I went to Yue Hwa Chinese Products shop the tea section to buy Iron Buddha tea for my neighbour. I read that HK writer Kuang Ni strongly recommended the place for buying tea for daily usage. In the end, I have bought this Before Ching Ming Lion Peak 2016 for myself, I’m fan of Dragon Well (Lung Ching) Tea.
My friend told me that Lok Cha Tea Shop (Queen’s Road Central) is a good place especially to buy Oolong tea. You can ask for a tasting, they will be glad to make you the tea. She also recommended the Taiwanese Wang De Chuan tea shop in Eslite Book Shop in 10/F Hysan Place, Causeway Bay (they have other branch in Tsim Sha Tsui). She said the quality of Ying Kee (several shops) is alright if you are a causal drinker, but they like to mix tea, so the tea has more or less the same taste every year.
When I was in Kuala Lumpur in September a few months ago, I was tempted to buy some Chinese tea in a shop in China Town. Since I wasn’t sure about the quality, I abandoned the idea.
How about you, where do you buy your tea? Places that you recommend. Nice if know more.
My go-to place is Hojo Tea at the Gardens Mall at Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur. They specialize in quality low/no pesticide teas. AFAIK, the range includes teas from Japan, Taiwan, China and India as well as a good variety of teapots and kettles (especially Japanese ones). The owner, a Japanese gentlemen based in Malaysia, travels to the tea gardens to source the teas himself.
What I love about this place is that the staff are extremely knowledgeable about the product and brewing methods. You can while away a whole afternoon learning about and sipping expertly brewed quality teas.
The one in Hong Kong Park? We actually passed by when we were strolling in Hong Kong Park, but it was during the lunch service and they were busy so we took a look and left. We wanted to check out the tea though.
Does anyone have an opinion about Teakha in Sheung Wan?
Low/ no pesticide teas are something important to me, with reports about pesticide teas obviously a concern. Aside from the fact that the owner knows the farm, are there other ways to tell whether a particular tea is low/ no pesticide? I am curious whether Yue Hwa has such teas.
I used to have a box of organic Dragon Well from a small Chinese producer from the excellent grocery shop Bon Bon Bon 有食緣. Unfortunately, the shop was closed in 2015 due to the younger HK generation failing to appreciate good food and their constant changing tastes, according to the shop owner.
Personally, I sometimes get headaches from drinking teas, which I assume could possibly be from the overuse of pesticides. I do notice however that this has not occurred when consuming teas bought from Hojo. Hardly scientific I know, perhaps someone else could be of more help.
I always notice that the tea house when they prepare tea, they always do a quick rinse with hot water and before the immersion.
I read a bit on this subject, 1 recommendation is to buy spring tea, it’s less contaminated with the cold seasons and have less pest activity and disease occurrence, less or no treatment is needed. Also if you are an expert in tea, you can learn to taste fertiliser, heavy fertiliser means more pest and disease. Finally, if tea are grown on higher attitude, they attract less pest and disease compared to the hotter areas.
Avoid tea bags.
But is government-certified organic tea always better for the environment? Nope.
… Even if a farm is 100% organic, its neighbors might not be, and if the farmer up the hill sprays his tea bushes, chances are those pesticides will make their way to the “unsprayed” organic crops through the air or groundwater. Meanwhile, a farm in total isolation might be using safe amounts of pesticides while providing a more healthy growing environment for its tea bushes.
Organic tea doesn’t necessarily taste any better than conventionally grown tea, either. Up until relatively recently, many organic teas actually tasted worse than their conventional neighbors, as farmers were still negotiating the challenges of growing tea in an entirely different way.