From a young age, Hongkongers have been steeped in tea culture. Customs such as family dim sum lunches – or yum cha – and greeting elders during special holidays like Chinese New Year all involve the act of serving tea. And let’s not forget the almighty ‘24 flavours’ – a type of tea made with 24 medicinal herbs that is every Cantonese grandmother’s go-to remedy for treating minor ailments such as a sore throat and the common cold.
There’s a diversity of Chinese teas to choose from. Whether your tipple of choice is Yunnan’s pu’er, Hangzhou’s longjing or the humble chrysanthemum tea, Hong Kong is blessed with a wealth of shops in which you can pick out your favourite brews. Yannie Chan Sin Yan, author of Tea is for Everyone: Making Chinese Tea Accessible, gives us a rundown of her go-to shops to buy tea in Hong Kong, as well as tips on how to improve your tea-making skills.
Homeland Tea Garden
Founded by tea master May Chan, Homeland sells a handpicked range of Chinese teas, while Chan also hosts tasting and brewing workshops.
Shop 9, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai; +852 2127 7928
Plantation by Teakha
Plantation specialises in tea sourced from small growers around the world. Sample teas by the pot, brewed by a seasoned tea master, and stock up on leaves as well as fancy teaware.
18 Po Tuck Street, Sai Ying Pun; +852 3482 2660
Yú Teahouse sells white teas and pu’er tea cakes, and runs tea meditation and tea appreciation classes too.
L230, 2/F, The Eslite Spectrum, Star House, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3419 1089
Lockcha Tea House
At this old-school teahouse and restaurant, pair your tea with vegetarian dim sum.
The KS Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty; +852 2801 7177
Man Cha Teas
Try It Inflight
Sample JING Tea’s brews inflight – specially chosen to taste best at high altitudes. In First Class, try teas including Jasmine Silver Needle or Iron Buddha, while in Business Class explore the Jasmine Spring Tip or Oolong brews. ‘JING Tea’s whole objective is to ensure each tea is traceable back to a single tea garden – so wherever you are in the world, the tea is connecting you to the people and the place of origin,’ says Charlotte Thomas, communications director for JING Tea.