Friday, January 28, 2011

Hong Kong - Lau Yu Fat Tea Shop

Going to Hong Kong from Guangzhou was easy.  We took the express train from Guangzhou East Railway station all the way to Hung Hom station, Kowloon.  The train stations at both ends are also subway stations as well.  It is advisable to book your tickets at least one day in advance.  Its about RMB 170 per ticket (allocated seats).  It takes about 2 hours for this trip.  I recommend taking the train to Hong Kong as taking the bus tend to be more arduous.  Going by air would also incur you additional transport costs and time to travel from Hong Kong airport to the city.

Hung Hom train station is already in the city and getting around from this station is very convenient. I normally stay in the Kowloon area, specifically the Jordan vicinity and its only about a 10 min taxi ride to the hotel (HK$25).  I love hotels around in Jordan; good and cheap eats, night markets, shopping and walking distance to a subway.  A hotel stay in Jordan would be around HK$700-1200.  Check for internet offers.  

I had the opportunity to visit  Lau Yu Fat tea shop in Hong Kong.  Take the subway to Lok Fu, come out through exit A, turn left and you are in a shopping centre.  Take the escalator one level up and you can locate the tea shop next to a supermarket.

Lau Yu Fat tea shop is a father-son establishment.  They carry a wide variety of Chinese tea and a good range of pu erh.  You can sample the tea and I had the privilege to have the senior Mr Lau brewing tea for me.   Good news is that the shop takes credit cards ( I think online order as well) and since it was my last day in Hong Kong .......  I ended up buying 4 bricks of ripe pu erh (2004), a ripe cake (2008) and the latest issue of pu erh tea magazine. 

I will delve more on Mr Lau's pu erh tea brewing style in later blogs but I observed that Mr Lau practised 3 flash-rinse during my pu erh sampling.  He explained that this 3 flash- rinse will wash, hydrate and awaken the tea.  "Awakening the tea" concept is practised by some pu erh tea enthusiasts as they believe that the pu erh tea would produced its best aroma and flavor with this practice.  My Penang tea expert friend 'awaken his tea' by putting his uncovered pu erh brick/cake in a tin canister for a week before he breaks up the tea for brewing.  As for me, I break open a tea cake/brick and place the tea pieces in a cardboard tea box and only start brewing the tea after a couple of days.  Does 'awaken the tea' (known as xin cha in mandarin) enhance the pu erh brew?  Let me know your thoughts.  

I recommend a visit to Lau Yu Fat tea shop.  Mr Lau and his staff are very friendly and knowledgeable.   Nicolas Tang, a respected tea expert from Hong Kong, in his website rated Lau Yu Fat tea shop very highly in terms of trustworthiness, quality of tea and pricing.  

I enjoyed my time at this tea shop very much and look forward to my next visit. 

1 comment:

The Tea Urchin said...

Great to read about your recent trip to Hongkong, Wilson. Maybe we just missed each other, as I also just returned from that amazing city! I will definitely have to visit Lau Yu Fat next time I am in town. Did you get a chance to check out the teaware museum or Lock Cha teahouse?