Yixing Xuan Teahouse sits behind one of the picturesque old-fashioned shop-house fronts in the heart of Chinatown, offering some of the finest Chinese tea and appreciation classes to those who want a taste of days gone by. With around 25 years’ experience in the business you are in good hands. Staff members are welcoming and will give you a much deeper understanding of the history and culture of tea drinking and its ceremonies. This teahouse is so well-regarded that even Queen Elizabeth II popped in for a cuppa during her trip to Singapore in 1991.
A few minutes from Buddha’s Temple of the Tooth, Yixing Xuan is easy to spot. Painted bright green and white, it is one of the prettier houses along the Tanjong Pagar Road. The closest MRT stop is at Chinatown, and it is worth walking the ten minutes from the station, as there is so much to see in this part of town. Yixing Xuan Teahouse is split into two; a restaurant on one side and a shop and the tea appreciation room on the other side. The team makes you feel very welcome and a visit here is one of those experiences that people want to repeat; many of the customers are regulars bringing visitors here so they too can experience the easy charm of Vincent Low and his team. The teahouse is open every day, from 10:00 till 21:00 Mondays to Saturdays, closing a little earlier at 19:00 on Sundays.
To fully understand the knowledge of the staff at Yixing Xuan Teahouse you can join one of their appreciation classes. There are three different packages, depending on how much time you have to spare (and how hungry you are). The basic package lasts 45 minutes and includes free-flow tea. It is fascinating to hear all about the process of bush to beverage, tips on how to make the most of tea and hints of what to look for in the perfect cup, since my visit I have become a fan of white tea, known for its many health benefits.
The house tea is called ‘Beauty of the East’ and unlike many varieties of Chinese tea that I have tried it was not bitter as I expected. Chinese tea drinking is such a communal activity that there is a great buzz in Yixing Xuan teahouse. The restaurant makes great dim sum and a decent variety of Chinese dishes including the extraordinary tealeaf chicken – a tasty way to extend your experience. A visit to Yixing Xuan Teahouse is worth a visit when you visit Singapore’s Chinatown; there is no better way to round up your tour of this cultural enclave than with a fresh pot of tea, made in the tradition of the families who have been established in Singapore for 200 years. Be sure to browse the shop, there are plenty of accessories so you can enjoy the art of tea making at home.
Yixing Xuan Teahouse
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun & Public Holidays 10:00 - 19:00
- MRT: Chinatown
- Address: 30/32 Tanjong Pagar Road