Archive for the ‘tea’ Category

brunch food

Ktown’s Waffling Bean – vegan brunch food

My only take away from Waffling Bean is all the waffles are savory rather than sweet.  For brunch food I would much rather prefer a sweet waffle.  Each waffle set will set you back about $80.

Brunch food

Waffling Bean – brunch food with blue cheese

It’s also open for dinner.  They have a small outdoor area which is dog friendly.


It’s a herb medley: Ginger, Galangal, Lemon Grass, Pandan, Asiatic Pennywort, Mulberry tea, Beal fruit, Safflower, Jewel Vine, Chrysentimum, Rosary, Indian Gooseberry.  There are no tea leaves found in the composition of this herbal tea.  I suspect this tea is a perfect aid for weight loss as I felt quite sick after ingesting.  I would imagine the contents would make for a decent post supper drink as there is no caffeine.

Cha Hom Pu Ton Nam tea out of Thailand

Cha Hom Pu Ton Nam tea out of Thailand

As a tea lover, this Thai tea is not worthy of a second cup.

I think Ten Ren Teashops make the best bubble tea in HK. Their in store product offering runs the whole gamut of price range from affordable to expensive. The affordable teas are even more so if you purchase at the supermarkets.  $20 HKD per bag (185 grams) as it’s currently on a buy one get one free special for $40.  To buy direct from their stores will be $59/bag.  This is their Iron Goddess of Mercy/Ti Kuan Yin tea.

2015-02-19 16.10.55

Taste: sweet burnt nuts but no lasting sweet finish.

The brewing instructions is the first noticeable difference.  It tells you to let steep for 3 minutes prior to drinking rather than multiple 30 secs to 1 min steep periods found in their more high end products.  On first taste the tea taste good.  You are drinking tea so its assisting in detox of body which is a good sign for the new year.  This is one of those teas where it is perfect to drink within the confines of home but not to share with others. Do not bother with a second brew as the flavour disappears.

2015-02-19 16.11.03

I enjoy the simplicity of the supermarket tea purchase.  The tea will lack the depth of flavour of the most expensive tea shops but one thing to note is the offerings found inside supermarkets have pass muster for their purchasing department.  They should only offer products which meet their stringent needs or in HK’s case, monopolistic profit margins.  ParkNshop is far from being Costco but buying tea is large quantities (1 KG) will make your taste buds bland in quick succession.  Affordable teas give it a chance to surprise you.  One thing I notice when I purchase very nice things, it doesn’t make me look nice.  Teas are a perfect example, expensive teas don’t make me a better person when compared to drinking more affordable teas.  I only buy high end teas at Costco when I can purchase in bulk and without Costco’s presence in HK, I need alternate measures.  Give it a try as Taiwan is suppose to be one area where scandals are not part of daily life.

Tea Zen is located on Queens Road Central, in close proximity to many other tea stores in Hong Kong.  You will find multiple tea purveyors in the Sheung Wan district.  Don’t bother with the HK Tourism Board approval sign.  The sign only delineates the fact the store has paid money to get the Board’s approval, it does not speak to the quality of their teas.  Another useless Board, Stamp and Organization in keeping with HK’s charade of fleecing the dumb and stupid.  The owner was quite the grumpy old man with hard sell tactics.  I decided to appease his grumpiness by purchasing his old pu’erh tea.  Old pu’erh teas help induce sleeping so I figure I would give his offering a try.  It did not help with sleep, it did quite the opposite and kept me awake.

2014-12-08 15.41.54

I would not purchase tea from this purveyor again.  The teas garner quite the stiff mark up and the service is terrible.  There are better tea purveyors to lavish with your support.  They share similarities to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium in Jordan, tourists trap.

2014-12-08 15.42.20

Don’t make the same mistake as I did for buying pu’erh tea outside the tea cakes.  You can’t trust the purveyors to be honest so if you plan to drink pu’erh, it is best to buy it in the raw cake form.  I know I got ripped off so I hope others do not fall prey.

Taste: no depth, no lasting finish.  Tourist pu’erh.

2014-11-08 11.59.07

I am currently working my way through my large supply of Lam Kie Yuen’s teas.  This one is their Special Pu Erh tea.  I had to ask my gf to read the Chinese characters which translates to unknown year’s Pu Erh.  Ouch.  Tea shop owners will always tell you their teas are great for investment purposes, make sure you tell him you plan to drink it right away.  Any tea owner telling you their teas are great for investment shows they have a large inventory of toxic assets.  Caveat Emptor.

2014-11-08 12.03.04

It tastes better than the puerh tea I purchased at Tea Zen (290 Queens Road Central) under high pressure sales tactics.  I knew I was prey but only sampling better teas at Lam Kie Yeun did I realize just how bad my experience was at Ten Zen.  No high pressure sales tactics here Lam Kie Yuen.  Go in and taste for yourself.  I quite enjoyed the puerh of unknown origin as it had a light cinnamon finish.

2014-11-08 12.03.18

2014-11-08 13.38.41

GuiTea is a chain of tea stores located inside MTR stations.  I got to try their Emerald Pre-Ming Green Tea.  The tea looks nice enough.  It’s packed similar to oolong teas where the leaves are rolled up into little balls.

2014-11-08 13.39.14

I did not appreciate the taste.  I will not buy again.

I purchased the tea from Costco in Taiwan.  Asia has a dearth of Costco locations so a visit to Taiwan would not be complete without a stop at my favorite American big box warehouse.  Teas are one genre of drink where cons are plentiful.  It’s hard for the industry to guarantee the supply actually originates out of the area specified on the box.  Taiwan recently went through a big backlash over certain tea companies importing cheaper teas out of China, exporting to Thailand only to change the paperwork and importing it to Taiwan.  They do this as the currently supply cannot meet demand so the China imports will have paperwork to show it originating not out of China so they can mix with their goods or sell to unsuspecting consumers.

I love Costco for the fact their purchasing department is large and suppliers don’t dare upset the status-quo.  Suppliers jump through hoops to sell at Costco which protects the customers with their generous return policy.  I trust Costco teas to be real and authentic, exactly as advertised on the box.  The tea industry is rife hard sell tactics as soon as you start sampling their wares leaving a bad taste in your mouth.  Costco makes the purchase process ideal.  There’s no need to sample it.  If you dislike it at any point in time, bring it back for a refund.  No other retailer can show the same faith in their products and supply chain.

2014-08-29 19.17.45

nice box

If you chose to buy this tea outside of Costco, it’s $40USD for 150 grams

2014-08-29 19.18.28

2014-08-29 19.19.11

500gram packs

This is typical of higher quality tea leaves, it arrives rolled up into little balls.

2014-10-20 15.56.04

Taiwan’s high mountain teas are known for a milk after taste.  It’s fragrant as one expects Taiwanese teas to taste and it does carry the milk after taste that is prevalent from teas out of this region.  The only problem with the Costco variety, twigs.

2014-10-20 15.41.17

High end teas lack twigs.  Costco’s Sun Link Sea high mountain spring teas have an abundance of twigs.  In typical Costco fashion, customers get a very high end product for a low price.  The supplier may be providing the factory seconds as this is the first occurrence of a high end tea purchase where twigs are prevalent.

2014-10-20 15.41.27

It’s a great value for tea drinkers.  I can get 4-5 steeps out of this tea before the throwing it to the trash.  Fragrant fruit nose with a touch of bite.  I love the milk aftertaste.  It’s a trust issue when one purchases tea from Costco.  I’m tired of overpaying at the tea vendors around town.