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At the Tea Table with Actress Andrea Bang of Kim’s Convenience

July 16, 2019


Andrea Bang

Allow me to introduce you to your new favourite show to binge watch on Netflix. Kim’s Convenience is a CBC comedy about a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in downtown Toronto. The sitcom is based on Ins Choi’s award-winning play. The moment I began watching the show I instantly regretted not doing so sooner. I actually started watching Kim’s Convenience because of an interaction on this Instagram post that featured Janet, played by the hilarious Andrea Bang, chugging a mug of tea. Andrea Bang was born and raised in Burnaby, B.C and like her character, she grew up around tea. In fact, tea plays a huge role in her acting career today. At the tea table Andrea opened up about her childhood tea moments, her favourite steeps, which character from Kim’s Convenience she would share a cup of tea with and more.

Andrea Bang

The kettle is on and I can hear it about to sing. What tea are you going to steep for us today?

A matcha latte! I’ve always been super into matcha green tea but since getting a frother, I’ve been obsessed with lattes and haven’t looked back since. They’re so good!

I’ll take mine iced with a bit of maple syrup, please! Tell me a bit about your tea journey and the first sip that started your love for the beverage.

Tea is something I grew up with. For whatever reason, I never took to coffee… unless it was in ice cream or candy form. Tea is just something that was always in the family. I grew up on boricha (barley tea), which we’d drink both hot and cold. Then as I got older, I remember having tea with my friends. We’d have all-night cram sessions and bring tea. It was and is our drink of choice at gatherings. Whether it’s hot, iced, cold or in bubble tea form. Now I don’t go anywhere without my travel mug. I’ve lost it at least 3-4 times and always have to replace it.

As an actress, how does tea play a role in your day-to-day work and filming for Kim’s Convenience?

Tea plays a huge role in my work. I don’t drink coffee so tea is my source of caffeine and stability. When I need a pick-me-up, I’ll brew a cup of Earl Grey. And I’ll have some lighter fare (green teas, herbal, etc) when I just need a mental break or something more exciting than water. There was a time when I was travelling quite a bit and I worked matcha lattes into my morning routine. It grounded me and gave me a bit of home-like normalcy. So when I travel I always bring my teas “of the moment” with me. I will say, my luggage gets heavier and heavier every time.


Perhaps it’s time for a luggage just devoted to tea … It’s safe to say you’re not shy with your love for tea, especially since you shared your own Ode To Tea. In addition to acting, it’s clear you’re a fan of writing and corn silk tea. 

Yes, I love to write and drink tea! Sometimes both at the same time! I’ve written two odes on my Instagram. One to Chinese buns and one most recently to corn silk tea. Heck, both would probably make an amazing combo. The thing that they both have in common is that I’ve loved them since I was a kid. But corn silk tea (in tea bag form) is something I discovered in the last year. I went over to a friend’s house and she offered me this gloriousness. The minute I tasted it, it brought me back to my childhood. It’s similar to something that my mom/grandma (aka the adults) would make, called boricha (barley tea). We’d drink it like water. They’d boil it in a brass teapot for what felt like days. I never learned to make it because it’s something I guess my child brain thought was too arduous. Like the equivalent of making a lava cake… or crème brulee. So when I saw it in tea bag form, it’s safe to say my lazy adult self, high-fived itself, and bee-lined it to the local Korean supermarket.

It’s an incredible feeling when a tea is that powerful to bring us back to happy childhood memories! What are the top 3 teas we would find in your collection today? 

Tea is my jam. There’s a tea for every occasion, feeling or ailment. But the top 3 that I always have in my collection are:

Peppermint: Many aching and upset stomachs were soothed by the sweetness of peppermint. It was always the go-to among my friends if we didn’t feel well. Plus, it leaves my breath minty fresh. So now, the minute my stomach feels weird, I boil a cup. In fact, I’m having one as we speak.

– Genmaicha: I love a good green tea and this one is high up there. What can I say? I love the “roasted” taste. I’m pretty sure I grew up with these kinds of flavours. It’s not too bitter and reminds me of stone-pot rice. More specifically, the part where you fill the emptied stone pot with water to scrape the remaining bits of rice. It’s tasty and refreshing. If you haven’t tried it, I’d definitely recommend it the next time you visit a Korean restaurant.

Earl Grey: Where would I be without my earl grey tea? Probably exhausted or sleeping somewhere. Maybe walking into a wall. For some reason, earl grey is one of the black teas that gives me some zing, doesn’t upset my stomach and tastes good. Add a lemon and it’s good to go!

I’ve already talked a mouthful about corn silk tea so I omitted it from my top 3 (though it would definitely be there).Andrea Bang

Speed Round:

Black, Green, Yellow, White, Oolong or Puerh?

Hot, Iced or Cold?
Hot in the winter. Iced in the summer. And cold all year long.

Teapot, Infuser or Gaiwan?
Infuser. Luggage friendly!

Straight, Sweetened or Latte?
A recent lover of lattes. But my forever go-to is a deliciously straight tea.

Cheese or Chocolate pairing?

If you could sit and have tea with any character from Kim’s Convenience (aside from Janet) who would it be?

I’d definitely have tea with either Umma or Mrs. Lee. I’d love to learn about their history – their childhood, immigrating to Canada, life, etc. Plus, they’re guaranteed to bring an abundance of yummy treats. Food and stories? Yes, please.


Find Andrea Bang:

Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | And watch her on Kim’s Convenience (available on CBC or Netflix)!

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Tea tells stories and when connected with humans, more are created. That’s where the idea for this blog series, At the Tea Table, originated. With this series, The Cup of Life asks tea lovers around the world to take us inside their tea lives to share their favourite steeps, spaces, routines and more. Meet some of your fellow tea drinkers here.

The post At the Tea Table with Actress Andrea Bang of Kim’s Convenience appeared first on The Cup of Life.

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