Image adapted from: Kittea
It’s a known scientific fact that 70% of the human body is made up of water. But I highly suspect it’s mostly tea that courses through my being, after downing cup after cup of Earl Grey first thing each morning like clockwork. Everyone has a friend who’s devoted to tea in the same way, and if you don’t – it’s highly likely that you are that friend.
When you’ve run out of gift ideas for Christmas or birthdays, you can’t go wrong getting that tea-obsessed friend (or yourself) a good packet of tea. No, we’re not talking regular kopitiam teh, nor just TWG; There are many smaller, lesser-known tea brands in Singapore that deserve recognition, many of which are homegrown:
It’s all about the positivi-tea at Collaboration Tea. Not only are their tea sachets biodegradable and eco-friendly, they also come with an assortment of inspirational quote tags. Just what you need to lift your spirits with at the start or end of a long work day!
These cute little baggies are then packed into ziplock pouches ($4.80/3 pieces, $14.80/12 pieces), which also come with similar uplifting quotes and pastel watercolour designs. You can get these pretty pouches customised as wedding favours or gifts for special occasions.
Flavours include Minty Meadows (green tea with mint and French rose petals), Genmaicha, and Passion Mansion (black tea with passion fruit and roselle).
Kindred Teas makes drinking tea a whole visual feast with their beautiful Blooming Tea ($18/8 pieces). These come in tightly rolled up balls of green tea leaves and flowers – not particularly appetising at first, until you drop them in a pot of hot water. That’s when those unassuming spheres will slowly unfurl into beautiful “underwater” floral arrangements – somewhat reminiscent of what you’d find in the Little Mermaid’s colourful coral reefs.
Image credit: Kindred Teas
For something less flamboyant, there are regular tea bags (from $18/18 pieces) and loose leaf tea (from $26) in flavours like Elder & Cream Black Tea, Genmaicha Matcha-Iri, and Rooibos Orange. All come in fuss-free airtight pastel tins for easy gifting and storage.
Image credit: @_teadora
Even those who aren’t normally sold by pretty packaging would have a tough time resisting Karel Capek’s tea, which comes in individually wrapped sachets ($2) featuring adorable woodland animals and fairytale-like characters.
The Japanese brand doesn’t have its own store here, but you can get these teas online at Teadora, the official distributor for Karel Capek in Singapore. They do hold seasonal pop-ups at Takashimaya from time to time, if you’re keen on getting a little sniff of their flavours.
They also roll out limited edition blends every so often, especially during festive periods like Halloween and Christmas. Some hot favourites this year include the Alice in Wonderland collection as well as Singapura Delight, an exclusive cherry tea unique to our sunny island.
Those who are strong on the Asian pride and can’t get enough of local delights like Chicken Rice can now down them in liquid form – thanks to Ette Tea’s unique selection of Southeast Asian and Singapore-influenced blends.
Be adventurous and go all out with the Singapore Tea Blend Collection ($65), a 4-tin set of Pandan Chiffon, Chicken Rice, Ice Kacang, and Seri Kaya loose leaf.
Image credit: @ettetea
A relatively new one to join the gang is Kebaya Blue ($8/5 pieces), created for Singapore’s 51st birthday with inspiration drawn from the nyonya kebaya. Because of the butterfly blue pea in it – along with lemongrass, lemon verbena, and bael fruit – this aromatic tea has a fetching blue hue.
Image credit: @patrickdeveyra
Address: 333 Kreta Ayer Road, #03-25, Singapore 080333
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10.30AM-6PM | Sat: 10.30AM-4PM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 9012 7600
With its sweet English rose design, The Tea Story’s products will bring a touch of elegance and poshness to even the laziest afternoon tea sessions at home. All the leaves used are handpicked to create flavours like Hawaiian Hibiscus, Spiced Appletini, and Jasmine Creme Brulee.
They have the standard loose leaves and tea bags, but what stands out are their Tea Wands. Simply stick them in your cup of hot water, and wait for your morning fuel to brew. These tubes conveniently double up as stirrers, so you won’t have to use a spoon – perfect for drinking in the office.
Image credit: The Tea Story
If you happen to be a crazy cat lady and a crazy tea lady (or man), Kittea will have both obsessions covered – each of their light, fragrant blends are inspired by a different cat breed and its personality traits.
Image credit: @mykittea
Their tea tins ($8) are most popular for obvious reasons – those feline designs are simply too cute! But they do have tea bags ($14/12 pieces), as well as tea tubes ($6) – loose-leaf tea uniquely presented in stoppered test tubes – which are convenient for travel.
Image credit: @mykittea
Kittea operates online, but they also stock up at stores like Naiise and Meomi Cat Cafe. Check out their full list of stockists here.
Just shopping at 1872 Clipper Tea is an experience in itself – loose leaf teas are scattered out in little dishes for you to smell, and there are many freshly brewed pots of hot tea for sampling. If you’re wondering about the name, yes, the brand truly did start out in the 19th Century, and is Singapore’s oldest tea brand.
Image credit: @1872clippertea
Variety is the name of the game here, with over 50 types of tea to choose from in both loose leaf and tea bag form from $16. Flavours include fruity ones like Cranberry Sunrise, full-bodied Masala Chai, and the calming tisane, Bed of Roses.
Packaged tea isn’t all you can get here. Sit down for a little breather and sip on one of their refreshing Iced Tea Mocktails ($4.70), or try some of their tasty Tea Puffs ($3.20) and Chiffon Cakes ($6.80). These are exclusively available at their ION Orchard flagship outlet, which you can read more about here.
Check out our article on more gift-worthy items at 1872 Clipper Tea here.
Coffee might have a ginormous fan base, but tea has its fair share of addicts too. The beauty of tea is that there’s a type for every mood, and any time of the day – strong black tea to jolt yourself awake in the morning, relaxing floral tisanes to help give a good night’s sleep, and zesty fruit blends to pair with pastries for afternoon tea.
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