Chinese herbal tea, also known as leung cha, has always been something your Chinese mum would make you drink in order to “heal” your body. These days, a new generation of modernised herbal tea shops—which pride themselves as being a lot easier on the tastebuds—has sprung up in the city in a bid to appeal to the younger generation. Whether you are loyal to century-old herbal tea shops and their bitter tea options, or if you are looking to ease yourself into herbal teas through lighter beverages with a modern take, here are some places to hit up for when you feel a headache coming.
Herbaceous Teas has been operating in Hong Kong since 2013, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that they increased in popularity and their number of franchises increased. Not only do they have a selection of grab-and-go traditional Chinese herbal teas and cold-brewed teas, they also have dried tea leaves and concentrated drink pastes for you to easily brew some at home yourself. For an easy-to-drink beverage, try the Rose Tea ($27) or American Ginseng Tea ($70) to cool down during a hot day. Their modern packaging, glass containers, and minimalistic aesthetic are especially attractive factors for the younger generation.
Known for their herbal jelly or gui ling gao, this spot in Tsuen Wan is popular with locals who need a quick remedy after indulging in an unhealthy meal. The herbal jelly is served cold or hot with small ($24), medium ($30) and large ($35) sizes for you to choose from. They also have several herbal tea options, including our favourite anti-inflammatory Spica Prunellae and Hemp Seed Tea ($), a nutty-flavoured drink that’s nutrient-dense and good for those with digestive problems.
Chun Wo Tong 中和堂, G/F, 30B Chuen Lung Street, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 2490 9678
Possibly the most famous herbal tea spot in Hong Kong, you’ve probably passed by Good Spring Company at least once, thanks to its central location by the Soho escalators. Founded in Guangzhou’s Panyu district, they later opened a Hong Kong branch in 1916. Now, you can find medicinal teas, herbal drinks, and flower teas in this century-old store. Try the popular 24-Herb Tea ($), a bitter drink that is said to be a cure-all drink, best for skin problems, flus, and everything in between.
Good Spring Company, 8 Cochrane Street, Central | (+852) 2544 3518
Founded by Chinese medicine practitioner Cinci Leung, CheckCheckCin instantly went viral within Hong Kong’s food scene when they first opened, due to their adorable cup designs and Instagram-friendly stores. Their philosophy is simple: to remove the stigma surrounding traditional Chinese drinks and rebrand them as an everyday commodity to the general public. The drinks at CheckCheckCin are not the orthodox, black herbal teas we are familiar with, but rice water-based creations, acting as gentle exfoliation so that you can better absorb nutrients.
CheckCheckCin, locations vary
This herbal tea chain has over 10 different herbal teas and nourishing fruit drinks on offer. From anti-flu soup to papaya with fresh milk and freshly-blended coconut drinks, the varied options give you an opportunity to order a sweet drink to even out the bitterness from the herbal tea. Overwhelmed? Ask the staff for recommendations or get a good old bowl of herbal jelly and some bamboo juice to go.
百寶堂, locations vary
Specialising in a herbal drink made from the flowering plant Rorippa, Sam Bat Mai Kudzu offers their signature Rorippa Drink ($29) in bowls and in takeaway bottles. Good for detoxing after a sinfully-delicious hot pot meal, the drink is slightly sweet and easy to drink.
Sam Bat Mai Kudzu, G/F, 226 Johnston Road, Wan Chai