Living in a modern city like Singapore, I occasionally hoped that time could be reversed. I longed to experience the past, the Chinese heritage and culture that seems non existent these days.
The fascination is what has led me to visit Tea Chapter with my friends. Known as the oldest teahouse in Singapore, Tea Chapter is located along Neil Road, Chinatown.
Upon stepping into the three-story shophouse, the oriental charm, wooden furnishing, and zen ambiance filled me with excitement and curiosity. There were 3 different types of seatings namely Japanese, Korean and Oriental. We went for the standard Japanese seatings where we sat on floor cushions as a top-up of $5.00 would be required for other seatings.
There were 2 menus, one for food which are basically light bites while the other was a tea menu. Since we already had lunch, we just went for their tea this time. After a discussion of preference for tea, we selected our choice based on the aroma and color mentioned under the tea’s summary.
As we waited for our choice of tea, Oolong – Rou Gui, we went around to take some photos of the heritage shophouse. There were definitely many Instagram-worthy corners and walkways to ”transport” you back in time.
We don’t considered ourselves a hardcore tea lover. We are still learning to appreciate Chinese tea.
Our tea set arrived and the tea connoisseur patiently explained to us the process. From rinsing the tea leaves once to taking a whiff of the aroma from the cylindrical cups. There is a difference in aroma after the cup is cooler from rubbing between our palms.
We did the following rounds ourselves as we chatted and played mobile games. There was WIFI but it was laggy and note that there is a 2 hours time limit to chill around.
Overall it was an experience that is definitely unique in Singapore. It was unlike Royal Eternity Tea House which offers a different concept of space rental with tea appreciation. Tea Chapter also has a retail store at level 1 where tea leaves and tea wares are for sale. A great place for Chinese tea lovers to shop or to purchase gifts for tea connoisseurs!