A bit late to be writing up about this since the Tea Fair (and the Hong Kong Food Expo) has already ended. Although I wasn’t there to witness the Milk Tea Challenge live on Sunday, I was there on Friday and Saturday and every time I walked past the milk tea booth, I was quite tempted to try those thick, smooth and aromatic milk tea that has become as iconic a Hong Kong symbol as the Bauhinia blakeana … umm, perhaps even more so.
How’s this for the Hong Kong flag? The MTSAR.
Anyway, here’s the recipient of the respective awards for the Milk Tea Challenge:
Bronze: 鄭記士多 (These lunatics here serve HK$68 glass of milk tea. Nutcase. I will try it though … once.)
Runner-ups: 魚菜消費合作社, 扒王之王, 锦城餐厅
So what happened to Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)?! Some say they’ve already proved themselves and they see no need for this kind of promotion. Others say the folks at Lan Fong Yuen can’t handle the pressure of coming in second place or lower. Or maybe the whole things rigged, although I do stand by the decision with 太興燒味餐廳 – they really do serve some pretty damn smooth milk tea. Well, regardless of it all … I think its a great marketing gimmick and its good for the Hong Kong-Milk Tea image and business.
Anyway, moving swiftly on to real Chinese tea. Not far from where all the action was, gathered another pocket of traders, retailers and visitors curious to learn more about an up-and-coming tea brand: Essense Tea.
The booth did extremely well throughout the 3 days of the exhibition and generated A LOT of buzz, more so even than Ying Kee Tea House (英記茶莊) just opposite. Chua Lam (蔡瀾), famous local food critic and wine & tea connoisseur was amongst one of many such celebrities to drop to say hello.
So what’s so special about this Essense Tea? Think: the best bag of tea your grandparents saved for some grand occasion, placed inside a state-of-the-art tea bag (produced in Japan), sealed with nitrogen gas to preserve the freshness of the tea leaves (packaged in Hong Kong) … and all of this began with a passion, philosophy and principle that tea should be shared. This whole tea-drinking culture might just really pick up amongst young 20-40 year-olds.
As of right now, only 3 types of teas are offered. They are:
Baiyaqilan Oolong TeaGolden Tip Red TeaHubei Steamed Green Tea
- Baiyaqilan Oolong Tea
- Golden Tip Red Tea
- Hubei Steamed Green Tea
And Essense Tea is keeping a tight-lip as to what other exotic tea flavours they’ll be offering soon. It certainly won’t be the more common names you find in the Lipton collection. Stay tuned for more on their website.
Essense was founded on the principle that tea is a gift to be shared, so we strive to offer fine teas to please every palette. We feel that a variety of savory teas should be accessible to everyone, not just the privileged few.
To that end we are always scouring the world for teas, both traditional and exotic, for all occasions; from weddings to Sunday afternoons, as presents or for personal enjoyment.
As we share the gift of tea with you, we hope you share Essense with your friends and family.
Our pleasure and passion are sharing the joy and serenity found in a good cup of tea.
We are committed to offering a variety of delectable teas from around the world, a blend of class and culture.
To achieve this goal, we have teamed up our tea connoisseurs with world-class suppliers to deliver a sensation to savor; each cup, every cup.
Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry Curve 8900
Disclaimer: Essense Tea was founded and owned by a dear friend of the writer at Siuyeh.com.
Credit: Special thanks to Go Public for creating the flag for use in this article.
Filed under: Hong Kong, Miscellaneous Tagged: | Essense Tea, 鄭記士多, 锦城餐厅, 蘭芳園, 魚菜消費合作社, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Convention Center, Hong Kong Food Expo, Lan Fong Yuen, Milk Tea Challenge, Milk Tea Competition, Tea Fair, 大發餐厅, 太興燒味餐廳, 扒王之王