5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur


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5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 20th, '11, 16:53

In Kuala Lumpur Chinatown on Jalan Sultan is a shop that I have frequented before - Evergreen - an attractive commercially aware teashop with very nice teaware, and some nicely packages teas, that sadly seem to be no more than commercial quality.

It is part of the "5 Elements" building complex and fronts on to the main street. As you face it from across the street Evergreen is on the right, the 5 Elements hotel entrance is on the left and between is an entrance to what I took to be office buildings, until I was better informed this year.

This year when I returned the pavement facade, and hotel coffee shop had all been given an impressive facelift and everything looked far superior to previous years. I commented on the upgrade in a favourite tea haunt of mine to be told that inside the middle was in fact a mall on several floors and for years few of the rooms had been taken, but a new owner had taken over with verve and all the lots were now occupied - including about 10 teashops, 3 of which were highly recommended to me.
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Da Hong Pao Teashop- 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan.

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 20th, '11, 16:59

Downstairs, behind Evergreen are a couple of teashops, 1 of which was recommended

Image

Now almost all the staff in all the tea shops that I visit are ethnic Chinese, yet they all refer to "Da Hong Pao" as the "the Chinaman's shop" the difference being that they were all born in Malaysia and the owner of this shop was born and bred in Fujian, the name of the shop gives a not too subtle indication that the shop specialises in Da Hong Pao tea.

There were 5 grades of DHP available all nicely packaged in tins.
There were 2 charming young Chinese Girls running the store on my first visit who spoke very very few English words. There was also a tourist couple from Czech Republic trying to find out a little about Chinese tea, so I ended up as a middleman explaining a few things about tea.

He was very impressed with Wuyi Yan Cha and expected it to be his favourite, she wanted something a little greener. I told them about teachat and they said they would sign up when they returned home, I have not seen any new Czeck members yet.

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the girls quietly attended to our requests - when they understood - and brewed us some tea from sample tins.

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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 20th, '11, 17:30

There were 5 grades of Da Hong Pao, I sampled 3 of them and bought 2 tins the 2nd best (2nd costliest), and 3rd best - both enjoyable in slightly different ways, the 2nd best certainly had a more complex layering of flavours, and a mineral element but our communication skills did not allow me to discover any more detail.

There were no unopened new tins of the top grade Da Hong Pao- sob - No sample tin available to try. Apparently only the Chinaman was allowed to open a tin of this tea for customers.

I determined to return when the owner was in, satisfied with my 2 purchases, and a small packet of 1986 Fujian Oolong - no more detail about this.

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I browsed around the shop examining cabinets full of Yixing teapots.

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looking at all the Teo Chew stoves that the Chinaman brewed his tea on!

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and some antique tea canisters which were priced a little too highly for me to purchase.
Last edited by Herb_Master on Feb 20th, '11, 17:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 20th, '11, 17:46

You may have noticed there is only 1 girl in the photo, I returned to the shop 2 weeks later, there was still no Chinaman, no other customers and just the 1 girl - it was still only the 10th day of the Chinese New Year - at least the shop was open.

(All the photos were taken on my 2nd visit, I was too busy on the 1st visit to take my camera out)

I took the plunge and bought 2 Celadon teacups from a set similar to one that Chua owns.

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they were here


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before I selected them for purchase, alongside my notebook and 4 packets of 1986 Fujian Oolong.

The packet that I had purchase on my first visit, I had persuaded some friends in my favourite teashop to try - Ah Ming the owner was very polite and brewed it and said it was good, then produced from his own shop some late 1980's Tie Luo Han - Singapore stored and packaged.

A good friend came in (Scott) and immediately pounced on 4 packs of the TLH, as did I!

Scott said the 1986 Fujian Oolong was good for the price - but more importantly I enjoyed it very much - hence my return to Da Hong Pao shop for 4 packets.

I asked Scott what he thought of the TLH a few days later - he said "Not bad but it could do with a few more years aging!" - From the twinkle in his eye, I think he was joking.


Still no opportunity to sample the top price DHP, and already spent heavily during my 3 weeks, so paid with a credit card
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Chip » Feb 22nd, '11, 02:37

H_M, I have been eagerly and anxiously following your exploits! Thanks for taking us along for the ride, especially since many of us will never make it to KL, Malaysia! :mrgreen:
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby the_economist » Feb 22nd, '11, 02:42

love your KL posts! Especially since KL is within striking distance for me once a year :)
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby auhckw » Feb 22nd, '11, 03:56

I should probably start a documentary on this too :) but being a local, some people may not like us to be taking photos like this of their shops.
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 22nd, '11, 07:38

On my first visit I did not take any photographs - :(

Even worse I did not take any photographs of the other 2 recommended shops in the 5 Elements mall. :oops:

On the first floor directly across from the top of the escalator is the shop of Hiew Yee Choy - Tung Ting Tea centre -

Hiew was alone when I entered his smallish cramped lot and he welcomed me and quickly started brewing me some Shui Hsien which was more than pleasant in itself, though the well used and stained cha hei and teacups with escaping leaf from the pot on the rims seemed a little offputting at first.

At my favourite teashop Ah Ming is Chinese moslem and they are known for their fastidious approach to cleanliness, at every moment of the tea ritual there is an accompanying act of wiping, dabbing, tidying and the shops are clean, neat and well ordered. Some of the other shops concentrate on the ritual itself where the initial filling and emptying of cups is all that is required to ensure sanitary drinking vessels.

The tea was good and by the 4th brew I was relaxed and really enjoying it, but Shui Hsien was not what my visit was all about - I enquired about other (Wuyi) varietals and was soon enjoying Qi Dan, Da Hong Pao, Rou Gui and others including 2009 "Pu Jin Tien" (Can't see the Sky)? and 2007 "Zhuan Yong Hong" (Top Red Scholar)

.

A gentleman came into the shop greeted Hiew and I warmly and sat down to enjoy the tea.

He conversed with me at length and his whole manner and demeanour seemed noble and learned, whilst being polite and graceful. The gentleman left after about 25 minutes and Hiew informed me that he was one of Malaysias most famous artists

Cheng Haw Chien
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/designart/chineseart/cheng/htmls/bio.htm
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/designart/chineseart/cheng/htmls/moon.htm

I certainly enjoyed being in his company, it seems that once a month he comes to Hiew to restock on Chinese Tea.

One item that caught my attention was a small Zhuni Yixing that Hiew used for one of our teas, he had another for sale. It was mid to late 80's mined Zhuni, commissioned for a Hong Kong teashop around 1992.

I HAD to buy 1 :lol: along with some 2008 "Da Hong Pao" and another which I have lost my notes for and the canister only shows chinese characters :oops: :(
Photo of teapot to be shown much later.
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Feb 22nd, '11, 08:32

At the top of the escalator on the 2nd floor just to the right along the corridor is the lot occupied by Goh Hui Ling - Qing Xin Tea Art.

This is a very small narrow shop with Mr Goh seated behind the table at the window, and there is not much to show in the way of sales or marketing, Mr Goh works soley by reputation, and his reputation is that he provides practically the best Yan Cha in KL,

With a slightly messy brewing style like Hiew, he brewed cup after cup for me telling me not to rush or worry whether I was buying or not - he was there to lead me along the path of his teas and there was no need to buy.

If I wanted to learn he was willing to lead me! :D

It was mainly DHP and Shui Hsien 2010 - he gets the current crop in around June and sells out of most of them before Christmas :( I was there late January and his stocks were low. :(

There was a young female from another tea shop in when I arrived and she was the catalyst for most of the early conversation. It turned out she was a customer/friend (most customers become friends in these tea shops :D ). After she left the conversation became more intermittent between sips of tea, with facial expressions of contentment from mr Goh and expressions of discovery and intrigue from me :lol:

Another couple came in and began enjoying some Anxi TGY at the other side of Mr Goh's table. A glance at my watch showed that I was late for a lunch date - and apologising to Mr Goh for having to leave he reminded me to come back for my 2nd Lesson :shock:

- - -

I returned before the end of CNY fortnight and the shop was closed.


Tip - CNY fortnight is not the best time for tea vacations

Tip - visit Mr Goh between July and October when his shop will be fully stocked :D
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby wenpin » Feb 22nd, '11, 10:31

Thanks for the great report, Herb_Master!

Assiduously taking notes for when I am next back in KL :twisted:

It does seem that the tea culture is much more vibrant and alive than here in Singapore.
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby auhckw » May 7th, '11, 10:49

First Oolong marathon adventure...

Went to 4 of the shops:-
-Q-Xiang
-Da Hong Pao
-Goh Hui Ling - Qing Xin Tea Art
-Evergreen

Tasted:-
12 Wuyi Oolong

I am starting to like Wuyi Oolong... Da Hong Pao shop seems to have a few I liked, but I didn't buy it yet as I'm unsure.

Only bought this:-

Evergreen - Chen Nian Shui Xian Extra Old (1992)

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As this is quite old, very obvious smell of 'Yao wei' (Herb), and taste a bit like herb too. They said if I were to brew this in 'teo chew' style, it will be very obvious.

Will try this at home soon, and if good... will stock up :)
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » May 10th, '11, 18:23

auhckw wrote:First Oolong marathon adventure...

Went to 4 of the shops:-
-Q-Xiang
-Da Hong Pao
-Goh Hui Ling - Qing Xin Tea Art
-Evergreen

Evergreen - Chen Nian Shui Xian Extra Old (1992)


Glad you made it :D

It is quite a concentrated collection of very different enterprises.

Evergreen, opening out onto Jalan Sultan is very obviously a COMMERCIAL enterprise, I have never been totally won over by any of their teas :(
But the staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and I find each visit a rewarding experience. The first year (3 plus years hence) I bought tea, the tins are nice, but it is the tea inside that counts rather than the packaging, whilst pleasant drinking it does not exercise ones faculties. What I do love about Evergreen is their Tea Accessories, whilst not cheap (nor over expensive) they have items that are not found in most Tea Shops. I love gazing through the windows before they open at all their Tea Trays. I like the fact that they sell Pewter canisters from cheaper producers than Royal Selangor. 2 Visits ago I bought Tea Cups, Pitchers and a few other items, this year I bought a ceramic mini tea tray and a gas fired Kettle boiler, that takes Ronson Gas cartridges but as of yet have not bought any gas in the UK (they won't let you take it on airoplanes these days :lol: )

Da Hong Pao - was the Chinaman in or just one or two of his girls?
Did you see the Celadon that you bought elsewhere? How did the price compare? You must have tried some of their DHP?, but did not buy any?

Goh Hui Ling - Qing Xin Tea Art
I imagine that is the one that I call Mr. Goh's in my memory, :oops: referring back to my post I see that I called it the same.

He has quite a reputation for being an expert on Oolong but on my visit he was low on stocks, had any 2011 items arrived when you were there?
He gets lots in by Mid year, but starts to sell out in November and december. He had a very laid back manner and was more than happy to pass on his knowledge, but language difficulties, other customers, and my urgent appointment prevented me from taking advantage.

I did not visit Q Xiang - can you recommend it? similar name to Mr. Goh's?

I see you did not make it into Tung Ting, I loved it in there - like Mr Goh and unlike Da Hong Pao and Evergreen I was drinking tea with the 1 man owner, tea lover, tea buyer and researcher and he has a charming manner!

I hope you like your
Chen Nian Shui Xian
but I would have preferred you to buy from one of the less commercial enterprises.
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby auhckw » May 10th, '11, 19:50

Mr Goh
-This guy is cool, doesn't talk so much. I heard his reputation too, but if i have not, his shop (more like an office cubicle space) is really not so appetizing. Though it is so small, it was crowded, barely have place to stand. His customers were quite close with him.
-I think he has some stock on Tie Luo Han 2010. Some customers where buying in big tin (2kg). It cost rm2360. I tried some, it has strong roasted taste
-He was promoting some white cups. Super oversized for me. My friend bought it and said it is very good that it makes tea smoother and less astringency /bitter
-I didnt' buy anything from him, maybe because I have not build up confidence with what I am seeing

Da Hong Pao
-The owner (chinaman) is not there. Only a chinese girl is there. Not the one in your photo. She is new there, worked for 6 months. Previously working in Qxiang
-For Celadon, they only have 1xGaiwan, 1xSmall Cup, 1xBig Cup and 1xTortoise Teapet. The ox is no longer there. Not much to see in Celadon compared to the other shop I bought mine
-For teapots, they seem to have a lot but the sales girl knows nothing about it. So skipped.
-I tried few of their own brand Oolong. Managed to try their higest grade Da Hong Pao in the shop. I like d what I have tried there, but decided not to buy on that visit. But I'm sure will be checking them out more.

Q-Xiang
-Just in front/next to Da Hong Pao
-They are famous for their Tie Guan Yin. They have their own farm. Many grades. You should try some.
-They have own brand pu. If you like smoky+strong, you should try Qxiang2003 raw (yellow print) and Qxiang2004 raw (2 lion). They do sell aged Pu in 10g samples, so you can get to buy and try them.
-I left empty handed cause I usually buy from their Q-Xiang kepong branch.

Everygreen
-Like you said, quite commercial. I feel like I'm a tourist in there. Girls were friendly.
-They are well known for their Rock Tea. So I tried their 4x Shui Sian. They have many other oolongs which I did not manage to try.
-As my friend is a frequent there, managed to get good discount off the price tag, therefore decided to buy some.


Among the shops I visit that day, I think Da Hong Pao shop's rock tea give me the best impression. I am sure going to visit them again (after I finish up my CHen Nian Shui Xian).
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby needaTEAcher » Nov 28th, '12, 08:31

I spent a fair amount of time in this building, and I highly recommend a shop in the second floor. Two actually. If you go up the escalator, immediately in front of you is a great shop to sit and sip, but not to buy. I forgot the shop name, but the master, Mr. Hiuey (sp?) is a high-level dealer, selling very pricey stuff. But if you are polite and display enthusiasm, he will give you tea and talk all day about tea and pots.

Then, leaving his shop, there are two shop to the far-left corner. The first one I didn't like so much, but the second one has some great deals. If you ask nicely, he will discount (if his wife isn't there...if she is, wait until she leaves!). I also forgot this shop name, and his name, but they always seem to be serving great Yixing hongcha, and he has a really nice selection. I got a Factory 1 pot and a 1980s pot from him for a good price, which I later verified from 2 unrelated sources as authentic. If anyone goes, have fun!!!

Also, if you can, run across the street to Golden Ocean or Golden River (something like that), just for a laugh. It's fun to walk around inside and marvel at the crap. :lol:
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Re: 5 Elements, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur

Postby Herb_Master » Dec 2nd, '12, 18:08

needaTEAcher wrote: If you go up the escalator, immediately in front of you is a great shop to sit and sip, but not to buy. I forgot the shop name,


Tung Ting
see above


I am glad you met him, he is my mentor's best friend.

The last time that I was in KL this shop was closed, while he was setting up a further outlet at "Kuan Yin Temple Jalan Maharajalela"

I am interested in knowing why you say to sit and sip but NOT to buy.
I bought a 90's Hong Kong Teashop Zhuni Shui Pin from him and some interesting Oolong. He may have transferred his teapots to the Maharajalela outlet. He has a collection of Puerh, but his Yan Cha Oolongs arrive in mid summer and may well be sold out by November. I know a few Yan Cha specialists that run out of stocks by the end of summer. They have a number of regular repeat customers and once the stocks come in they are quickly chipped away.

I don't know how to spell his name, but his friends pronounce it the same way as I pronounce 'Hugh'.
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