Yum Cha is a tradition that Yue people follow. The word “Yum Cha” means drink tea and it symbolizes going to eat Dim Sum. This word is used by almost everywhere that practices the Yue culture such as Guangdong, Hong Kong, etc. People call it Yum Cha because no one eats Dim Sum without drinking tea. The word’s origin is from the Chinese tea houses that people going on long trips from the silk road to trade and needing a place to rest. However, it is now common for people to say “Let’s go Yum Cha” when they want to catch up.
The restaurant itself is called ChaLau or JauLau. It means tea tower or tea place. When you are first seated, the server will ask you what tea you would like to drink just like American Restaurants. Traditionally, people push carts for you to order the food but nowadays, due to safety and cost efficiency reasons, you order on a piece of paper and give it to the server.