One of the best things about living in Hong Kong is that there is tea everywhere! Herbal tea, Chinese tea, English Breakfast tea- we have infinite tea choices and unlike in many other countries, most restaurants and cafes offer a variety of tea options. In the last few years, a quality revolution has been brewing with artisanal tea companies popping up to offer punters a more refined alternative to the ubiquitous supermarket Twinings. Much like with wine and coffee, there is a lot to learn about tea. Tea sommeliers (yes, that’s a thing) are on hand to school you in the art of drinking tea. Below is our roundup of the best tea in town- from tea houses to tea stores, there are some great companies out there, with many of them hosting tastings and workshops for the tea newbies amongst us, not to mention the endless varieties of tea for you to choose from…
LockCha Tea House
Located in a tea museum and with a huge selection -there are more than 100 loose teas on offer- LockCha is an amazing place to sample Chinese teas the traditional way. You can order up to five loose teas per person in a sitting- which allows you to really compare and contract the various options. They also offer a great tea tasting program. We love that they host concerts most Saturday and Sunday evenings and make sure to check out our full review of their vegetarian/vegan dim sum menu here.
Ground Floor, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island, +852 2801 7177, email@example.com. Open daily 10AM – 8PM, closed every second Tuesday of the month.
MingCha founder Vivian Mak visits tea plantations in China herself to ensure that her teas are the best of the best- don’t take our word for it, MingCha regularly earns awards and accolades from the Hong Kong International Tea Fair Competition. Their teas are generally loose Chinese and floral teas-in fact their one-bud herbal offerings are worth seeking out. We love their extensive range of gift packs- what could be a more ideal present? Their shop holds tea tastings and workshops for all ages too, make sure to enquire about their programs. Find MingCha teas on their e-store or check the website for their many stockists.
12/F Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Tai Koo, Hong Kong Island, +852 2520 2116, firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Monday to Saturday 10AM – 7PM.
Hong Kong hipsters and Monocle-clutching Japanese tourists can’t get enough of Teakha‘s laid-back vibe and out of this world delicious assortment of baked goods (they make a mean green tea THE best scones in town, we recommend the pineapple, ginger) but their real raison d’etre is their made to order blended tea drinks. We love the gorgeous scents that fill up the place as they simmer spices and loose tea leaves on their stove-top. And purists, don’t fret: they also have the usual loose black, green, oolong and herbal varieties on the menu.
Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island, +852 2858 9185, email@example.com. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11AM – 7PM.
September 2016 Update: This business is now closed.
Teavers offers a curated selection of seven classic teas from green to black to white to their own herbal blend as well an assortment of tea accessories. As well as loose leave options, their teas come in tea poles, which give tea bags a run for their money. Teavers’s shop also doubles as a “tea boutique, ” where passersby can relax and enjoy their cuppa.
Shop GB22, G/F, Site B, Soho East, Lei King Wan, Hong Kong Island, +852 2350 3828, firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Tuesday to Friday 10AM – 6PM, Saturday 12 – 7PM, Sunday 12 – 6PM.
Man Cha Teas
Man Cha Teas is a brand of Chinese loose teas. The company places a strong focus on education, both in terms of helping tea novices understand the art and tradition of drinking Chinese tea, as well as donating proceeds towards education for children in need. Their teas are available for order on their e-store.
Is there such a thing as tea porn? If so, Peerie Tea certainly gets our vote for their stunningly vivid tea photography. That being said, the founder’s main emphasis is on sourcing: everything on the site is organic, fair trade and from small locally-owned tea estates. They have a wide selection from around the globe, from green to black to herbal varietals, and they even carry what’s sure to become to ne-plus-ultra in tea: single tea estate blend. Some of their unique concoctions have fun names such as Orange is the New Black and Purple Rain, no doubt making Peerie the hipster favoured brand. They also stock certified organic matcha (Japanese green tea) powder! Visit their online store to order.
+852 6258 9176, email@example.com
Yisheng Organic is a homegrown brand of certified organic and fair trade loose teas. All of Yisheng Organic’s teas are grown in mainland China, in the mountains of Yunan, Hubei and Fujian. They have an extensive range of black, green, oolong, white and yellow teas and their focus is on actual tea-they don’t do purely herbal blends. (Which by the way should not actually be called tea. The French have a separate word for them: tisanes.) Their teas are available on their e-store and also at various retail outlets around Hong Kong.
+852 2647 7797, firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Mention – Teacha
TeaCha is a tea discovery subscription service that sends you a monthly box of five new teas to try, one white, one green, one oolong, one black and one herbal, all packaged in artisanal tea bags. While you can also purchase more of an individual tea if you love it, Teacha prides itself on its teaducation: with each tea comes a card which gives the drinker information such as the history of the tea, where it is from, how to prepare it, caffeine content and serving suggestions to help turn you into a tea pro!
+852 8191 3311, email@example.com
Special Mention – Prana Yum
With influences that include Ayurveda, Egyptian and Moroccan traditions, Prana Yum‘s founder Seema Bhatia creates loose tea blends that are truly sacred from her grandmother’s secret family recipes. Her Masala Chai tea is especially worth checking out! Contact Prana Yum on Facebook or via email to order.
Photo Credits: LockCha, MingCha, Teakha, Teavers, Teacha, Man Cha Teas, Peerie Tea, Prana Yum, and Yisheng Organic.