Traditional Chinese Tea Making (The Tea Chapter, Singapore)

The Queen has taken her tea at The Tea Chapter, Singapore, so we felt it was our patriotic duty to follow in her footsteps and sup a herbal tea with a tea master. So, if you want to know how to learn how to enjoy traditional Chinese tea making, pull up a chair, this is the blog post for you.

Tea appreciation is part of both Chinese and English cultures, but here we will learn the Chinese serene ritual of tea making, so no biscuit dunking today!

China Town of Singapore is a very distinctive area full of soulful cultural exploits. You’ll find The Tea Chapter here.

Learning how to perform traditional Chinese tea making properly was something we had booked well before we left and had looked forward to. Thanks to our enchanting ‘Tea Master’ it was a truly fun and memorable experience.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

This is the very room our Queen Elizabeth sat in to enjoy her tea. In fact many VIP’s have been, but touchingly to us, they seem particularly proud of our Queen’s visit.

The Queens table at the Tea Chapter

There are many teas to chose from, it can take awhile to get your head around them. You can also order dumplings and other Chinese delights to nibble alongside.

Reading the menu at the Tea Chapter.

We were all captivated by our Tea Master.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

He had an incredibly sweet nature and the cutest smile!

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

First thing first. Everything must be dry and neat.

Then, we learnt that you must never face the base of a vessel towards your guests. That’s very bad manners! We all practiced picking up the tiny cups with chop sticks, to empty their contents into a bowl, whilst having the base facing ourselves.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

That out the way, we all had a good sniff of the Green Tea. It really is exceptional.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

We are lucky enough to try the Ming Qian Long Jing tea which is only available for a short time each year (picked at English spring time). Only the tender young leaves are used.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

All the vessels were warmed with the water from the kettle.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

You must never use your fingers or carelessly tip the tea leaves in to the teapot. It’s the Chinese way to use a little wooden scoop that is placed gently in the bag of leaves. The bag is turned over and the scoop is filled. This way the leaves aren’t damaged. You want to have half the scoop full. Then place them in the teapot.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The water temperature is very important for if you go too hot the goodness in the tea is destroyed. For Green and White tea use water at 75 – 80 degrees. Oolong tea needs the water to be 90 degrees. Red and Black tea can take 100 degrees. Flower teas, such as Jasmine are more delicate, however, and can only take 60 degrees.

He went on to explain more (I’ll share it with you in a moment). It’s just that giggle tho’…

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

We quietly slurped our tea, which was so refreshing, with nutty hues. I could feel my skin thanking me after each small mouthful.

Drinking Chinese tea correctly

You can watch the man himself, for your self here.

He then left us to practice what we had learnt. Obviously we’ve made a hundred English builder’s tea, but this was much more considered and was tremendous fun.

Making Chinese tea

The old tea leaves were emptied into a bowl using the wooden tool.

Removing tea leaves from the teapot

So far so good.

But James maybe didn’t quite have the patience required. AND I see the bottom of the pot. How rude!

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

Fresh tea leaves are in place and they are washed with the water from the kettle. This water is then tipped away. The teapot is filled with more hot water and this is timed.

Pouring water into a teapot

The first brew should last 20 seconds (yes, really!). The second brew 25 seconds and the third brew 30 seconds. After that you need to replace the tea leaves.

A pot of brewing Chinese tea

Andy is the time keeper.

Timing a pot of brewing tea

Holding the teapot correctly is a ‘skill’. You need to secure the lid as you pour, as James demonstrates.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The tea is poured from the jug into the tiny tea cups ready to drink straight away.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The tea was very welcome. We’d spend so much time giggling and grinning we needed it’s refreshment.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

We decided to go for another fresh pot. There is something satisfying about absorbing yourself in the ritual of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. The tea is really what it’s all about.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

But we had fun with it.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

So, remember, get some quality Chinese tea hand picked by ladies with little hands.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

Wash them with the kettle water first.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

Tip the teapot without holding the side of the pot. Secure the lid.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

Make sure the temperature is perfect, for the perfect cup of nourishing tea.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

And then… Noooo! You are meant to pour the tea into a pouring jug…

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

OK I think we got away with it.

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

The Tea Chapter, Singapore

Once we were satisfied, we said our thank you’s and strolled downstairs to the store below.

Where we spotted the biggest Chinese Teapot we’d ever seen.

Giant Chinese teapot

We saluted The Queen.

The Queen drinking Chinese tea

And bought a couple of tubs of tea leaves. I feel healthier already.

A shopping bag of Chinese tea

So, whatever you do, next time you are in Singapore make your way to the Tea Chapter to learn all you need to know about Traditional Chinese tea making. Just hold back with those hob nobs.

If you can’t get to Singapore, well, you are now armed with the know how in the arts of Traditional Chinese tea  making and can crack on at home. It’s a little like meditating, except you can walk afterwards and you have a giggle too!

Tea Chapter

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The Tea Chapter



  1. Andy
    September 9, 2016 / 12:43 am

    Omg! That video took me right back! He was so colourful!! Good effort by Jamesy, but as you say, no one wants to see the bottom of his pot!! Fun post 😃👌 xxx

    • Homebody3
      September 9, 2016 / 8:13 am

      The most fun with a teapot I’ve ever had!