Afternoon tea is becoming increasingly popular in hotels and cafés in Singapore. If you’re looking for an indulgent way to spend an afternoon indoors, check out the many afternoon tea options available: from traditional tea sets to Sky High Tea atop Sands SkyPark.
If you prefer a herbal tisane to a caffeinated tea beverage, many cafés serve a range of herbal and floral infusions such as chamomile, rose and rooibos. You may also want to try Chinese herbal teas. Chinese Medical Halls, which are shops selling traditional Chinese medicine products, are the best places to start an exploration of herbal teas from ginseng to water chestnut.
An authentic Chinese teahouse experience is another fascinating way to explore Asian heritage in Singapore. Many tea rooms offer a high quality brew that you won’t get from tea bags, and some conduct educational workshops about the rich culture and history of Chinese tea. Tea is such an important part of Chinese culture that weddings traditionally feature a tea ceremony, where the bridal couple serves tea to their elders as a sign of respect.
For something uniquely local, try local tea, or teh. Teh tarik is probably the most fascinating of them all. Tarik is the Malay word for ‘pull’, which is the name given to the action of pouring tea quickly (and often quite dramatically) from one cup to another to cool it rapidly and create a frothy surface.
You shouldn't miss out on a cup of masala chai, the spiced Indian version of tea. A strong brew infused with spices and made with lots of milk and sugar, masala chai is found in most Indian restaurants in Singapore and is the ideal way to wash down a plate of afternoon samosas.
For those on the go who want something quick and cool, try bubble tea: flavoured tea with milk and chewy tapioca pearls known as ‘bubbles’. Bubble tea stalls are easily found in shopping malls and the sweet, cold drink is a great way to get refreshed after a humid afternoon of exploring Singapore’s sights and sounds!