Tuesday 1 January 2013

Lazy Sunday Afternoon @ Teavers

Living in the West of NT, travelling to Eastern HK Island  has never been an uplifting idea to me. Although I am aware that there are a growing number of interesting restaurants in Soho East, I don't really bother to visit them whenever I think of the hours to be wasted on travelling. :( Two weeks ago, there's finally a sufficiently strong incentive for me to go to Sai Wan Ho - F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" was showing in HK Film Archive! I decided that it would be a good chance to check out Teavers, a baby member to the dining scene of Soho East. 

Teavers is a small teahouse that has only about 8 tables. It's divided into 3 functional areas: the tea bar and kitchen, the seating area, and the shelves displaying tea products for sale. The soft lighting and wooden interior give the place a warm, calming ambience - you know, it's the kind of place where you would like to spend an afternoon with a good book or a Macbook. ;)

The waitress gently placed a large wooden rack on our table as she seated us. On the rack were test tubes containing dry leaves of different types of tea; we were encouraged to smell the samples before ordering our favourites. More choices of plain teas can be found in the tea menu. In particular, the "Signature Drinks" section offers a selection of flavoured teas which casual tea drinkers will likely find less intimidating. 

The food menu was trendily presented on iPad. Pretty cool indeed, but I couldn't really get the rationale behind because a piece of A4 paper would well accommodate the small number of food items...  :P

While waiting for our order to come, our attention was inescapably caught by the eye-catching siphon tea makers at the tea bar. Though Hellish had failed to convince me that siphon tea maker was in anyway superior to traditional brewing method (not sure whether it's because of my scientific skepticism or poor physics :P), it was truly mesmerizing to watch tea leaves and bubbles dance in the snow-globe-like gadget.  

Spellbound by the tea-brewing extravaganza, I almost failed to notice when the scones arrived. I took a bite only because I was not hungry at all. It appeared to be quite pleasant. It would have been even better (and more proper) if they served them with clotted cream and jam, instead of butter. 

One of Teavers' signature drinks - Ginger Phoenix Oolong. It's D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! It had a good balance of sweetness and spiciness. It was so sweet that I was certain that they had added honey, but on second thought, it was possible that the sweetness simply came from the tea itself because Phoenix Oolong is known for its honey flavour. A wonderful winter drink! :)

The pot of Mount Honey Black I ordered was less likeable. I am no expert in Taiwanese black tea, but I didn't think the bitterness of this tea was normative by all standards. Either it was oversteeped, or excessive tea leaves were used for the brew. The tea was so strong that I developed a bit of headache after drinking 2 cups. This being said, I quite enjoyed the tea set because everything was nicely presented. I loved the teapot and teacup for their spontaneous, poetic beauty. The small cup of water - for palate-cleansing and preventing/alleviating caffeine overdose I guess - was a thoughtful touch. I was genuinely amazed by the superb quality of the complimentary cookies. The fragrant notes of green tea and osmanthus oolong, despite being very delicate, outshone the buttery flavour and easily stole the show. Seriously, Teavers should consider selling them in packs if they are not doing that already!

The people behind Teavers seem to be tea and art lovers. Apart from the artistic teaware and tea-brewing method, their aestheticism is reflected in Teavers' tea products. These elegant tea fragrance diffusers say it all.  :) My best pick is the Magic Mushroom at the far end, which you can have a better look here. ;) 

Teavery Tea Poles are Teavers' most featured products. Though the idea of putting tea leaves into a perforated metal foil tube - which doubles as a stirrer - is not new, it's probably the first time Chinese teas got packaged in this smart and convenient way! I'd like to have some in my office pantry - that is, uh, if my office has a pantry... :(

As gourmet tea is fast becoming a food trend in HK, Teavers is a promising teahouse with great potential to flourish. I will give their plain tea another chance when I go to HK Film Archive again in mid-Jan. Geez, I am already missing their tea-scented cookies! :9 

Teavers (website)
Shop GB22, Site B, Soho East, Lei King Wan, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10:00am-7:00pm (Tue - Fri), 10:00am-9:00pm (Sat - Sun)

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