Having a cup of tea doesn’t have to be restricted only to the morning or tea time, and it certainly doesn’t need to be served warm in a teacup or even made purely with dried leaves of the tea plant brewed in an actual pot.
In fact, the beverage is so popular and comes in so many flavours, you don’t need to be a regular tea drinker or expert to appreciate the newest of the thousands of tea blends out there. Don’t worry, keep calm and read this. Then carry on and buy yourself some of the teas suggested here. You’re welcome.
Tea aficionados would long already know of this established-in-SG brand. TWG Tea (The Wellbeing Group) can be regarded as one of the modern OG tea institutions to have popularised Asian, European and other tea varieties amongst cafe-goers here.
It’s easy to see why; TWG Tea’s cafes look classy, elegant and designed with just the right whiff of opulence, with its tea offerings numbering into a thousand since its founding in 2008. So how does one get to choose from its mountain of single-estate, fine harvest and exclusive blends?
Start with these from its popular loose leaf selection: the new-ish Destiny Tea ($27.50 per 50g), a green tea infused with passion fruit, rose, marigold and jasmine; the Singapore Breakfast Tea ($42 for 100g), a blend of green and black tea with rich vanilla and rare spices that’s made to commemorate Singapore’s 56th birthday; or the bestselling French Earl Grey ($9.75 per 50g), its fragrant classic black tea embellished with citrus fruits and French blue cornflowers.
Prefer more variety and convenience? Then look to its box sets of handsewn teabags; the Around The Globe Tea Selection ($52) offers a 30-bag assortment of classics including Royal Darjeeling, Jasmine Queen Tea and Moroccan Mint Tea. Or just take your own sweet, (tea)time and browse the selection on TWG Tea’s website or visit any of its cafes to indulge in a pot along with some of its divine baked delicacies.
As a true blue tea drinker, one should never discriminate; hence, bubble tea ought to get a mention, too, when talking about iced and cold teas. And – especially for SAFRA members – here’s one to check out since it’s found within SAFRA Tampines (the only other outlet is at Marymount Community Club).
While its selection of bubble tea is quite not as large as the bigger players, what Forbidden Tea does have on offer is equally yummy. What we love is how the artisanal bubble tea maker keeps it simple by categorising its tea-based drinks into Red Tea Series, Green Tea Series and Oolong Tea Series.
We suggest tasting the more interesting ones from each. From the Red Tea Series, the Lychee Fruit Tea (from $3.70 for a regular size) and Honey Milk Tea (from 43.90 for a regular size); Jasmine Lemonade (from $3.70 for a regular size) and Passionfruit Jasmine (from $3.90 for a regular size) from the Green Tea Series; and Honey-Lemon Rice Oolong (from $4.20 for a regular size) from the last series. Or, just pick up its signature Chrysanthemum Latte (from $4.90 for a regular size) that’s made with house-brewed chrysanthemum tea and fresh milk.
Bubble tea, not your cup of tea? Then those from its Milk Series and Coffee Series, as well as fruit shakes and its Fruity Refreshers should more than quench your thirst. Top your drinks with Golden Pearls, Orh Nee (Yam) Pearls or Honey Jasmine Jelly (from $0,80 and up) for something more to chew on.
BONUS: SAFRA members receive 10% discount at Forbidden Tea at SAFRA Tampines. Click here for more information.
What this cafe does goes beyond just serving delish food and drinks. Its team of certified tea blenders sources from and works with reputable tea farms from countries such as South Africa, Japan and India to create their blends,
Its offerings come mainly either in a box of 20 sachets or a 75g tin of loose tea leaves (from $19.90), with many familiar and palate-friendly flavours that will please tea fans of any level.
Our recommendations: the new-teas-on-the block, Mandarin Pu’ Erh (ripe Pu’ Erh tea, red dates and orange peels) and Ginseng Oolong; and the fruity Green Pearl (green grapes, apples and pineapples) and Honey Pear (white tea, dried pear, maple extract). A must-try is its very own take on the classic breakfast tea, Singlish Breakfast, made with 3 black teas and infused with lavender, chrysanthemum and orchid.
Can’t get enough? Go populist and order any of the macchiatos, milk teas, tea lattes and cold brews from its bubble tea menu (from $3.50 and up). Or, opt for its Artisanal High Tea that offers a free flow of origin teas from countries such as Kenya, Sri Lanka and China, paired with savoury bites and sweet treats such as traditional kaya toast, English buttercakes, durian mochi and biscotti brownie (price upon application).
Really, really, can’t get enough? Then try signing up for its Tea Blending Workshops ($45 for 1 pax; $85 for 2 pax), where you can get to learn all about the history and types of tea, and how to prepare a perfect cup while creating 3 unique tea blends. And, yes, you will get to taste several varieties in the session.
BONUS: SAFRA members receive 15% discount storewide at Tea Crafters. Click here for more information.