Less Is More: Nana Chan Of Teakha
Tell us a bit about you and what you do.
I would say I’m a tea aficionado rather than tea master. What I do is try to re-interpret the traditions of tea drinking in a way that is beautiful and adaptable to modern city life. I am currently doing this through the brands Teakha and Plantation.
What are you most passionate about?
Tea and cakes, of course! Other than that, I am passionate about the community, the environment and all things created by the warmth of our hands. This is why I chose to set up shop on Tai Ping Shan St, why outdoor space is so important to me, why I host events that involve placemaking and the community, why Teakha is part of the zero waste alliance and why we painstakingly cook each cup of tea by hand.
Other than that, I love my dogs! So if I weren’t running Teakha and Plantation I’d probably be running a dog home of sorts.
What makes you smile?
My dogs, my husband, happy customers, tea plantations, beautiful ceramics, lately San Francisco, and the cool March Hong Kong weather that feels like San Francisco.
Someone you look up to?
My guru, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
The one thing you can’t live without?
Tea and cakes (sorry that’s two)! Seriously! So since I know I can never go on those alternative diets where you’re not allowed dairy or gluten I’ve decided to stick to TCM as my holistic resource. I also always bring my own tea stash on my travels. You can never trust hotels to provide good teas!
On the flip side, what is one thing you could do or have less of in order to improve your life?
Wow, there are lots! I’m definitely a shopaholic, so I need constant reminding to buy less—space in my apartment is running out! I need less clutter, and more order in my life.
How do you find balance in busy Hong Kong?
The best thing about the city is its close proximity to the mountains, so my best stress reliever is hiking on the weekends with my dogs. Nothing beats a good ocean view and exercise followed by a massage!
What are some of your self-care rituals (when it comes to beauty & skincare)?
Yoga and a good bath.
How do you spend your free time?
My second passion after tea used to be cooking in fact, not baking. So I like to cook (especially Chinese food) in my spare time for friends and family. I also love flying the drone and photography, and I have a secret wish to make a movie one day.
Why do you believe it’s important to take some time out for yourself?
In this busy world, I often feel claustrophobic being bombarded with so much constant information and entertainment. I therefore believe that it’s super important to have an empty space in your brain sometimes to allow you to simply breathe, and to allow new ideas to develop, and for new inspirations to flow.
What are some of the simple things in life that you enjoy?
Give me a cup of tea and nature, and I’d be happy.
What does the term “less is more” mean to you?
It is a very Buddhist philosophy I feel. For me, it encompasses the beauty of simplicity and cleanliness and a way of life that is clutter-free, whether in your mind or in your physical surroundings. Like I said above, empty space in the brain means more room to grow and be inspired.
Photography: Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler | Product Styling: Morning Lau
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