The first floor of Tea Chapter is a showroom for delicate gaiwans and intricate clay pots.
Some pieces are available individually, others by the set.
British Tea Room
You can take your tea on the second floor in the British room, with marble-topped tables partitioned by hanging curtains for privacy.
Porous, unglazed clay pots are used for just one type of tea, and over time they absorb and rebound that tea's flavor, while also smoothing out its texture. Truth be told, they're not the best brewing vessels for evaluating tea on its own, but if you're presented with the opportunity to drink a properly seasoned clay pot-infused tea, go for it. To try the tea purely on its own merits, ask for a gaiwan, a porcelain bowl with a lid used as a strainer, as your vessel. More fun: try clay pot and gaiwan brewing side by side. The difference in flavor and texture is fascinating.
Tea Appreciation Ceremony
The tea tasting at Tea Chapter is less about ritual than kicking the tea's tires and getting a sense of how it tastes over multiple steepings.
Warming the Pot
Before any tea is brewed in the pot, it's warmed both inside and out with freshly boiled water. This keeps the brewing temperature of the pot more consistent, making it less likely for the tea to undergo thermal shock and release bitter compounds into the brew.
The tall narrow cups are used only to take in the aroma of the fist steeping, which is discarded while a more flavorful one brews in the pot. The first steeping opens the leaves and brings out hints of the tastes, smells, and textures to come.
Agar jellies, cookies, and hardcooked eggs are all made with tea. The eggs are a house specialty, rich with cassia and star anise. A delicate pu ehr jelly topped with evaporated milk, taken in alternating bites with a matcha tea cookie, was the most refreshing, stomach-soothing dessert I enjoyed during my trip to Singapore.
Semi-partioned booths with sunken tables.
It's not all serious at Tea Chapter. Case in point: these guys.