The Art of Sparkling Tea: A Fusion of Science and Craftsmanship

By Eric Lee
Mar 22nd 2024
Winston explained that his goal is to enhance people’s flavor experience when enjoying fine-dining meals. He aims to maximize the enjoyment of aroma, taste, and aftertaste, particularly during food pairings.

Lifestyle embodies an attitude, and the philosophy behind business operations is truly invaluable. When we merge these principles and infuse mindfulness into our everyday existence, we ignite genuine sparks in our lives. In an enlightening conversation with Winston LAU, the visionary behind Mindful Sparks, we delved into the origins of his venture.

As a Food and Nutritional Science graduate from HKU, Winston’s love for wine sparked a desire to develop an exquisite beverage to those who sought an alcohol-free yet sophisticated option. ‘What we’re trying to do is to maximise the flavour experience that people can enjoy, the aroma, the taste, and the aftertaste during fine-dining food pairings,’ said Winston.

A Journey Fueled by Passion and Purpose

‘By utilising a multidimensional extraction technique and focusing on the full potential of Chinese tea, we aim to elevate the tea-drinking experience to a fine-dining level,’ Winston revealed the meticulous craftsmanship behind Mindful Sparks’ sparkling tea. Through a unique extraction method named ‘Layer Six Extraction’, developed in collaboration with Professor Jetty LEE of the School of Biological Sciences, the team extracts the polyphenols – the nutrients and complex flavours – from tea leaves. This process, combined with a three-day maturation and delicate carbonation, results in a champagne-like sparkling tea that exudes sophistication.

As a graduate in food science, Winston consistently prioritises upholding a strong food safety management system. ‘Despite our relatively short two-year establishment, we’ve successfully secured ISO 22,000, HACCP and HALAL certifications – a noteworthy accomplishment for a company of our size,’ remarked Winston. He highlights that these certifications are pivotal in advancing the company’s food safety management and production processes, facilitating collaborations with leading top hotel chains and retailers.

Winston collaborated with the team led by Professor Jetty LEE (second person from the right in the first row) from HKU School of Biological Sciences to develope the Layer 6 Extraction method to craft his sparkling teas.

BSc Alumus (majored in Food and Nutritional Science)
Winston Lau, Founder and CEO of Mindful Sparks

“Elevate and innovate tea traditions to create a healthy luxury lifestyle, a new culture to the world!”

The Intersection of Science, Sustainability, and Innovation

Drawing from his scientific background, Winston shared how his Food and Nutritional Science education contributed to his business operations. ‘My scientific training at HKU equipped me with critical thinking skills and a problem-solving mindset that are invaluable in the business world,’ explained Winston. The knowledge gained in food chemistry, marketing, and sensory evaluation courses empowered him to develop innovative solutions, such as the upcycling of cacao waste into the Blood Orange Cacao Husk Sparkling Tea.

Winston emphasised the importance of aligning one’s academic pursuits with personal interests and career goals. ‘My four years of studying food and nutritional science not only broadened my knowledge but also provided a solid foundation for my entrepreneurial journey,’ highlighted Winston.

Dedicated to complexity, flavour, and sustainability, Winston has skillfully established a presence in the non-alcoholic beverage market, presenting a luxurious and health-conscious alternative. His journey is a source of inspiration for individuals aspiring to blend their passions with academic pursuits, paving the way for a fulfilling and impactful career. Mindful Sparks’ sparkling tea leaves us with an elevated appreciation for the artistry and innovation encapsulated in every sip.