A friend’s friend (let’s call him Daniel) extended an invitation for me to have tea at Momo & Moomoo, a new cafe set up by Carrie and Kee Guan, the people from Tea Bone Zen Mind, along with another partner, Victor. David, a hardcore tea hobbyist (he even co-wrote a Tea Manual for Tea Bone Zen Mind), had heard about how much I like the drink and thought it’d be nice for us to well, talk tea. I’ve always been a fan of Tea Bone Zen Mind – their 茶叶蛋 (tea egg) is, in my opinion, the best in Singapore. More importantly, there’s a good balance of being embracing and adventurous while still having a respectful and traditional approach towards tea. In Momo & Moomoo, that essence still remains – but things feel fresher and livelier, and there’s also a new bubble tea menu, which I think is a great strategy to get more young people into this place.
This meeting came at the right time. My mind was in a rather fuzzy state after pulling a couple of late nights and the first thing I did was to order a Gyokuro, a premium grade of Japanese green tea, to clear my head. (Studies have shown that L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea, has calming properties.) It was served in this lovely set and the service staff gently explained to me the refilling procedure – apparently I have been putting way too little leaves and way too much water with my Japanese teas back home.
I’m glad to have met a like-minded tea hobbyist in David – he loves tea history (he is almost encyclopedic) and believes that tea rituals shouldn’t become such an anal/high-brow practice that only “a chosen few” are privileged enough to partake of. His take: pick up the processes which help you in making better tea e.g. warming the pot and cups so the temperature of the brew remains constant. But all the prancing and swishing about that sometimes accompanies certain tea ceremonies to make things look more exotic? Nah.
Later, Carrie showed us around the Tea Bone Zen Mind store upstairs stocked with gorgeous teaware; some pieces are even customized by Carrie herself. She also sells the tea blends served in the Momo & Moomoo cafe and explained how she uses actual fruit to flavour the teas as opposed to the conventional approach of adding flavoured oils. The result is subtler yet fresher and more authentic blends. What tea do I recommend? Their Earl Grey is really something special – do get Carrie or one of the staff there to tell you the story behind its unique alchemy (don’t want to spoil the surprise for you!)
Many thanks to my friend Jill for arranging this insightful meeting!
Momo & Moomoo is at 43 Middle Road, Tel: 6333-5400
Tea Bone Zen Mind has since shifted to 20 Hoot Kiam Road, Tel: 6334-4212