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Yum cha

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Yum cha, from the Cantonese term meaning a meal at which tea is drunk, is a Chinese meal which has gained considerable popularity in the West. At a yum cha, diners eat many and varied small dishes until they have a sufficiency.

In China today the the expression "yum cha" is fluid in use and describes a style of dining rather than a meal taken at a particular period. Yum cha can be tea with friends or a late morning snack retirees take after morning exercise. So the yum cha can correspond to the Western morning tea, afternoon tea, lunch or brunch. It implies a more leisurely and social event than a coffee break or elevenses.

In the United States, yum cha is often mistakenly called dim sum, after a type of food traditionally served at yum cha.