Hakka tea ("lei cha")

I recently came across a tea made by Hakka people called LEI CHA, it is made from a powder made from green tea leaves, peanuts and sesame seeds. Add hot water and presto, great THunder Tea as some call it.

Does anyone know where i can buy some of this stuff in Taiwan? Phone numbers or addresses?

Has anyone else ever drank it? I had some a few days ago and found it to be a bitter but very interesting taste.

What do the words LEI CHA mean here?

Originally posted by fuchodo:

What do the words LEI CHA mean here?

“Cha” (2nd tone) means tea. “Lei” (2nd tone) can mean thunder as well as pounded/beaten/ground. So lei cha can mean thunder tea, as you mentioned above, or pounded tea, as I’ve seen it elsewhere.

My online dictionary also tells me “lei” (2nd tone) can mean cumbersome, bind, etangled, radium, or logs rolled down in defense of city, but I feel these are less likely to apply.

We went with some friends to have this Lei Cha in the countryside of Hsin Chu County a few months ago. There are many tea shops that specialize in it. Sorry I can’t give any numbers or addresses, as a local person was driving and I am not really all that familiar with the area.

However, I did get the impression that you have to grind and mix all these ingredients (including boiling hot water) on the spot in order to get the correct taste. Hence, I don’t think that you can buy Lei Cha pre-packaged or anything, and I suppose that if you could it wouldn’t have the best taste anyway . . . .

Hisnchu (Xinzhu) is the place to get it. There’s a town there (sorry I forget the name, but ask Taiwanese friends - it’s well known) that has Lei Cha as it’s speciality. Also lots of Hakka Food, which is just the think if you like fatty undercooked chicken.


Try 莊先生 (Mr. Zhuang) of 客家擂茶推廣中心 (Hakka ‘Lei Cha’ promotion centre) in 中壢 (Zhongli). His phone number is 0928 982037. Don’t know if he speaks any English (or Mandarin!)


Yeah Hsinchu county is the place to get it…Had it not long ago in a small tea shop in the town of Bei-Pu. Where the outdoor market is located. (It’s a small town, you’ll find it). Very yummy!!!

Yeah, Beipu was the town I was thinking of. Nice markety street or two. Well worth a trip or a stopover if you’re on your way to Liu Fu or somewhere.


We had some last week in a little village just outside Sanyi (also worth a visit for the wood carvings).

I’m a dumb schmuck so of course I can’t remember the name, but its an old Hakka town and the railroad station is now a pretty nice Hakka restaurant. The tracks and the station platform are still there and its a pretty little country station, but there’s no longer any trains. It used to be the highest regular-gauge commercial railway station in the country, apparently.

A very cool place to take visitors to Taiwan.

Take the Sanyi exit on the Chungshan freeway (No. 1), turn right at the first junction after the exit (about 100 yards), right again at the next junction (another 100 yards) and drive down the Sanyi main street till you come to a set of lights at a junction. There you’ll see a sign for the station. Take a right over a small bridge and just follow your nose for about 5 km till you come to the village.

What i heard about this Hakka tea called Lei Cha is that it is today mostly a tourist attraction in Hakka villages and tea shops, and that the Hakka people themselves don’t really drink in that often today. 100 years ago, 50 years ago, yes. But today, it is just for tourists from Taipei and Taichung, a kind of Disney Hakka thing for the tourist trade. If this true?

I read that is it called THUNDER TEA in Hong Kong. Why?

Answers in yesterday’s China Post. Lei Cha’s ‘lei’ is the thunder character 雷 with a hand on the right 擂 so the Hongkies call it thunder tea.