Oil Tea is a distinctive flavor of Guilin. It originates from the minorities living on the mountains in this area. Drinking Oil Tea can easily help them keep warm in winter. Right now it seems that most of the people in Guilin regularly drink oil tea; because hundreds of small oil tea shops in the town backstreets can be seen. However the most famous oil tea drinkers are the Yao people of Gongcheng (a county of Guilin prefecture).
Oil tea is prepared by frying tealeaves with garlic, salt, ginger, chili, possibly other ingredients and of course oil (usually peanut oil) in a wok. Water is then added and the mixture boiled. The tea is poured through a wickerwork sieve (or tea strainer). The leaves in the strainer may be pounded with a hammer-like wooden pestle to release the flavor. Oil tea has a green-gray color and a strong taste. It is good for waking one up in the morning due to the caffeine content. It is drunk or spooned from bowls, and something else regarded as breakfast cereals – puffed rice and cereal balls, along with crispy fried dough sticks and peanuts – can be chosen by you and added to the oil tea.