Like wine appreciation, there is an art behind tea appreciation. I accompanied Maureen sometime back to visit Tea Chapter which is located among the row of shop houses along Neil Road. The ground floor is their merchandise area selling a good varieties of tea as well as tea appreciation wares while the upper floors are tea chambers while friends can gather for some tea and snacks.
Chinese tea is generally categorised into black tea (黑茶), oolong tea (乌龙茶), green tea (绿茶), yellow tea (黄茶), white tea (白茶) and floral tea (花茶).
Basically there are also 2 type of tea set which is used to brew different type of teas because of the temperature. The Yixing clay teapot or commonly know as purple sand (紫砂) is used for brewing black tea (黑茶) or oolong tea (乌龙茶) that needs higher temperature (85C-100C).
Silver Tea Leaf (百毫银针)
Imperial Huangjin Gui(御用黄金桂)
Da Hong Pao (大红袍)
Subject to the different climate and soil conditions, oxidation and roasting process, a variety of tea leaves with its signature taste, fragrance and aroma are thus made. We got to try 3 types of tea namely Silver Tea Leaf (百毫银针), Imperial Huangjin Gui (御用黄金桂) and Da Hong Pao (大红袍).
Very interestingly, each tea leaf has a legendary story behind it. Take for example the Da Hong Pao (大红袍), it was about a top scholar who protected the tea tree with his red robe in a stormy night. He was back to the temple to express his thanks to the abbot who took care of him when he fell sick on his way to the imperial exam. The abbot brewed a cup of tea for him to drink and he soon recovered. Eventually took his exam and became top scholar that year.
Besides the art of tea brewing, we were also learnt about postures and the ways of hold the tea cup between male and female. Above pictures are the way how the male should be holding the tea cup.
And above is how the female holds the tea cup.
As you can read, I am not well versed in the art and culture of tea appreciation. If you are interested in tea appreciation, you can drop by tea chapter to learn from their masters. Tea Chapter is also a quiet and cozy place to meet and catch up with friends over a cup of tea and some snacks.
9-11 Neil Road
Tel: +65 62261175/1917
Nearest MRT: Outram (EW Line, CC Line, NE Line), Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)
Sun-Thu: 11am - 1030pm
Fri-Sat, Eve of PH & PH: 11am - 11pm
Mon-Sun: 1030am - 1030pm
1) Alight at Outram MRT station. Take Exit H. Walk to Kreta Ayer Road. Turn right onto Kreta Ayer Road and walk to the end. Cross the road and turn left onto Neil Road. Journey time about 20 minutes.
2) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Orchid Hotel. At Orchid Hotel turn right onto Tanjong Pagar Road. Cross the road to the opposite side of Tanjong Pagar Road. Walk along Tanjong Pagar Road to Duxton Hill. From Duxton Hill turn right onto Duxton Road. At the end of Duxton Road turn left onto Neil Road. Journey time about 23 mins.