The national drink of the English, tea has always been likened to elegance. From the fine porcelain teacups to sipping daintily with one pinky out, having tea is a societal experience. There are tea houses that boast a wide selection of teas to be had with a tray of scones and pastries, while others yet invite you to sit down and ponder the philosophies of life.
Like coffee, the art of brewing tea is also a defined process. Chinese tea houses have a whole ritual of pouring hot water over the tea sets, steeping tea, and then pouring them over the tea sets again. The English tea debate of, “milk in first or milk in last?” is still arguable. Personally, we prefer the latter.
As for the healing properties of tea, the list is endless. For centuries, medicine men have been steeping herbs, leaves, and various flowers into hot water to test their medicinal properties. Whether to soothe one’s senses or calm the common flu, tea is always there to help.
So instead of heading to a busy hipster cafe for some single origin coffee, try out one of these tea houses in KL the next time you’re out. We promise it’ll be a refreshing change of pace.
Originally started by an Englishman in France, Betjeman & Barton came to Malaysia in 2014 and made a home for itself first in 1 Utama Shopping Centre (now closed), and now in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. The cafe stocks over 100 loose tea leaves, ensuring that you never run out of choices. It’s a calming oasis in the middle of a busy shopping mall.
Betjeman & Barton, Lot.P3.01.03, Level 3, Fashion Avenue, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, +03-2110 5996.
Situated along the edges of Petaling Street, Chocha Foodstore blends in with the colonial style of the buildings on its street, yet stands out with a remarkable contemporary food and drinks menu. In fact, “chocha” in the Hakka dialect means to sit down and drink. The tea selections at Chocha Foodstore come from HOJO and consist of mostly Chinese teas. Try their cold brew teas as well, which are perfect on a hot day.
Chocha Foodstore, 156, Jalan Petaling Kuala Lumpur, +603-2022 1100.
Located in Taman Melawati, this cute tea house is reminiscent of a quaint English cottage. Even the interior is English-inspired with plenty of vintage florals. Started by Chef Justin Wong and his mother, try the wide selection of teas available with scones and homemade jam for a taste of England.
Miss Ellie Tea House, 7, Jalan H 3, Taman Melawati Kuala Lumpur, +603-4162 0113.
Whoever said that only coffee places can have the minimal interior? Someplace Beautiful defies that with a beautiful setting, and serves both coffee and tea. Their specialty lies in teas — they also get their teas from HOJO, and have over 14 variants to pick from including black tea, white tea, flower tea, and more.
Someplace Beautiful, G17, D7 Jalan Sentul Kuala Lumpur.
Take a break from shopping in Bangsar Shopping Centre and rejuvenate your senses with some tea at The Tea Republic. Other than sourcing tea from around the world, they have also begun making their own signature tea blend as of 2013. Definitely a good respite from the people in the mall.
The Tea Republic, Second Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, +603-2011 1320.
If you thought Betjeman & Barton had a wide selection of tea at 100, then you’ll be astounded by TWG’s largest tea list in the world, spanning over 800. While you’re poring over the long tea menu, indulge in their afternoon tea sets too, comprising of savoury bites and scrumptious sweets.
TWG Tea Salon & Boutique, Bukit Bintang Ground Floor, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur, +603-2142 9922.