Healthy New Brews

DEC 31, 2018

Enjoy a moment of zen with these expert tips at LANDMARK.

Did you know that your afternoon cuppa is packed with health benefits? From pu’er to green, tea has long been revered for its antioxidants, minerals, and digestive properties. To learn more about how this beverage can improve overall wellbeing, we caught up with tea experts and enthusiasts from COVA, Dr Ferns and MO Bar.


New Nordic traditions

Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour might be best known for its gin-fueled “prescriptions” come evening, but the afternoon tea is also worth a visit. This August, try the new Fika After-Tea Series. Inspired by the Nordic tradition of taking a “coffee break”, the experience includes an assortment of sweet and savoury treats alongside a variety of organic teas. The bar and restaurant also just launched a new daily cake offering, homemade by the resident pastry chef. To learn more, we asked Chief Physician William Lee about why it’s important to make time for tea at Dr Fern’s.

What’s special about the teas at Dr Fern’s?

William Lee: Our new teas have all been organically sourced, each with numerous health benefits to help whatever medical ailment you may be experiencing. Dr. Fern recommends our Organic Oolong Tea for those suffering from eczema, obesity and heart disease. We also recommend the Organic Aged Pu’er, which is good for lowering cholesterol, reducing toxins, aiding in digestion and lowering blood sugar levels after meals. At the moment, I love drinking a freshly brewed cup of Organic Chinese Green Tea. It has strong calming effects to combat anxiety and stress.

What does ‘organic’ mean in terms of tea?

Lee: When talking about organic tea, we are referring to the way that the tea was farmed. Farmers who grow tea organically do not use commercial or artificial methods to fertilise soil and control pests. Instead, farming tea organically ensures that only natural fertilisers and natural pest control methods are implemented, which are safer for the environment and the farmers, and ensures no chemicals are in your freshly brewed cup of tea.

How can tea enhance your overall wellness?

Lee: Making time for tea is an integral element to living a healthy life and seeking mental clarity. If we set aside just 10 minutes a day to sit down with a hot cup of tea with no distractions, this will force us to slow down, calm the mind, and allow us to relax and de-stress.

Dr. Fern’s wonderland of delights include rose tarts, daily cakes, and organic teas.


A la carte

MO Bar at LANDMARK Mandarin Oriental recently revised its tea menu and now serves daily delights a la cart from a glamorous pastry trolley loaded with apricot and verbena cheesecakes, raspberry tarts, exotic Bourbon vanilla choux, cherry napoleons, and an intense 100 per cent chocolate tropézienne.

Meanwhile, the restaurant’s tea list — featuring JING Tea, a sustainable operation based in London — skips from lemongrass and ginger to jasmine, lemon verbena, silver needle, Japanese sencha, mango, and more. Tea master Vicky Ho tells us about tea’s deep connection with the human body and mind.

Which teas have the best health benefits?

Vicky Ho: I strongly recommend pu’er tea. It’s good to enjoy during or after meals, as it aids digestion and won’t keep you up at night. A daily cup of pu’er tea could be beneficial for those who have a weak stomach or have digestion problems. For something extra gentle, I’d recommend cooling white tea — it’s praised for its anti-oxidising and anti-ageing properties.

Of course, green tea is another excellent choice for a healthy lifestyle. It contains antioxidant polyphenols, which have been said to contribute to the reduction of cardiovascular disease and prevention of diabetes. But I’d recommend that you not drink green tea on an empty stomach, as it will lower your blood sugar and may cause dizziness.

How can making time for tea enhance wellness?

Ho: In his book The Classic of Tea, eighth-century poet Lu Yu suggested that a person could learn to be disciplined in both mind and behaviour through tea. He believed that if you’re passionate about tea, you will also be more sympathetic, benevolent, and have a positive outlook on life.

How do you incorporate tea into your routine?

Ho: I drink tea anytime, anywhere... with dim sum at a Chinese restaurant, at Amber alongside the Degustation menu, in a dessert house with pancakes.

LANDMARK Mandarin Oriental stocks JING teas at MO Bar and in its guestrooms. The sustainable company works with small, artisan producers in China.


Daily delights

At gorgeous pasticceria-confetteria COVA, you can look forward to classic tea in a European setting. Best part? Every day, there’s a selection of freshly baked cakes to sample. This month, pair your tea with mango cream dome, St. Honore, chestnut cream, oatmeal cake, and more. Patty Tse, a spokesperson of COVA, shares her thoughts on how tea can boost your health and clear your mind.

What’s special about COVA’s teas?

Patty Tse: COVA has its own label tea blend collection, where tea leaves are coming from the best gardens in the world. In our collection, I’d suggest either the Earl Grey Imperiale or Royal Blend — they both have excellent health benefits. The former is a black tea fused with bergamot oil, which can improve digestion. Meanwhile, our Royal Blend is a green tea blend with citrus fruits, so it’s a great antioxidant.

What’s your go-to tea to start the day?

Tse: Royal Breakfast is my favourite because of its robust taste. I love to drink this in the morning for a refreshing start.

How does tea fit into your wellness routine?

Tse: In a frantic city like Hong Kong, a moment of “me time” with a cup of tea is essential. It’s good to take a break and enjoy, even if it’s simply to rejuvenate and recentre the body before getting back to work. I personally try to have a cup of tea every day during an afternoon break, sometimes with a pastry, just to enjoy a moment of zen.

Enjoy COVA’s freshly brewed tea and homemade cakes, such as creamy chestnut cake.