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Paper & Tea
Photograph: Courtesy Paper & Tea

Best places to buy quality tea in Hong Kong

Sip back and relax

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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With the influx of new and trendy coffee brands, Hong Kong’s cafe scene has been brewing strong for a number of years now, but thanks to our historical links to Chinese tea culture, and colonial past, tea drinking is still very much part of Hong Kong. And sure, we all love to pop out for a Hong Kong-style milk tea at the local cha chaan teng, but sometimes a proper cuppa cha is needed at home. So, whether you prefer traditional Chinese tea from decade-old shops or contemporary blends from modern teahouses, here are some of the top places to buy quality tea.

RECOMMENDED: Need something stronger in your cup? Try these new bars in Hong Kong.

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  • Wan Chai

Basao’s chic and modern tea space, with in-house tea master on site, is a great spot for chilling and sipping on cha, but you can also buy them to take home. Purveyor of Asian teas, Basao’s collection comprises single-origin sourced and clean grown teas from around the region available as loose leaves or teabags. 

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  • Central

If TWG seem a bit pretentious for your liking but you don't want to walk away from the IFC empty handed, try this local mainstay. Fook Ming Tong has been around for nearly 30 years and the staff are amazingly knowledgeable. They also have a hand in every aspect of their products, from selection to packaging, with an operation that’s spread throughout China. As well as the usual suspects, Fook Ming Tong always specialises in some relatively esoteric categories of tea such as yellow and ba bao.

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  • Tsim Sha Tsui

One of the most famous British brands in Hong Kong, Fortnum & Mason does England proud with a wide range of tea to buy and enjoy at home. Their loose leaf tea is recommended for what they call the ‘most superior cup’ but they also have teabags that are plastic-free and compostable. From historic house blends and single-origin caddies to herbal infusions and fruity blends, there’s plenty to try and sip here.

Gong Fu Teahouse
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  • Sheung Wan

You may have heard of the term ‘gong fu tea’ – which refers to the art of the Chinese tea ceremony, rather than a specific type of tea. Gong Fu Teahouse, specializing in high-quality Chinese tea, has an enduring history in Hong Kong. The teahouse was founded in 1961 and has since expanded into PMQ and Lee Tung Avenue, so you know they must be doing something right. Here, they take the art of tea seriously – workshops and classes are led by Gong Fu’s teamaster, initiating the tea apprentices through the detailed art of the gong fu tea ceremony. The highly sought after workshops will begin again in early 2019. The teashop itself has your tea needs complete – from fine ceramic teaware to various strains of tea, with their speciality in oolong and pu’er tea all around China, with some having been fermented and cultivated decades ago.

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  • Sheung Wan

Channelling chic, Japanese-Nordic vibes, Green Gingko Tea specialises in premium teas from the prefectures of Kyoto and Shizuoka. Careful attention is paid to everything from the leaves and teaware to the water quality and temperature to ensure that the final brew is of the utmost quality. Try one of the sencha green teas, or go for the kukicha blend made from twigs and stems from the tea plant.

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  • Wan Chai

Another member of the old guard in Hong Kong, Ki Chan Tea Co has been delivering quality tea since the Second World War. If you’re looking to learn how to properly prepare and serve tea, this is the place to go. Ki Chan’s stunning selection runs the gamut from humble Longjing tea to Wuyi Da Hong Pao tea and beyond.

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  • Things to do
  • Admiralty

Although this spot is now arguably more famous for having a sit-down cuppa and some quality dim sum, it still offers some amazing brews to take home (be sure to try some of their speciality floral and osmanthus oolong teas). LockCha also sells stunning, ornate teaware which will undoubtedly take your next tea party to off-the-chains levels.

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  • Chai Wan

As one of the most famous tea stores in Hong Kong, MingCha is a one-stop-shop for all your tea needs. It stocks jasmine, green, white, black, red, flower, three kinds of oolong and even Japanese teas, presented in eco-friendly packaging. Not sure what to go for? MingCha offers regular tea tastings where you can discover the origins and nature of many teas, as well as learn how to brew a cup like a pro.

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Paper & Tea
Photograph: Courtesy Paper & Tea

Paper & Tea

A pioneer of a worldwide growing movement for high-quality tea, P&T offer rare teas drawing on tradition and tea cultures from across the world, including China, Japan, India, South Africa, and many more. With eco-friendly packaging and biodegradable tea bags, each P&T tea product can be traced back to its place of origin and tea plantation, supporting local farmers and sustainable farming methods. 

Peerie Tea
Photograph: Courtesy Peerie Tea

Peerie Tea

Hong Kong-based farm-to-cup tea brand Peerie Tea is all about ethically sourced artisanal teas. They source their tea from small estates across China, India and Taiwan which are processed with traditional methods and are 100 percent natural, and preservative and chemical free. The gift set comes with five teas and an infuser which is great for gifting too.

Available at peerietea.com

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Sage
Photograph: Courtesy Sage

Sage

Local tea brand Sage is dedicated to the delicate art of tea-making and tea-drinking, from working with expert producers around the world to partnering with artisan tea-makers and specialists to concoct creative blends for all to enjoy. The brand has even branched out into sparkling teas as well as cookies and snacks to pair with your tea. It doesn’t hurt that the packaging is seriously good looking too, which makes for good gifts and treats for yourself too. 

Available at bysage.co

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  • Central

Clever branding masks the fact that Tea WG is only 15-years-old, and despite bearing a turn-of-the-century English aesthetic, the brand is in fact from Singapore. Age and geography is no barrier, though, as the brand is a premium purveyor of tea with an outrageously thorough selection that definitely leans towards the top-end of the scale. 

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  • Sheung Wan

More than 130 years old, Ying Kee is one of the oldest tea shops in the city. A move from Guangzhou to Hong Kong and several generations of ownership hasn’t blunted the quality of its leaves. There are eight categories of tea available with endless variants and grades within each (and staff have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all of them). Ying Kee also has some beautiful teaware and gift sets, making this one of the best places in Hong Kong if you’re looking for a gift.

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