There’s nothing more relaxing than indulging in a cup of tea on your afternoon break. Other times, you just might need a bracing cup to kickstart your mornings.
If you’re sick of the usual tea flavours that everyone has heard of, you might want to check out this list. I can guaran-tea you will find these blends a refreshing change!
—Flavours From T2—
1. Singapore Breakfast
What’s our favourite breakfast food? That’s right, it’s soft-boiled eggs and kaya toast. It might be weird to have eggs in your tea, but tea that tastes like kaya toast sounds heavenly. T2 offers the Singapore Breakfast ($19 for 100g loose leaf) for those of us who love our toasted bread and kaya.
Made with puerh, genmaicha, coconut and pandan, you’ll be surprised to find real pandan and coconut bits in the blend.
The rich creamy fragrance of the tea lets you have it any way you want. I tried it cold with a dash of honey, and the honey simply lifted the pandan flavour even more. Fabi, from the tea bar at T2, recommended a twist: try it with a splash of rum. It’s definitely going on my to-try list.
2. Caramel Brownie
Who would’ve thought that dense dessert cake-like brownies would taste so good as a tea? With its strong chocolate-y aroma, I was initially wary of how the Caramel Brownie ($17 for 100g loose leaf) would taste.
Punctuated with strong notes of caramel and rich chocolate, I was glad it didn’t have an overwhelming sweet flavour as I feared. Instead, there was a subtle taste of chocolate at the back of my throat and a slightly sweet finish that lingers. It was almost like chewing on a piece of dark chocolate.
If you want a creamy, smooth dessert flavour, enjoy this with a splash of soy milk. Delicious, but guilt-free!
3. Banana Bake
A whiff of this slightly fruity and fragrant tea blend is enough to bring to mind fluffy and warm banana bread. T2’s Banana Bake ($17 for 100g) exudes the warm comfort of homemade banana bread, with the light flavour of roasted cereal.
With actual pieces of dried banana in the tea blend, the piping hot tea tastes slightly sweet. Yet the finish still has a distinctive banana fragrance. You’ll be sure to go bananas over this unique blend!
4. New York Breakfast
If you’re a pancakes-for-breakfast person, the New York Breakfast ($17 for 100g) from T2 should be your new go-to drink.
A strong black tea with a syrupy-sweet aroma that is predominantly cinnamon and honey, this tea is perfect for warming up your mornings.
The fragrant steam made me think of freshly baked stroopwafels from Dutch corner bakeries. Sweet as pancakes with a slightly acidic tang, the New York Breakfast has a mildly dry finish.
Perfect on its own, and there’s definitely no need for sugar.
5. Crème Brulee
The thought of the creamy French dessert as tea might seem kind of absurd, but T2 nails it once again with Crème Brulee ($17 for 100g loose leaf, $38 for 250g loose leaf foil packet, $41 for 250g loose leaf tin).
A whiff of the tea blend brings up a nutty flavour with hints of a biscuity aroma, and there was also the faint scent of vanilla. Much like the New York Breakfast, this tea has a fuller taste than most black teas. Instead of cinnamon, the Crème Brulee has undertones of hazelnuts.
Another excellent dessert-turned-tea, this tea blend is great as a breakfast tea, or as a leisurely afternoon pick-me-up.
6. Gunpowder Green Tea (T2)
Rich in history, the Gunpowder Green Tea ($18 for 100g loose leaf, $41 for 250g loose leaf foil packet, $44 for 250g loose leaf tin) is, in fact, a pure green tea. Its name comes from its appearance, where the leaves come in tightly curled balls that look like shot pellets. As the tea brews, the leaves unfurl beautifully.
Its beautiful golden-green colour belied its smoky flavour. Unlike most green teas which tend to taste clean and light, the Gunpowder Green Tea had more depth to it, thanks to the peaty aftertaste. This is a tea you need to savour sip by sip and marvel at the way the flavours unfold in your mouth.
T2 Teas: T2 ION, ION Orchard, #B1-13, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801 | T2 313, 313 Somerset, #01-20, 313 Orchard Road, Singapore 238895 | Tel: +65 6835 7085
—Flavours From Ette Tea—
7. Durian Lapis
Quintessentially Singaporean, the Durian Lapis tea blend is only available when you have the High Tea Set at Renku Bar and Lounge.
With an unmistakable fragrance that can only be from the king of fruits, this tea blend actually tasted more like a less intense Masala Chai.
A mix of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg made up the base of this local tea blend. Of course, the highlight of this tea is the freeze-dried durian pieces that were mixed into the blend. If you’re looking for a taste of durian that isn’t too overpowering, this subtly local blend is perfect for you.
8. No. 829, Nasi Lemak
Take a whiff of this tea blend and you’ll be struck by the familiar aroma of our nation’s favourite nasi lemak.
Just like the fragrant dish, the No. 829, Nasi Lemak ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 50g loose leaf packet, $26 for 50g loose leaf tea caddy) has a beautiful coconut rice aroma. A blend of houjicha and genmaicha lends this tea the roasted rice flavour, with a smoky edge.
A relatively light tea blend, the dried pandan and coconut flakes add a delicious fragrance that will have you craving nasi lemak in no time.
9. No. 825, Pandan Chiffon
A light and fragrant tea blend, the No. 825, Pandan Chiffon ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 35g loose leaf packet, $26 for 35g loose leaf tin) is reminiscent of the fluffy fragrant chiffon cake.
Made with a blend of roasted green tea, pandan leaves, osmanthus blossoms and cinnamon, this airy tea blend is exquisitely light on the palate, with a sweet fragrance.
Actual pandan leaves were part of the blend, so it’s no wonder the pandan fragrance was so strong! The aroma of roasted green tea also rose up upon brewing, adding more depth to this simple tea.
A pity that the osmanthus and cinnamon flavours weren’t as apparent because that would’ve been an interesting flavour profile.
10. No. 826, Mango Sticky Rice
Like the sweet Thai dessert that this tea blend is inspired by, No. 826, Mango Sticky Rice ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 50g loose leaf packet, $26 for 50g loose leaf tea caddy) fills your palate with glutinous rice goodness and fruity mango fragrance.
Made with genmaicha, black tea, mango and candied coconut bits, this tea is subtly sweet on the palate. Sniffing the tea leaves yielded the prominent fragrance of mango and coconut, while the genmaicha took a backseat.
Upon brewing, however, the roasted rice aroma became much more apparent. The roasted rice flavour of the genmaicha was punctuated with the sweetness of the mango bits and came to a subtly sweet finish.
If you’re looking for a guilt-free dessert, this tea blend could be your sweet ending.
11. No. 834, Ice Kachang
Bingsu may be in trend for awhile now, but don’t forget the bowls of ice kachang that you can get from your neighbourhood coffee shops and hawker centres. ETTE TEA presents your favourite shaved ice dessert as a dessert tea blend.
No. 834, Ice Kachang ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 50g loose leaf packet, $26 for 50g loose leaf tea caddy) is essentially a Japanese sencha blend that comes with safflower, forget-me-not-flowers, and dried grapes.
The mix of ingredients somehow added up to a faint red bean aroma, underneath the grape fragrance. What you get is something close to the dessert, but with the slight astringency of sencha. Definitely a different take on the icy local dessert!
12. No. 833, Chicken Rice
Have you ever wondered what our national favourite would taste like as a hot tea? Wonder no more, because No. 833, Chicken Rice ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 50g loose leaf packet, $26 for 50g loose leaf tea caddy) from ETTE TEA gives you chicken rice in tea form.
Hand blended with savoury kukicha, which is a Japanese tea blend with stems and stalks, the Chicken Rice blend also has lemongrass, ginger and pandan. I took a whiff and I was instantly reminded of the clear soup that comes with a plate of chicken rice.
This tea blend is definitely an acquired taste. With the slight savoury flavour, ginger aroma and faint smell of lemongrass, the resulting taste is as close to a plate of chicken rice as tea can get. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to have my chicken rice on a plate, not in a cup.
13. No. 836, Manila Mango Chiffon
The Manila Mango Chiffon ($8 for 5 satchets, $18 for 35g loose leaf packet, $26 for 35g loose leaf tin) gives you the best of both worlds. A dessert tea perfect for us mango-mad Singaporeans with the light fragrance of chiffon cakes as well.
Blended with roasted green tea, pandan leaves, osmanthus blossoms, cinnamon, and mango bits, this tea goes well with a slice of cake for your afternoon tea break.
The pandan and mango fragrance of this blend lingered long after I had swallowed the tea. However, the stronger flavours of pandan and mango overwhelmed the subtler flavours of osmanthus and cinnamon. This blend is definitely the perfect afternoon tea.
—Flavours From Luxe Teas—
14. Moscato Royale
With this tea blend from Luxe Teas, you don’t have to choose between alcohol or caffeine. The Moscato Royale ($15 for 20 silk tea bags, $12 for 40g loose leaf) combines the flavours of sweet Moscato with peach, mango and honey, all built upon a black tea base.
What hit me first with this tea blend was its sweet and fruity fragrance. I could pick out very clear peach and grape fragrances just by sniffing the tea leaves. Faint notes of green tea were present when sipping the brew, and the peach and grape flavours were quite prominent too. The light taste of honey lifted the entire blend and transformed it from simply a fruit-flavoured green tea to a pseudo-alcoholic tea blend.
Best enjoyed on its own, sans sugar. You could even try it chilled, for an even more authentic Moscato feel.
15. Tropical Sangria
Another fruity pseudo-alcoholic tea blend from Luxe Teas, the Tropical Sangria ($15 for 20 silk tea bags, $12 for 40g loose leaf) instantly puts you in the mood for a beach holiday.
Made with a black tea base, crushed pineapple, mango and coconut bits, this tea blend actually smelled and tasted more like a pina colada than sangria. Scent-wise, the abundance of fragrant fruits can make it a tad overwhelming for some.
The faint hints of coconut in the tea gave it sufficient sweetness. For the best experience, you can enjoy it straight, without sugar. Round and smooth in its finish, the mango and pineapple flavours only emerge at the end.
16. Chilean Guava
Overflowing with the taste of the tropics, the Chilean Guava ($15 for 20 silk tea bags, $12 for 40g loose leaf) contained dried bits of guava, mango and papaya, all blended with Ceylon orange pekoe leaves. The fragrance of the guava hit me first, slowly giving way to fainter traces of mango.
The tea started off slightly bitter, but gradually grew sweeter as the refreshing sweetness of guava emerged. It came to a sweet finish, with the faint fragrance of mango at the end that is delicious both hot or iced. You’ll want to try this tea with flavours that change with every sip.
What’s your favourite cuppa? Have you tried any other exciting flavours?