WelcomeIntroducing the Premier Issue of Conrad Magazine
Heart in SeoulSouth Korea’s booming capital city welcomes a new kind of luxury.
Hollywood on the HudsonPassionate up-and-coming filmmakers take to the streets of downtown New York.
On DisplayGet ready for a whole new level of hotel art at three Conrad destinations.
- The Luxury of Being Yourself
The Allure of AlgarveRelax and rejuvenate at one of Europe's most soothing destinations.
The Pocket ConciergeAn innovative new app makes hotel service simple.
Scents of CalmAromatherapy turns your shower into a rejuvenating escape.
Steeped in TraditionA chef at Conrad Beijing makes tea an art form.
- Infinite Connections
Trunk ShowA lush Thai jungle as seen from elephant's-eye view.
A Taste of Hong KongDim sum draws visitors at Conrad Hong Kong.
Miami HeatExploring the booming Miami art scene.
"I Bet on Myself"The innovator who created the Tribeca Film Festival.
Chicago Shake-UpA bartender shares his margarita secrets.
Deep-sea DiningA one-of-a-kind restaurant in the Indian Ocean.
- Globally Inspired
Gotta Have ItA savvy traveler’s look inside Portugal.
The Real New YorkIn-the-know places near Conrad New York.
Destination SpotlightExperience Conrad's world of style.
Room with a ViewThe tranquil Conrad Koh Samui villas blur boundaries between indoors and the natural world.
Chef Simon Leung at Conrad Beijing makes
tea a modern art form
By Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
You can be forgiven if, after having tea at Lu Yu—the Cantonese restaurant in Conrad Beijing—you want to meet and thank the proprietor, Lu Yu, himself. The tea here is that remarkable. Just one problem, though: Lu Yu has been dead for more than 1,200 years. He's not the owner; he's the legendary Tang Dynasty "Sage of Tea" who wrote the first definitive work on the art of tea, waxing poetic about how every detail had to be just-so to create the perfect brew. Even all those centuries ago, he stressed the importance of quality water and tools, proper drinking temperatures, and even the best time of day to harvest tea leaves.
Today, the restaurant that bears his name continues this pursuit of perfection. Here, amid the incandescent glow of copper-rimmed light fixtures and celadon walls, tea is the point, not an afterthought. The classic tea ceremony begins at the entrance, where the tea hostess presents the three varieties of tea that are featured that day, from a list that may include black Gong Fu, green Huangshan Maofeng, and many other options. Each brew has its own ceremonial performance, with each ritual featuring the full process: the preparation of water and tea ware, the brewing of the tea, the aroma appreciation—and, of course, the drinking of the exquisite results.
After the ceremony, you are escorted either to the dining hall or a private dining room, where you can continue enjoying your ceremonial tea with your meal—or feel free to try another.
Even better: Tea is meant for more than just sipping at Lu Yu. Head chef Simon Leung incorporates tea into the menu in exciting, experimental ways—like adding green tea to a dish of pork braised in a rich soy sauce. Leung prides himself on customizing his work to visitors' preferences. In fact, dine in one of Lu Yu's private rooms and you'll have the opportunity to talk with Chef Leung as he artfully prepares your meal. Just don't ask for Lu Yu.
Choose Your Brew
The benefits of sipping tea go far beyond taste
To slow aging
White tea is the purest of all teas and has a light color and flavor. It is packed with antioxidants that have been shown to ward off wrinkles by protecting skin's elastin and collagen.
To keep your heart healthy
Green tea is the most popular type of tea and is an excellent source of antioxidants that have been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), raise good cholesterol (HDL), and improve overall artery function. Green tea has also been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancers.
For fresh breath
Black tea is higher in caffeine than green and white varieties and contains powerful antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which have been proven to fight the bacteria that cause bad breath.
For weight loss
Oolong tea, sometimes called wu long tea, has been shown to help boost metabolism, helping you burn fat faster.
For glowing skin
Rooibos tea's high antioxidant and zinc content may help soothe skin and keep breakouts at bay.
To boost immunity
Echinacea tea has infection-fighting properties. Studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms of the common cold.
To ease tension
The aroma of jasmine tea has a calming effect on mood and may decrease blood pressure.