Take the time to recharge at these teahouses in Singapore.
There are few things that divide us — whether you’re a cat or dog person or if you’re an #eastsidebestside or #westside of Singapore. Another polarising topic perhaps, is whether you’re a tea or coffee person.
If you belong to former like I am, then this article is perfect for you. Below, we’ve rounded 10 teahouses and cafes in Singapore that serve up quality leaves and brew. Now the problem is, which tea will you choose to drink first: Chinese, English or Japanese tea?
1. Tea Bone Zen Mind
For those familiar with the local teahouse scene, Tea Bone Zen Mind is probably a go-to haunt. But, for the uninitiated, this teahouse prides itself on serving quality Chinese, Japanese and English tea in artisanal teaware. Housed within two nondescript shophouses in Emerald Hill, Tea Bone Zen Mind has a calming Zen-inspired decor and even boasts its own koi pond. However, you can’t just stroll in. You have to make a reservation via the website or phone in for a tea sampling session.
Tea Bone Zen Mind, 18 Jln Lada Puteh, 228930
2. Tea Chapter
If you’re looking to pick up tea appreciation and the art of Chinese tea, then you have to pay Tea Chapter a visit. Helmed by Grand Tea Master Patrick Kang, who has over 20 years of experience in Chinese Tea Art, you can learn the artform from him through his workshops ($48 per pax). You’ll learn the characteristics of various teas, styles of appreciation and the process of brewing tea. Finally, you can also buy a variety of Chinese tea ranging from Dragon Well, Scarlet Robe to top grade Pu’er.
Tea Chapter, 9 Neil Rd., 088808
If you’re looking for a unique date or fun brunch idea, consider Arteastiq. Why? You can do art jamming there. You’ll be provided with a canvas and unlimited acrylic paint and painting tools to help you create beautiful artworks. An art jamming session usually runs for 3 hours. (But with Covid, it’d be best to check with the cafe in advance.) Note: Art jamming is only available at Mandarin Gallery and Plaza Singapure, not its Jewel Changi Airport outlet.
Arteastiq, #04/15 Mandarin Gallery, 238867; #03-70/72 Plaza Singapura, 238839; #05-201 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Blvd., 819666
4. Tian Fu Tea Room
Love dim sum and tea? Enjoy them fully at Tian Fu Tea Room. The Chinese restaurant – with three outlets – serves more than 30 types of fine Chinese teas ranging from the usual green and red varieties to more unusual offerings like yellow, white and flower teas. If you’re heading to the UOB Plaza branch, pick the Imperial High Tea set (from $48++per person), where you’ll get tea pairings with seven dim sum and two dessert delicacies.
Tian Fu Tea Room, 7500 Beach Rd., PARKROYAL on Beach Road, 199590; 80 Raffles Place, #60-01 UOB Plaza 1, 048624
5. TWG Tea
We can’t mention tea rooms in Singapore without mentioning TWG Tea, which stands for The Wellbeing Group. Founded in 2007 (and not 1837, as you might mistakenly believe from its logo), TWG Tea has more than 800 different blends available, ranging from red, white, green, yellow, blue and black tea – and some exclusive to SG. Must-try: the 1837 White Tea, which has a light taste but packs a fragrant punch.
As you enjoy a pot of tea, why not complete the experience with TWG Tea’s signature tea-infused desserts such as macarons or Chocolate Profiteroles (shown)?
6. Pek Sin Choon
Established in 1925, Pek Sin Choon is the oldest teahouse on these pages, now managed by fourth-generation Kenry Peh. The tea merchant still supplies Chinese tea, including jasmine and oolong, to many renowned hotels and restaurants, such as Intercontinental Singapore and the Din Tai Fung restaurants. And, if you’ve been to a bak kut teh (meat bone soup) restaurant in Singapore, there’s a high chance its tea was supplied by Pek Sin Choon. Bonus: You can also reach out to them for a tea tasting session.
Pek Sin Choon, 36 Mosque St., 059514
7. The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.
Located at ION Orchard, The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. is a cafe where you can rest your feet after hours of shopping. Plus, its sleek and modern decor serves as a beautiful #ootd backdrop that will jazz up your Instagram feed while you enjoy a cup of tea and tea-infused desserts with your partner. If you’re looking for a cold beverage, try their tea mocktails, or if you fancy green tea, its matcha will not disappoint.
The 1872 Clipper Tea Co., #B4-07 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, 238801
8. Yixing Xuan Teahouse
Another tea merchant and restaurant, Yixing Xuan Teahouse is a quiet reprieve located in the CBD area along Tanjong Pagar Road. They have two kinds of tea appreciation workshops (upwards of $48 per pax if you’re coming in a party of two), with varying options of premium tea. accompanied with five types of dim sum. After that, you can purchase a selection of affordable and premium tea including ginseng oolong, da hong pao and bi luo chun.
Yixing Xuan Teahouse, 78 Tanjong Pagar Rd., 088499
9. Camellia茗岩 Tea Bar
For all you Easties out there, Camellia茗岩 Tea Bar is the place to go. Located at Katong Square, it focuses on loose-leaf teas grown and harvested from Wuyi Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in China, which is said to have more than 700 sub varieties. To help you enjoy the intricacies of its tea selections, Camellia has various tea workshops to get you acquainted with this art form and way of life. Book via its website.
Camellia茗岩 Tea Bar, 88 East Coast Rd., Katong Square, #01-08, 428788
Can’t get enough of the rich, bitter taste of Japanese green tea, or matcha? Matchaya will be your jam. As the name suggests, it specialises in matcha and has two outlets – one upcoming in Paragon and the other at The Cathay. It also has desserts such as cake rolls and soft-serve ice-cream, as well as other tea flavours including houjicha (a type of Japanese roasted tea) and royal milk tea.
By Ho Guo Xiong, October 2019 / The Finder, Issue 302, March 2020 / Updated by Willaine G. Tan, February 2021 / Photos: Courtesy of restaurants or from its Facebook page.
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