Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hong Kong Museum of Tea Ware and Tea House

We visited Hong Kong in July, aka, the middle of Typhoon season. We knew it would be a rainy, hot, sticky mess but we went anyway because, well, that's when our vacation time was! While strolling through Hong Kong Park a sudden, heavy rain fell upon us. We had umbrellas but they were hardly helping us from the buckets of water pouring from the sky! Luckily, we were near the tea museum so we rushed in to avoid the downpour.

The Museum of Tea Ware is housed in the Flagstaff House, an old colonial building built in the 1840's. It's very old and stately with lots of white columns and black framed windows. It's a very beautiful building with old wooden floors and two spiral staircases leading to the second floor. Although quite small for a museum, it was a nice way to wait out the rain and learn more about one of my favorite beverages. Plus, admission to the museum is free. Win-win! :)

 from the 13th century

There are a few displays of ancient tea ware and even more displays of award winning modern pots and cups. The modern pieces range from subtle beauties to grotesque designs barely distinguishable as tea pots! The latter, not my style at all but equally as engaging and fun to chat about. They are all award winning pieces and definitely worth a look.  

The security guard at the museum was very friendly and gave us a worksheet to fill out while looking around the museum. I'm sure it was made for kids but Spencer really enjoyed it and filled out the whole thing!

Here he is finishing it at the tea house next door to the museum. He's so studious!

Speaking of the tea house, it's fantastic! After looking at all the tea pots and learning about different kinds of tea, it's only natural to want to go and drink some. Oh, and look at that! There's a tea house conveniently located right next door. :)

The tea house serves many different kinds of tea and has a small menu of dim sum and other Chinese eats. We ordered two different kinds of tea from our friendly, English speaking server.

When she brought out the tea, she talked us through the process of how to make each kind and why the little details matter when making a truly good cup of tea. I was blown away at the precision and attention to detail given to every tiny cup. It was far from the tea bag and boiling water I was accustomed to!

gif creator online

After she taught us how to make our tea, she let us alone to try it out for ourselves. It was so fun to make and drink the tea with all the little tea ware. It was seriously like playing tea time when I was little! The cups were so tiny!

The staff kept bringing us more and more hot water. I'm sure we could've stayed there for hours if we'd wanted to! It was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon.

What about you, dear readers--do you like tea? Have you ever been to the Museum of Tea Ware and/or a tea house? What did you think??