China’s go-to beverage? Hot water. Really.
China’s annual legislative sessions are infull swing in Beijing. Thousands of delegates are convening daily at the GreatHall of the People to listen to speeches, discuss government work reports, andreview economic plans for the next five years.
Essential to keeping things moving? Hot water. Brigades of young women (and afew men) are toting thermoses around the massive building all day, pouringdrinks for delegates. Some use the steaming hot liquid to make tea in papercups that read “Great Hall of the People,” but many others simplydrink it straight.
For many Westerners, the idea of drinking plain hot water is odd. But mostChinese (among others) think Americans’ habit of chugging ice water is equallybizarre, and even unhealthy.
As the daughter of a traditional Chinese doctor, I am a devoted hot waterdrinker.
I drink it the first thing in the morning, and throughout the day. Even in thesummer. I cannot live without it. In the big family I was brought up in, no onewould dare to pour even room temperature water – doing so would risk a chorusof criticism, with parents, aunts, cousins and grandparents chastising youalmost simultaneously: “Cold water gives you cramps!”
Some people trace the hot-water habit to the founding of Communist China in1949, when tap water quality wasn’t high.
Drinking a hot liquid several times a dayis a natural cold and flu remedy. Since many strains of flu originate fromChina’s swine and poultry farms, the Chinese hot water fad could be keepingmany viral strains from breaking out.
China makes a great beer Tsiantao…. and Idon’t think they drink it hot!
I worked in a Chinese take-out restaurantfor a number of years, and never saw the owners or workers drink anything else.And they never offered to share it with their resident “round-eye”.
There’s another very good reason fordrinking “hot water” — boiling water, especially LA tap water,removes volatile chemicals used to sanitize the water, kills any remainingbacteria, and renders the water safer and more tasteful for drinking. Indeed,even after being cooled, the water retains these values; we make two pots ofboiled water every day, one to cool for later use in the coffee pot and theBrita, and another to put in a thermos for plain old “hot water” andtea.
Well written and nice story, but it doesn’tmake a case for drinking hot water, other than old habits die hard.Sterilization is a good reason, in Asia at least. If you had in mind anymedical benefits, I would have liked to see the studies cited in the article. Ahot beverage is a soothing thing, and a cold beverage is a refreshing thing,but this is all psychological. For sure plain water, at any temperature, ismore healthy than a sweetened beverage.
A lot of Chinese don’t have refrigeratorsor freezers. So they are not accustomed to cold food or beverages. In fact,even in the U.S. it’s not unusual in Chinese or Vietnamese houses to see foodleft on the table, but covered with plastic nets to keep out the flies.
No Trump for Prez
I remember having breakfast twenty yearsago before a work conference. I asked the waitress for a cup of hot water. Thepeople I was with laughed at me. Recently I went to lunch with one of theseco-workers. He asked for a cup of hot water. I chucked inside.
No Trump for Prez
I remember visiting relatives in southernChina in 1999. It was 10 am in the morning and 90 degrees with 90% humidity. Iwas served hot boiling water. I was ready to pass out.
@No Trump for Prez That’s like howTaiwanese like to eat mala hotpot in the middle of the summer!