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The Tea Academics
Photograph: Courtesy The Tea Academics

The Tea Academics opens in Central

Educate yourself on artisanal teas and plant-based cuisine at this modern tea cafe

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

Artisan coffee may still rule the cafes in our city, but tea lovers will be glad to hear that tea is finally taking the spotlight this month. Modern tea cafe The Tea Academics (a new venture by the group behind The Coffee Academics) has opened in Central, providing yet another urban oasis for Hongkongers to rest their feet and enjoy a cuppa. The new cafe focuses on bringing together heritage and innovation and aims to deliver an exquisite sensory experience through their curation of artisanal tea products, hand-crafted teaware, plant-based dining, and fresh bakes, all within a simplistic and nature-inspired interior.

Among the six items on the current tea menu, highlights include a strong, creamy, and umami-rich ceremonial Japanese usucha ($128), a mild and floral Yunnan white tea ($98), and a sweet and mellow Taiwan red oolong ($98). There are also six iced tea-inspired beverages on the menu, such as the Botanist ($68), which consists of Phoenix dancong tea, longan, jujube, and Darjeeling syrup. Those drinking for the ‘gram will enjoy Blue ($68) which is made with butterfly pea, pear, and osmanthus syrup, along with oolong tea in its mix.

For those that prefer tea with milk, try The Tea Academics’ signature tea lattes, all made with Rude Health’s organic soy and almond milk which is a perfect alternative for the lactose-intolerant too. To sip on something warm this season, try the hot Pu'er tea latte ($58), which offers an aged aroma from its fermented dark tea, dried mandarin peel, cocoa powder, and gold foil. For something less creamy and intense, but equally elegant, opt for the tie guan yin tea latte ($58), which is made with half-fermented oolong tea from Fujian, tie guan yin tea power, and silver foil.

Another characteristic to look out for at The Tea Academics is its plant-based cuisine by executive chef Atisha Kumar. Hailing from New Zealand, Kumar has almost 18 years of industry experience under her belt, developing most of her career in her homeland before coming to Hong Kong in 2015 to contribute to multiple franchises under Jamie Oliver (which are now closed). Inspired by Western and Asian culinary traditions, Kumar hopes to preserve the flavours of fresh ingredients and pay tribute to nature in her recipes.

Mornings at The Tea Academics can start with any of the all-day breakfast items (served from 8am on weekdays, and from 10am on weekends) such as the savoury paratha omelette ($88), made with halloumi, sautéed onion, and organic eggs, or the beetroot coconut pancake ($78) which comes with Greek yoghurt, candied banana, pistachio, and coconut flakes. For something a little heartier (main dishes are served from 11am daily), try the matcha miso soba ($98) with chilli corn, shiitake, pak choi, and tea-smoked egg. You can also hop on the impossible meat bandwagon with their Impossible Skewers ($128), created with plant-based meat, green hummus, roasted peppers, and grilled flatbread, or the Omnipork dan dan noodles ($108) with mushroom, shiso, and peanut sauce, which benefits from a Sichuan pepper kick.

Lighter bites are also available at The Tea Academics' bakery. Choose from a selection of freshly baked loaves and pastries, or dig into a scone ($38) with either Earl Grey tea jam, or tomato chutney. Loaf cakes ($38) in various flavours, including avo-choc, gluten-free almond, probiotic banana, or carrot cake are also on offer, alongside a super tempting basque cheesecake ($48) flavoured with Earl Grey, hojicha, or matcha. Elaine Wong

The Tea Academics is located at 1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Rd, Central.

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