Discovering Hong Kong Style Cafes on Yelp

The restaurant rating service,, recognizes 200+ restaurant categories, one of which is “Hong Kong Style Café”. With such extensive menus, effective SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) must be in place to assure timely preparation of all dishes. 

Famous Hong Kong Milk Tea and New YuanYang Tea

Cup of hot Hong Kong Milk Tea

A Hong Kong Style Café should serve Hong Kong Milk Tea, frequently sweetened with condensed milk.  Another signature drink, YuenYeung, or YuanYang (鴛鴦), literally “mandarin duck” in Chinese, may be hard-to-find outside Hong Kong and Southern California.  YuenYeung mixes coffee and milk tea in desired ratio and proportion.  Most menus specify it as “Milk & Coffee Mixed” or “Hong Kong Style Coffee & Milk Tea.”

(YuanYang) is made from a mixture of coffee and tea. According of Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the mixture is three parts coffee and seven parts Hong Kong-style milk tea. It can be served hot or cold. Wikipedia

More Innovative Hong Kong Milk Tea Flavors

Beverages like chai latte, green tea latte and lavender latte do not contain coffee even though they are named after latte.  During recent years, some tea industry players from China follow this naming suit to euphemize their brews.  One entity’s New Wave Milk Tea series offers Oolong Cappuccino, Four Season Cappuccino, and Osmanthus Oolong Cappuccino.  Another café, feline-themed, serves Peach Cappuccino, prepared with peach oolong tea, fresh milk and wheat germ.  There is not a drip of espresso in these concoctions!   

Confusing Tea Names as We Combine Cultures

Phonetic transcription constitutes another noticeable trend.  Labels and brands like MeiZhou DongPo (SzeChuan cuisine) and ShanCheng Lameizi (SzeChuan hot pot) mean nothing to one unfamiliar with Mandarin the spoken language. 
While naming their businesses in English, did the proprietors or their marketing teams experience such unconquerable obstacles that they resorted to phonetic transcription?  Or do they aspire to abolish English as the most popular official language, to replace it with ponderous Chinese?  If so, they unlikely will succeed, ever.