Hong Kong, people standing next to a food stand | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hong Kong, people standing next to a food stand

Hong Kong, people standing next to a food stand

View the original, larger copy of this image at the UWM website: http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/u?/agsphoto,3957

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, January 1, 1940


I think this chap is drinking 'Leung Cha' - a Chinese medicinal tea, a cure-all for anything from indigestion to headache. Tastes awful, like any good medicine, so better downed in one with a sweet or cookie to hand ready to take the taste away. The stallholder has placed these conveniently near the teacups wink.


I searched the internet for an adjective that best describes the taste, one site lists more than 100.   "awful" is a very good match in spirit and substance, partly because "foo" in Cantonese can also mean sorrow or hardship  while drinking it.  I had a few many years ago but can't remember for what illness.  The price was the same so I preferred their other drink - sweetened chrysanthemum tea.  I wonder if these shops remain popular today. 

Yes, the leung cha shops are still popular, with a big shiny urn or two on the counter. Here's a photo of one in Central:


It appeared in the article about Gwulo at Apple Daily a few years back:


Regards David