Anyone who thinks making tea entails a teabag and a microwave is in for a shock here. The Chinese have been drinking tea for thousands of years both for medicinal reasons and for pleasure, developing not only a mindboggling variety of teas but also many different methods to prepare it. This museum's mission is to educate the public about China's tea-drinking culture and to preserve historic and modern tea ware, with about 600 items in its collection dating from about 770 BC to the present, shown on a rotating basis. In addition to viewing tea ware ranging from dainty porcelain teacups to earthen pots, rare Chinese ceramics, and seals from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1644–1911), visitors can also watch videos describing various brewing practices from different provinces and learn about the vast variety of teas and their medicinal benefits. Stop by the museum shop to purchase superbly crafted tea ware and Chinese teas. The museum has an idyllic spot in Hong Kong Park, in an 1846 Greek Revival-style building that housed the commander of the British forces until 1978.
- Beth Reiber