Herbal Tea Shop~
Herbal Tea is a intangible heritage in Hong Kong. Every people in Hong Kong must have exeriences in drinking Chinese herbal tea. There is a slang, “Three treasures in Guang Dong are roasted goose, lychee and herbal tea shop.” “廣東三寶：「燒鵝、荔枝、涼茶鋪」” There are many flavors of herbal tea, which are refined from different kinds of herb medicine, but most of them is bitter.Since Hong Kong is in a typical Subtropical climate, it is hot and wet in Summer. Meanwhile, Chinese food is often cook in deep-fried method. People start to use herb for recuperating their health or curing their illnesses. There is a document from Qing Dynasty reveals that Herbal Tea has at least 200-years history already.
In the middle of 19th century in Hong Kong, Herbal Tea shops are very crowed and create leisure places for low class people. Each shop provided a television, radio and a jukebox for entertaining their customers. Since one bowl of herbal tea’s cost is cheap, it became a leisure spot to the people in the past. They played some western popular songs from Elvis Presley and Beatles. It leaded the shops to become a common place for couple dating also. People could stay until midnight together when the TV station ended the TV signal everyday. It was the public memory for the older generation.
Nowadays, people go to clinics and hospitals for medication. Fewer people drink herbal tea compare to the past. It is a pity that some of the time-honored brand has closed. Now herbal tea is well packaging in plastic bottle by companies. People no longer spend their time in herbal tea shop any more.