Located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle in Central, The Tea Academics is tucked away at a quiet corner of LHT Tower. It almost felt like a zen escape as we were walking towards the main entrance.
Opened in the beginning of November by The Academics Group, the same team behind the The Coffee Academics chain, The Tea Academics focuses on specialty tea (HK$58-HK$128) from plantations around the world and health-conscious meals (HK$98-HK128) and offers some freshly baked pastries and superfood loaves (HK$38-HK$42).
Specialty Tea from Around the World
Featuring a selection of handpicked tea leaves from around the world, The Tea Academics’s signature Hand Brew Tray collection includes a diverse tea options from the strong, creamy and umami-rich Ceremonial Japanese Uscha (HK$128) with ceremonial-grade matcha grounded from green tea leaves to sweet and delicate Pink Chamomile (HK$78). Each serves with 2 flush, refill once and is good for 1-2 people.
If you prefer your tea with milk, the signature Tea Lattes are created with RUDE HEALTH’s 100% plant-based soya and almond milk and a mixology mantra of being clean, simple, pure and light.
Some of signature tea lattes that stand out are the creamy with aged fragrance, Pu’erh (HK$58) made with fermented dark tea, dried mandarin peel, cocoa powder and gold foil – for people who prefer tea that tastes more intense.
And Tieguanyin (HK$58), an Oolang tea latte made with half-fermented Oolang tea from Fujian, organic plant-based milk, Tieguanyin tea powder, and silver foil. It tastes fresh and crispy in flavour and with a hint of bitterness.
You can also find Iced Tea inspired concoctions such as Botanist (HK$68) made with Phoenix Dancong, longan, jujube and 1st Flush Darjeeling syrup and Blue (HK$68) created with Oolang tea, butterfly pea, pear and Osmanthus syrup.
With almost 18 years of both front of house and inside the kitchen experience, New Zealand chef Atisha is heading the organic wellness menu with recipes inspired by the love for the earth and plant-based where possible.
At The Tea Academics, the All day-breakfast menu is available from 8am weekdays and 10am on weekends with signature dishes by Chef Atisha that includes Paratha Omelette (HK$88), Beetroot Coconut Pancake (HK$78) and more.
Mains are available from 11am daily and they include wholesome recipes such as Matcha Miso Soba (HK$98), Omni Pork Dan Dan Noodles (HK$108), Vegetable Balti Curry (HK$118) and Impossible Skewers (HK$128).
Freshly baked pastries and superfood loaves such as Sweet or Savoury Scone (HK$38), Confetti Sliced Cake (HK$42), Avo-Choc/Gluten-free Almond/Probiotic Banana/Carrot Cake Loaf Cake (HK$38) and Tea-flavoured Basque Cheesecakes (HK$48) are available for dine-in and takeaway too.
Our Dine-in Experience
The tactile interior design, thoughtfully selected decor, healing ambience music and casual service at The Tea Academics made us feel relaxed during our visit.
Customers are generally very considerate and don’t speak loudly in this 48-seat café, which makes it a great spot for me-time or even casual business lunches.
We could smell the irresistible crispy garlic, the moment when this dish was out of the kitchen. It was incredibly appetising and satisfying!
Our second main was Matcha Miso Soba (HK$98) which paled in comparison after our senses were heightened by the mouth-watering Scallion Angel Hair (HK$98).
For our next visit, we’ll definitely still go for the Scallion Angel Hair (HK$98) and try the Omni Pork Dan Dan Noodles (HK$108) with mushroom, Sichuan peppers, shiso and peanut sauce or even the Vegetable Balti Curry (HK$118) with turmeric rice, chickpea, eggplant and mango pickle. I believe these will suit our palate better.
Plant-Based Cuisine or not?
While most media wrote about The Tea Academics serving plant-based cuisine, it is easy to mistaken the food menu as 100% plant-based.
If you are vegan or plant-based eater, there are only 2 out of 11 breakfast/mains that are truly 100% vegan/plant-based diet on the current menu. The rest is actually vegetarian.
As for the beverages, they are 100% plant-based at The Tea Academics. No dairy milk.
I ordered a hot Matcha Latte (my to-go) without thinking twice. However, there are signature Hot Tea Lattes like Pu’erh (HK$58) or Tieguanyin (HK$58) which are more special and highly recommended – I’ll give them a try too!
In a nutshell:
The Tea Academics is a hidden gem in Central because it offers tranquility through its environment, tea and food right in the middle of Central, Hong Kong. Just opposite Central MTR Exit D2 yet tucked away from the crowd.
Will I go back again? Yes – whenever I need a moment of peace in Central and enjoy healthy & delicious food options with a cuppa specialty tea.
Good for: A casual meal, breakfast/lunch meetings, and me-time
The Tea Academïcs
Address: 1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, Central Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3187 7303
Photo courtesy of The Tea Academïcs (Image 1 and Gallery 2).
Food photo of Scallion Angel Hair by Eunice Lim.