Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the chief tea lady at Choi Time, a Chinese speciality tea company that I set up 2005.
What inspired you to start Choi Time teas?
I have always loved drinking Chinese teas, especially jasmine green tea pearls. I was born to a Chinese father in HK and tea always played a huge part of my life. My Chinese grandmother’s mantra was ‘Drinking jasmine green tea is good for your skin and helps you stay slim!”
My father is one of 9 so we had lots of cousins. Every Sunday after yum cha we would all get together as a family at my grandmothers house and sit around her big blackwood table, this was where she taught all of us grandchildren, the virtues of drinking good quality teas.
My grandmother has always been my inspiration and when I left HK and Australia I always carried these loose-leaf teas with me. My friends and colleagues were always intrigued about the tiny little pearls I use to drop into my mug. I encouraged them to try it and once they did they were hooked, I’ve even converted hard-core coffee drinkers into Choi Time tea drinkers!
How do you relax/switch off?
With a cup of my rose bud tea and a good book. I love reading.
A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry, it’s a powerful novel, so evocative, so tragic, a real page turner. It really makes you appreciate everything in life.
Life is Beautiful.
Finefoodspecialist.co.uk, I wish I could eat everything on their site, it’s my guilty pleasure. One of the favourites is the waguy beef, utter indulgence.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Apart from the above, Magnum almond ice-creams!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Not to live in fear of what if’s, to be courageous and take risks.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Acid Jazz Album- St Germain.
What makes you smile?
Without a doubt Inca Rose, my 14 month old daughter, she makes me smile every day.
Melissa is the founder of Choi Time teas, who sell award winning loose leaf green teas, white teas, oolong, flowering teas and herbal teas that unfurl and blossom in your cup. Hailed by the Sunday Times as ‘the dom perignon of the tea world’ and highly recommended by hush!