Singapore


Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea

Singapore

Postby Drax » Mar 13th, '13, 09:47

I'll be headed to Singapore soon for a work project -- I don't know at this point how much free time I'm going to have to explore, but I thought I'd ask if people had recommendations for tea-related avenues to explore (tea houses, shops, etc).

When I searched on the topic here, I got the feeling that SIngapore wasn't necessarily the greatest place in the area for tea. But at this stage, Singapore is all I've got. I may be headed back this summer, at which point I might be able to tack on a personal vacation to other places in the area.

In any case, I'll gladly accept any recommendations for Singapore! :D
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Re: Singapore

Postby teaisme » Mar 13th, '13, 16:48

I think there should be some decent tea spots over there

Maybe get in contact with Hobbes at the half dipper, I know he has a tea friend that lives over there, he should know
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Re: Singapore

Postby thirst » Mar 14th, '13, 16:19

What about Malaysia, which is right around the block?
(Though I’m surprised to learn that Singapore isn’t a good place for tea, with most of its population being Chinese.)
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Re: Singapore

Postby wyardley » Mar 14th, '13, 21:28

Haven't been myself, but some of the teas from the first shop mentioned here are pretty good for the price:
http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/visit/o ... own-748077
You know they're legit, because they still have a Tripod site. There's another shop listed in that list also.

A friend kindly picked me up a new-old-stock pewter tea boat from there; I think there are only a few left. Will try to post a good picture at some point.

Seconding the suggestion to also check out Malaysia for tea / teaware.
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Re: Singapore

Postby Drax » Mar 14th, '13, 21:38

wyardley wrote:You know they're legit, because they still have a Tripod site.


:lol: Indeed!

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll be able to explain better later, but I'm "stuck" in Singapore (most likely) for this first trip. I'll definitely try to wedge in an opportunity to make it to Malaysia when I do the second trip.
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Re: Singapore

Postby the_economist » Mar 14th, '13, 22:06

I've been to the shop wyardley mentioned, but as a warning, language might be an issue. If you're lucky, the guy in the video might be around and he can speak English. Otherwise, it may just be his mom (?) who can't speak English but pointing can still work.

Another shop I've been to is Time of Tea. It's more upmarket, and the business is mainly a tea-school. The owner specializes in a more gentle brewing method.

Hope you enjoy Singapore. Keep cool and eat a lot.
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Re: Singapore

Postby Teaism » Mar 14th, '13, 23:53

Teahouses in Singapore

Generally the tea culture in Singapore is at the bottom of the curve and there are also sign of interest picking up. The tea culture was downplayed when coffee culture invaded Singapore in the 90s. However in recent times, there are some interest in tea culture especially Singaporean is well traveled to Asia and inevitable expose to the tea culture there.

The tea houses in Singapore as in many other countries come in different forms. Some are good in tea, and lousy in atmosphere and vice versa.

Generally here are some shops you can consider:

Tea Chapter
9 & 11 Neil Road, Singapore 088808
6226 1917 (Tea House)
6226 3026 (Retail Shop)

Formed in early 90s, this tea house is located in the fridge of Chinatown and has a retail shop and tea house. The atmosphere and set up is traditional and nice. They have some Lin Ceramic stuff in the shop. Their tea is mid to high level. The sheng Puer is quite good and worth considering. Queen Elizabeth visited that shop when she was in Singapore. The teahouse is located at the upper floor. You can bring your tea and brew there. They charge a nominal sum to use the facility. Quite a nice atmosphere.

Chinese Tea House
200 Victoria Street
#B1-17A Bugis Junction
Tel: 63378537

Formed in late 80s, this teahouse has 4 outlets in its heyday. Now it is down to its last shop. The boss Eric is a perfectionist in tea and most of the tea has very high standard. You can buy any tea and set benchmark for what is good tea from that shop. They have from white to PuEr tea. The boss is one of the pioneers in dry stored wild sheng puer and set the trend in the late 90s, when the market was focusing on old plantation tea from big factories. The boss managed the shop once or twice a week and if you can manage to get him, he can teach you a lot about tea. He now has limited stock of tea as he is very particular on quality. Also try his yancha, which reputed to be one of the best.

Teajoy
420 North Bridge Road, #01-05 North Bridge Centre Singapore 188727
Tel: 6339-3739

A very small shop and teahouse merged into one. Their tea is mid level to high level. The boss manages the shop and they have some Taiwanese wares. They are not very proficient in English but just a nice small shop to peek into.



Chinatown
They are also quite a lot of shops in Chinatown and also in Yue Hwa supermarket. Most of the tea are from wholesale market in Fangchun, Guangzhou. The teas are mid to low level. You should try if you want to buy any tea from there. A friendly teashop is D’Art Station, which managed by the boss Mr Lee. They have 3 shops in Chinatown. The atmosphere is friendly but it is the tourist type of tea house. They have high price tea too but you should try the tea before buying.


There are still a few other teahouses but I will compile them when I have the time later.
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Re: Singapore

Postby GARCH » Apr 2nd, '13, 02:06

Teaism wrote:Chinese Tea House
200 Victoria Street
#B1-17A Bugis Junction
Tel: 63378537

Formed in late 80s, this teahouse has 4 outlets in its heyday. Now it is down to its last shop. The boss Eric is a perfectionist in tea and most of the tea has very high standard. You can buy any tea and set benchmark for what is good tea from that shop. They have from white to PuEr tea. The boss is one of the pioneers in dry stored wild sheng puer and set the trend in the late 90s, when the market was focusing on old plantation tea from big factories. The boss managed the shop once or twice a week and if you can manage to get him, he can teach you a lot about tea. He now has limited stock of tea as he is very particular on quality. Also try his yancha, which reputed to be one of the best.


I can highly recommend this tea shop, for the friendly boss and his willingness to teach :D He speaks English so no worries! I just got my first Yixing pot there yesterday and he taught me a lot of stuff. He also brewed up a 70s Puerh brick for me to taste what truly aged pu-erh tastes like. I think you might spend quite some time there as I "lost" around 2hours+ in that shop :lol:

I did buy a bag of his yancha but have not tried it yet though. I can pass you samples if you'd like some :D
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Re: Singapore

Postby Teaism » Apr 2nd, '13, 05:49

Good to hear that you have your first tea enlightenment experience. Would be nice to try the Yancha. PM me?
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Re: Singapore

Postby Drax » Apr 9th, '13, 04:20

Thanks guys. I am more optimistic that I will have time to get out and check out the area! I brought no tea with me, so maybe I will be able to pick up a pot and some tea to enjoy while I'm out here. :lol:

I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get back. And I'll be able to explain a little bit better at that point, too.
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Re: Singapore

Postby Drax » Apr 9th, '13, 04:23

Oh, and I just remembered yesterday that there's a Kinokuniya in Singapore. I about died with happiness upon remembering that. I don't think my luggage is going to fit all the books I want to buy... let alone tea. I may have to strategically weed out my luggage.... :D
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Re: Singapore

Postby OolongWang » Apr 9th, '13, 08:30

Here are 3 more places to visit for tea in Singapore:

Wang San Yan Tea Merchant
Block 531 Upper Cross Street #01-61
Singapore 050531 (Chinatown)
Tel: 6532 2707

This place sells a variety of tea leaves, including wuyishan yan cha, Taiwan high mountain tea and DanCong. They also have branches at the shopping malls VivoCity (tel: 6376 9208) and ION Orchard (tel: 6509 8805).

LongRun Tea
6 Raffles Boulevard #02-274
Marina Boulevard
Singapore 039594
Tel: 6333 4020

This place sells high quality puerh and Taiwan high mountain tea. You should try their 'gufa tanbei' 古法炭焙 because it is quite unusual. It is Taiwanese high mountain tea but produced using wuyishan yancha methods. The leaves still appear curled but the taste is rather like yancha, the smokey kind. Oxidation level is high much higher than the normal high mountain tea. I was told the shop will be shifting to Chinatown Point Basement 3 in June 2013

There is also a TenRen 天仁Tea stall in the shopping mall Liang Court in River Valley Road which sells this popular Taiwan brand. I do not have the exact address but it is located at the 3rd floor. Their LiShan is the best I have tasted but the price is also proportionate to the quality.

All the above places allow you to taste the tea before buying or not at all. There is no obligation to buy. At all these places English can be used although it may not be the mother tongue. Time can pass very fast when you are tasting tea and have some opinion to exchange.

Good luck!
.
. :lol:
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Re: Singapore

Postby Drax » Apr 20th, '13, 09:37

After much searching (apparently I am really bad at finding places here by address), I finally found the Chinese Tea Shop. Eric was in, and I spent at least 4 hours there talking and drinking tea with him and a couple of other people that dropped by.

I picked up a few items. Pictures will have to wait for awhile, because I don't have an easy way to transfer photos right now. But thanks to those who made the recommendation. I will be visiting the other places in the next couple of weeks... and hopefully I won't be spending as much at each stop, haha...
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Re: Singapore

Postby daintydimsum » Jun 14th, '13, 06:55

By the way, has anyone tried Tea Bone Zen Mind? A friend spoke quite highly. Was wondering about the quality of the teas and wares :)
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Re: Singapore

Postby Teaism » Jun 15th, '13, 03:31

I have visited the place many times since 90s. They have a lot of Taiwanese wares. The mood and atmosphere is nice. If the boss, Carrie, serve you it would be nice. Some info in the place:
20 hoot kiam road
tel : 63344212
hours :
Mon -sat 11 am -7 pm
sunday and ph closed

This is probably the 4 th time they shifted and now located in a one of an old shophouses in central area.
The tea, tea wares and atmosphere is good but some customers find the items are highly priced. I think the higher price is justifiable as the boss travel and hand picked all items. The shop is also standalone, so if you visit the place, they know you make all the effort to go there, and not happen to pass by (which also means you lose your bargaining power and not excuse not to purchase). I think generally if you are highly regarded to be a spendthrift customer, willing to pay more to find special wares and look for good atmosphere, and being well served by the boss, then it is place to go. I enjoy the place personally having been there often and treated well by the boss, but some of my tea friends are intimidated by the place and price. So it is a personal experience kind of shop.

Cheers!
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