Making your way through the teeming streets of Hong Kong, you will bump into aunties and uncles sipping on a rather smelly beverage on the doorstep of the local leung cha (cantonese for cold tea) shop. Drinking herbal tea is a part of Hong Kong’s intangible heritage and an essential means of keeping one’s health in good shape. This slowly dying practice, due to the bitter taste of traditional herbal recipes, has once served a social function. Nowadays, jukebox, television and classic Hong Kong style seats have been replaced with a simple counter front with a line of tea bowls and a juice-box.
One of the most popular recipes – 24 Herbs – might overwhelm you with a lengthy ingredient list, motst of them not accessible in this part of the world. However, the tradition of drinking leung cha as a common practice reflects awareness of local people about their surroundings, daily habits and how these affect the body and mind. With a clear understanding of how what we consume reflect back in e.g. the quality of sleep, cognition and energy levels we can be more in control of our health - the main takeaway the taste installation aims to promote.
*Please note that this is not medical advice; you should consult a medical service in case of health emergencies. Be aware of food allergies you might have.