Header image courtesy of @tungnamlouhotel (Instagram)
Originally published by Ching Yuen. Last updated by Jen Paolini.
We love drinking tea because it brings out our inner tranquili-tea! Tea and its corresponding culture play a huge part in Hong Kong’s historic DNA, and though traditional teashops are often recommended for tourist itineraries, modern teahouses are also on the rise. From authentic Chinese black tea to Japanese matcha, here are all the best teahouses in Hong Kong where you can sit down for a nice cuppa.
Tea is all about attitude, and that’s what Atteatude is all about. This hidden tea shop is actually an oasis for tea lovers to get a chance to DIY their own orders. What this means is that you have an opportunity to familiarise yourself with different types of tea, pick a flavour as well as a cup to drink from, then watch the staff demonstrate the brewing process before you get to try your hand at making the tea.
The prices here are a little different than what you might be used to. For the first hour of your visit, you pay $48, then for every 30 minutes after that, you are charged an extra $15. If there are special teas you would like to try, feel free to ask the staff, who will let you know the supplementary charges for each brand of tea.
Atteatude, Room H, 1/F, Mong Kok Building, 97 Mong Kok Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 6275 7702
A Japanese-inspired teahouse has moved into the increasingly hip neighbourhood of Prince Edward. Operated by the folks behind Brew Note Coffee Roaster, Chew Chew offers a peaceful destination for Hong Kong’s café hoppers, fuelled by a seasonal food menu and matcha-forward beverage programme.
From locally farmed produce to house pickles and a farm-to-table approach, Chew Chew takes a thoughtful and wholesome approach to all aspects of its business and is winning legions of fans in the process. Interestingly, you will not find coffee at Chew Chew, as it focuses almost exclusively on unique tea-based drinks.
Although there are bar counter seats aplenty, we recommend sitting in the private booths for the full experience, which are floored in tatami (畳) and replete with chabudai (ちゃぶ台; a short-legged Japanese table) and zabuton (座布団; Japanese cushion). Booking ahead of your visit is required and can be done online.
Chew Chew, G/F, Konwall Court, 143 Lai Chi Kok Road, Prince Edward
The newest addition to the teahouse scene has taken over a quiet corner in Tai Hang. But this is no ordinary teahouse: The Shophouse is actually one big project that has taken over the five-storey building with the vision of “cultivating a bespoke lifestyle collective driven by art and culture through connecting unconventional talents.”
Enter through the glass doors to order your tea on the ground floor and choose to enjoy it upstairs where they have a small table with four tatami seats. The rest of the building is covered in selected artworks by local and overseas artists that you can explore, with an artist studio on their rooftop garden, it is all about the exploration and the experience with this teahouse.
The Shophouse, 4 Second Lane, Tai Hang
Green Ginkgo Tea is Hong Kong’s first hand-brewed tea bar, offering premium tea sourced from Japan and China that can surprise even a tea lover. Each pot of tea is brewed by their tea baristas using carefully adjusted techniques according to the types of tea and even the weather conditions.
You can interact with tea baristas to understand more about tea and let them become familiar with your preferences as you drink. Enrich yourself in the knowledge of the blessed leaf, whether it is through the acclaimed Uji matcha ($128) or the Jasmine Phoenix oolong ($158)—you never know what may surprise you!
Green Ginkgo Tea, 1 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan
Another popular teahouse concept is Basao, with their first store opening in Wan Chai back in late 2018 and their second store in Causeway Bay in late 2019. Their tea menu is really helpful for beginners, with flavour profiles for each tea and a colour indicator for whether they are green teas, oolong teas, or black teas. You can start off with something more classic such as the Red Heart tieguanyin ($48) or go for the discovery flavours such as Oriental Beauty ($145) that carries notes of Fuji apple, cinnamon and mandarin. Their sweet delights are also a must-try, including their homemade tea cake roll ($36) with different tea flavours!
You wouldn’t really expect to find a teahouse all about calmness and tranquillity surrounded by bars and clubs in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, but that’s exactly where you will find Tealosophy Tea Bar on Wyndham Street. What sets the teahouse apart from the others is their in-house Japanese tea ceremony tatami room that regularly hosts workshops and incense burners throughout the shop too really elevating the experience.
Tealosophy Tea Bar, 38 Wyndham Street, Central
Plantation by Teakha is crazy about tea. Once you walk into the store, you will be enveloped in the aroma of freshly brewed tea as you browse through all the teas they have on display. They source loose leaf teas and teaware directly from the makers themselves, so every item is imbued with a history of hard work and craft.
They hope to share the intricacies of these stories about tea through contemporary and friendly means because tea should be easily accessible for everyone in order to slowly become a part of our daily lives. They host regular tea tasting and pairing workshops, but you can also sit down and brew your own tea for a quiet afternoon.
Plantation by Teakha, 18 Po Tuck Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 3482 2660
Hong Kong’s first contemporary tea cocktail bar, Tell Camellia, is tucked in an alley in H Code in true speakeasy fashion. Led by industry veterans and co-founders Sandeep Hathiramani and Gagan Gurung, Tell Camellia introduces a unique cocktail drinking experience based on exotic teas sourced from around the world. They have now extended their cocktail bar concept to an afternoon tea bar, with hot and cold brew teas available. You can choose from green tea, black tea and fruity teas in the tea room and admire either their aesthetic interior or the pretty bamboo facing the bar!
Tea Camellia, LG/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central | (+852) 9821 5501
One of Hong Kong’s most renowned teahouses is LockCha Tea House, with multiple locations across Hong Kong, each with its own specialities. LockCha Tea House in Admiralty is more reminiscent of the olden days when traditional teahouses could be found around every block, whereas their Tai Kwun outlet is a bit more modern, with gilded birdcages as hanging decorations above the bar table.
Not only can you taste tea at any of their shops, but they also do wholesale tea and vegetarian dim sum. LockCha Tea House’s steamed truffle siu mei ($45) and the pan-fried mushroom bun ($38) are must-tries. For something a little special, turn your attention towards the tea cocktails and tea beers on their menu!
Yú Teahouse is hidden inside the Eslite Spectrum in Tsim Sha Tsui, and it’s not difficult to see why—the entire bookstore shares the same minimalistic aesthetics as the teahouse! It offers wholesale tea and tea appreciation workshops, and the tea experts there also host events and workshops. Every month, Yú Teahouse puts the menu spotlight on different teas with the aim to educate the general public about the many varieties available. Its cold brew teas are freshly brewed every day, and popular tea leaves like White Peony (starting from $58) and Big Red Robe (starting from $58) are available hot and cold as well according to your preferences.
Yú Teahouse (瑜茶舍), Shop L230, 2/F, Eslite Spectrum, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3419 1089
Pop-up concepts are just so alluring since you never know when they will appear and it just makes you want to find them extra more. At Matchali, the team of “die-hard matcha activists” gives us both classic and creative matcha drinks made with fine matcha powder for an explosion of flavour. Understanding the trend of food photography, there are stone pads on the counter where the drinks are posed for foodie photos. Matcha lattes (starting from $50) are set on the side and the staff will wait until your camera is ready before they pour the luscious green mixture into the drink you order. Boomerang for Instagram, anyone?
Another blast from the past is Fukien Tea Company, still standing strong under the steady command of third-generation tea master Patrick Yeung. He’s been into tea all his life, and he is always keen to share his love for tea. Yeung specialises in heavily roasted teas and the shop roasts its high-fire tieguanyin oolong for 60 hours to bring out the best of the tea’s floral notes. Sit with the tea master for an afternoon and have him brew some of the best tea in town for you.
Fukien Tea Company, 6 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan