Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Singapore Chinese Tea House

Chinese Tea House was a tea appreciation company established in the 1980s in Singapore. The name reminded people of the famous movie of 1980s entitled Tea House which was produced by China. The movie was about a series of events that happened in China through story telling that centred on tea drinking and its culture. It was a very good movie with good actors and a good story line. The owner of Chinese Tea House was quick to register the company with the authority using the same name of the movie TeaHouse.

The company was formed by a group of 20 people who were tea drinking enthusiats. They were all close friends who appreciated tea drinking and associated tea culture. Initially, the company was located in a unit in a shopping centre in down town area. It offered tea drinkers a wide selection of chinese tea and customers were charged on a per head basis. There was no restriction on time and customers could spend the whole morning appreciating Chinese tea using the tea ware provided by the company. Besides providing tea appreciation sessions to the public, the company also sold a variety of Chinese tea and tea ware, books and megazines and other sourvenirs. During the Singapore Book Fair that was organised yearly, the company also had a unit  in the exhibition hall where chinese tea, tea ware and tea culture were introduced to the public.

The company imported tea, tea ware and accessories from Taiwan and China. Business was good and the demand of tea and associted products was great. To cater for the need of this group of tea drinkers, the company started introducing a series of teapots bearing the seal of Chinese Tea House. These teapots were well received by the public. The sale of these teapots and tea ware during exhibitions organised during Book Fair and Moon Cake festivals enabled the company to survive through all these years.

Below is the picture of one of those teapots commissioned by the company and made by potters from Yixing bearing Chinese Tea House logo. These teapots were designed and made by the company owned by Xu Sihai, a reknown teapot collector from Shanghai who owned a museum that housed some of the best teapots of the woeld. These teapots were made by potters in his company but they were supervised by Sihai himself. The seal under the lid read made and supervised by Sihai.

Teapot of Chinese Tea House

Chinese Tea House
At the height of its business, Chinese Tea House used to operate from 3 outlets and one ware house. As competition got worse, revenue from tea business dwindled. With high rental and labour cost, the company eventually operated from a ware house in a flated factory. Business sustained for a few more years under forever increasing business costs.

Due to to harsh operating conditions and difficult business circumstances, Chinese Tea House eventually ceased operation in Singapore last year. These teapots become a part of its history. Luckily, i owned a part of this history.

P.S. Articles appeared in a megazine published by a Taiwanese company on Chinese Tea House.
An outlet of Chinese Tea House

Chinese Tea House outlet at Marina Square Shopping Centre

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