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Plantation by Teakha

The best places to learn about tea culture in Hong Kong

Discover how to brew and appreciate tea to a T

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

The art of cultivating, brewing and drinking tea is indelible to Chinese culture. In Hong Kong today, tea is so important that to drink tea, aka yum cha, has become synonymous with beloved, dim sum gatherings filled with family and friends. But can you say you know the proper way to store and prepare tea, and the art to pouring and drinking tea? If you’ve answered no, we’re here to help with our pick of the best places to learn about and appreciate the art of tea drinking. By Yvonne Lau

RECOMMENDED: Be sure to also check out the best places for cold-brew tea, or for your homebrew, the best places to buy tea in Hong Kong.

The best places to learn about tea culture

Basao Tea
  • Shopping
  • Wan Chai

Known for its luxe teas, Basao finally opens its brick-and-mortar tea bar and teahouse on Moon Street this month. At this chic and modern space, in-house tea master Katherine, who is a certified tea artist and tea-art trainer, can tailor workshops, events and classes to your liking. Basao’s offerings of Asian teas are all single-origin sourced and grown from around the region. Try a sip of the Seaside Honey, an oolong cultivated in southern Taiwan’s warm and lush climates, for a pleasant flavour profile with hints of clover honey and white raisins.

Flagstaff House Museum
  • Museums
  • History
  • Admiralty

On Cotton Tree Drive sits an iconic white building originally built in the 1840s. The Flagstaff House is a graceful piece of colonial architecture, formerly home to the Commander of the British Forces and is now home to the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. Inside, you can check out the oft-overlooked long history of Chinese tea and its accompanying wares and let the displays take you through the Western Zhou dynasty to the 20th century. Discover exquisite, ornamental teapots from the reign of the extravagant Emperor Qianlong or rare blue-and-white Chinese ceramics. Cap off your day with a visit to the teahouse and gift shop to indulge in your favorite tea or take home a tea set.  

Gong Fu Teahouse
  • Things to do
  • Sheung Wan

Gong fu tea actually refers to the art of the Chinese tea ceremony, rather than a specific type of tea. And you can learn all about it at Gong Fu Teahouse, a high-quality Chinese tea specialist founded in 1961 that's since expanded to PMQ and Lee Tung Avenue. Here, they take the art of tea seriously and there are workshops and classes led by a tea master who initiates apprentices through the detailed art of the tea ceremony. The highly sought after workshops will begin again in early 2019. The shop also has all your tea needs, ranging from fine ceramic wares to various strains of tea, with a special focus on oolong and pu’er from all around China.

Hong Kong Sommelier & Bartender Training College
  • Things to do
  • Prince Edward

Despite its name, the Hong Kong Sommelier and Bartender Training College is not just about learning cocktails. The training centre holds detailed courses on the study of Chinese tea where classes include in-depth coaching on how to store, brew, prepare and drink tea. Here, you’ll learn about the best type of water for brewing, how to achieve the optimal temperature, different varieties of tea leaves and each strain’s specific vitamin content and health benefits.

Plantation by Teakha
  • Shopping
  • Shek Tong Tsui

Teakha, a local favourite, is not only a trendy café serving up some of the best milk tea in town, but it’s also a craft tea company that hosts tea workshops and a vendor of quality leaves and wares. Head over to Plantation for its weekly tea appreciation workshops with experts, who generally focus on Japanese tea. These workshops come complete with tea tastings of five different types of tea – from white, green, black, oolong to tisane tea. You can also discover the art of the Asian tea ceremony – meaning you’ll learn how to brew a proper cuppa and understand how the experts taste and appreciate tea.

Now time for some dim sum appreciation

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