I don’t think it is a coincidence that the first kind person who invites me over for tea through this blog is someone from Tea Pal, the lifestyle arm of Nam Wan, a tea family business that has been around in Singapore since 1906. The tea pal in person is Zi Zhao – he just joined his family business after graduating not too long ago, and is fervently passionate about Chinese tea and its traditions. I learned a lot from him!
We had some really good tea throughout the conversation:
- Meng Ding Yellow Tea: A light tea to get warmed up – my take is that yellow tea is a nice in-between green and white tea and is definitely something to try if you haven’t sampled it yet.
- Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy): It had the lovely in-depth layering of floral, then leafy, then fruity notes which I love in premium Chinese oolongs. Zi Zhao is a descendant from the founders of Tieguanyin tea, so he really, really hopes this tea gets an image boost. He told us that Tea Pal has an eco-organic Tieguanyin range which I think is a great concept as tea drinkers become more discerning and increasingly concerned about pesticide issues.
- Mango Oolong: A fun tea that is a hit with the tourists. What I like is that the mango essence used has a really natural, subtle taste and complements the floral notes of the oolong. Can imagine it going well with a cream puff.
- Golden Shoots Pu Er: Really smooth and tasted more woody than soily (which is how most ‘shou’ pu er usually tastes). Apparently, it is precioussssssssss. I was amazed that the flavour was still so rich even after 6-7 brews!
And the history geek in me did several cheerleader flips when Zi Zhao told me that the two tea canisters at the top of this tea display (see picture above) was given by Lim Keng Lian to his family. Some context: Mr Lim was like a tea community leader of sorts back in those days in Singapore, and given that I’d just talked about him at the tea talk last week, it was nice seeing his artefacts (you know, the history come to life kind of thing).
If you’d like to get a taste of what the Chinese tea ceremony is like, you can look for Christine at their MBS store. She is a lovely, graceful tea-loving lady who’d be more than happy to do a brewing demonstration for you.
- Marina Bay Sands (L1-32)
- Raffles City (B1-48)