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4 best Chinese teahouses in the city

By Melanie Lee
27 August 2012 3:06 PMUpdated 14 Jan 2013

4 best Chinese teahouses in the city

Executive Tea Connoisseur He Zheng Hong performing the tea ceremony at Tian Fu Tea Room

The best way to appreciate tea is to go back to its Chinese roots ― and what better way to do that than to slowly savour top-notch brews at charming teahouses? There aren’t many of these places in Singapore, and we’ve sifted out the best ones for you. After a top quality brew at one of these teahouses, supermarket tea bags and bubble tea just won’t cut it anymore.

 

A peaceful tea oasis in a busy shopping area | Photo credit:
LongRun Tea (Singapore) Pte Ltd

LongRun Tea Room
More than 10 types of
puer tea
Tucked in a corner of LongRun Tea’s retail store in Marina Square, this gem of a tea room is easy to miss. But don’t overlook it. It offers a wide variety of teas, with puer, a post-fermented Chinese tea, being their specialty. This tea brand owns three puer tea factories in Yunnan, and is absolutely stringent about quality control. There are 11 types of puer on the tea menu, with prices ranging from $8 to $12 per cup. They also serve affordable plates of pastries and sandwiches ($4.80–12.80). If you’re a big puer fan, you could even join one of their tea appreciation workshops where you learn how to make a puer cake.
LongRun Tea Room | Address: #02-274, Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard | Tel: 6333 4020 | Opening hours: Daily 11am
-10pm


An oriental setting at Tea Chapter | Photo
credit: Tea Chapter Trading Pte Ltd

Tea Chapter
Quaint teahouse setting adds a novelty factor

At the largest teahouse in Singapore, customers can choose from a variety of cosy tea settings such as Korean, Japanese, Oriental and the Queen’s Seat. It’s best to come here with a small group of friends as tea is sold in 14g packages, as opposed to a cup or a pot.  After selecting your tea, you are provided with Chinese tea ceremony utensils and hot water, while staff brief you on tea brewing techniques. Snacks such as tea eggs ($1), lychee tea jelly ($1.50) and oolong sweet potato steamed buns ($2 per bun) are also served. Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth II visited Tea Chapter in 1989 and drank Golden Cassia oolong tea ($20 per packet). 
Tea Chapter | Address: 9 & 11 Neil Road | Tel: 6226 1917 | Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10.30pm; Fri, Sat, public holidays and eve of public holidays 11am-11pm


Serious tea with fun interiors | Photo credit: Teyvika Pte Ltd

Teyvika
Drop in for short tea breaks

Tea lovers in the city should head to Teyvika, a modern teahouse on Amoy Street set up by two 20-somethings, James Wong and Ho Yuchang, who take their tea very seriously. While Teyvika’s chirpy, colourful setting gives off a Starbucks vibe, tea preparation here is based on Chinese tea ceremony principles. Their prototype ‘Vika Machine’ delicately brews top grade teas such as Long Jing (short $4.30; tall $5) and Bai Mu Dan (short $4.10; tall $4.80). Do try their Gao Shan Cha (short $3.90; tall $4.60), a high-altitude Taiwanese oolong with floral notes and a light creamy finish.
Teyvika | Address: 97 Amoy Street | Tel: 6423 9767 | Opening hours: Mon-Thu 8am-9pm; Fri 8am-10pm; Sat 10am-10pm
(This teahouse has since closed down)

 

Puer with pan-fried dumplings and
pancake with crispy floss | Photo credit:
Dou Hua Restaurants Pte Ltd

CRITIC’S PICK Tian Fu Tea Room
Best for food and tea pairings

Each Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant in Singapore comes with a Tian Fu Tea Room, a fully dedicated Chinese tea room serving over 30 types of teas. Plush, contemporary Oriental settings make it the perfect place to relax with some tea before or after a meal. Its Imperial High Tea set at $20 per person is the perfect way to get acquainted with Chinese tea culture. You are served three premium teas that are paired with nine Sichuanese and Cantonese dim sum dishes. This customised menu, which is updated regularly, is conceptualised by Tian Fu’s Executive Tea Connoisseur, He Zheng Hong, a prominent tea master from Sichuan Province.
Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant (Beach Road) | Address: 7500A Beach Road, The Plaza | Tel: 6505 5722 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-9pm; high tea 2.30–6pm


The teahouse is integrated to its retail
store | Photo credit: Melanie Lee

Yixing Xuan Teahouse
Best for serious Chinese tea drinkers

While a popular dim sum haunt for the Tanjong Pagar lunchtime crowd, Yixing Xuan is also a down-to-earth teahouse known for bringing in premium quality Taiwanese oolongs such as Beauty of the East and Dong Ding. A round of tea here costs between $15 and $40, and this can serve up to three people. Some regulars buy a 100g box of tea from the store and keeping it at the Tea Bar for future drinking sessions. The owner, Vincent Low, is knowledgeable and patient, and will give personalised tea lessons (starting from $20 for a 45-minute session) if you’d like to know more about Chinese tea.
Yixing Xuan Teahouse | Address: 30/32 Tanjong Pagar Road | Tel: 6224 6961 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun & public holidays 10am-7pm

 

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Melanie Lee is a freelance writer who appreciates how her work unleashes her ‘inner kaypoh’, which often leads to fascinating encounters and experiences. She has written for Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, Singapore Tatler and Makansutra. .

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