There’s nothing quite like sipping a nicely brewed cup of tea or, depending on your mood, a refreshing cocktail. Fortunately, Tell Camellia hits both marks. The newly opened cocktail bar is Hong Kong’s first tea-inspired spot for tipples, and it can be found tucked away inside Central’s H Code building, which has seen a number of wine and dine openings already this year. It’s headed by award-winning bar team and co-founders Sandeep Hathiramani and Gagan Gurung, whom you may also recognise from the Bar Awards HK & Macau and working behind Fang Fang’s bar, respectively.
Tell Camellia presents a unique drinking experience based on the marriage of Hong Kong’s beloved beverages: tea and cocktails. It’s also named after the tea-producing shrubs known as Camellias, whose leaves produce white, green, yellow and black teas amongst others.
What about the cocktails? The bar menu is divided into two parts: Teatails and T&Tonics, the first of which features cocktails named after the origin of the tea blend used, while the second section consists of herbal and tisane teas redistilled with gin. Meanwhile, cocktail ingredients include tea leaves sourced from the likes of Japan, Kenya, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Australia, which undergo experimental techniques to convey some rather unique flavours.
Some highlighted signatures to try include Australia, made with an earthy tea cultivated in the northern wilderness regions of Queensland, the Aussie chocolate classic Tim Tams, clarified strawberry, blue cheese and whiskey before it’s garnished with koala munches. Japan is another suggested cocktail, which is full of umami and served in a floating wooden cup with re-distilled and evaporated matcha tea blended with shochu; it’s then mingled with pumpkin seeds, mint, fermented soybeans, and dusted with rare plankton and seaweed. From the T&Tonic side of things, G&T lovers can taste quirky renditions including Mango & Strawberry, Italian Almonds & Truffle, and Chocolate & Coconut.
Set within a contemporary space that features natural greens and woods, the new tea-driven cocktail bar feels akin to a tea house but is jazzed up with vintage lightbulbs and plush leather seating. If you’re looking for your new favourite cocktail spot, you know where to head.