan, with or without stuffing a common feature is to apply a layer of cooked soybean powder on the outside.

Tangyuan wrapped in soybean powder

5. Lotus root starch with rice cake and brown sugar syrup (调糕藕粉)

Lotus root starch with rice cake and brown sugar syrup is one of the most distinctive snacks in Yunnan. Lubricated lotus starch mixed with snow-white rice cakes. In addition nuts and dried fruits of various colours are interspersed on top. The brown sugar and rose jam exude a delightful fragrance.

Rice cake and brown sugar syrup

6. Tamarind jelly (酸角糕)

Tamarind jelly is another of the famous specialities in Yunnan. It is selected from one of Yunnan’s tropical rainforest treasures, tamarind, as the main raw material. It is processed with special fragrance-preserving technology and colour-protection technology to maintain the taste of tamarind. Truly natural and healthy, without any additives, preservatives, and pigments.


Tamarind jelly meets the characteristics of modern people who pursue healthy food and nutrition. It is suitable for all ages, and it is called 'juice that can be chewed'. Because the tamarind jelly is pure in fruit and tastes delicious, a must-have snack for Yunnanese afternoon tea.

Tamarind Jelly

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Subscribe to our newsletter to get 10% off on your first order!

Subscribe to receive the latest stories from our blog, receive business updates and exclusive discounts. 


  • Twitter
  • White Instagram Icon
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • TikTok
wechat logo-01.png


 35 Livingstone Road, London, E17 9AU