The operator of the dai pai dong that created 'silk-stocking' milk tea says he will consider moving out of Hong Kong if the government refuses to renew its licence. Lum Chun-yip, the son of Lum Muk-ho who opened Lan Fong Yuen in Gage Street in the early 1950s, is seeking ways to preserve the tradition. His ideas include running classes to teach overseas visitors how to make the drink so it can be introduced to other parts of the world. The milk tea, made using a cotton bag to filter out the impurities in the tea, has become so popular that many restaurants in Hong Kong and countries in Southeast Asia serve their own version. Lan Fong Yuen is one of 28 dai pai dong remaining in Hong Kong. Under government policy, a licence holder of a dai pai dong is not allowed to pass the licence to another person. This effectively means that Lan Fong Yuen will have to close its little green booth when Mr Lum Snr, 83, dies. 'The government does not care about our culture and history but I do,' the son said. 'The booth represents our family's most cherished memories and I am going to do all I can to preserve it. If the government insists on closing our place down, I will not dismiss the possibility of shipping the whole dai pai dong to another place in Southeast Asia.' He said places like Macau and Singapore had done much more to preserve their heritage and most of the famous dishes and drinks served in Hong Kong restaurants, such as wonton noodles and herbal teas, came from Guangdong. 'It is so ironic that the government allows Starbucks and other overseas chains to be opened everywhere when it so much wants to phase us out.' He said the government's classic way to preserve dai pai dong was to put a model in a museum. But he wants 'living heritage'. 'The only argument officials have is hygiene. But my father always counters that by saying not a single person has fallen sick in six decades.' Lan Fong Yuen is frequented by locals and overseas visitors, with regular customers including singer Alan Tam Wing-lun and movie star Chow Yun-fat. Wedding couples take their photos in front of the green booth. The business is so successful the family bought the two units behind the booth to serve customers indoors, but Mr Lum stressed his effort to preserve the booth on the site had nothing to do with money, as they could continue to run the business in the two indoor shops. Mr Lum said that in the 1950s, most Hongkongers drank coffee. But his father, who came from Chaozhou in the 1940s as an apprentice chef, felt caffeine was too strong and wanted to serve a milder drink. He started to experiment with milk tea. 'Once, some sailors came to see my father with a bag of tea leaves from Sri Lanka. They told him it was good stuff and asked him to try it.' His father created a milk tea by combining six types of Sri Lankan leaves - a secret Lan Fong Yuen recipe. He found the texture of the tea could be made smoother by removing the residue with a cotton filter.