For its first outlet in Asia, Australian tea chain T2 Singapore has launched with a new brew that pays homage to local breakfast staple kaya toast.
Its Singapore Breakfast tea is a blend of pu’er (Chinese fermented tea), green tea, coconut flakes and roasted rice. It is among more than 150 types of teas at the new store, in the 313@Somerset mall.
T2 CEO Nicky Sparshott says Singapore was picked for the company’s Asian debut because of its “strong tea-drinking culture with multicultural influences, from black tea dating back to the colonial period to Asian tea beverages such as teh tarik – Malay for pulled tea – and green tea”.
Covering 550 sqft (51 sqm), the store offers myriad teas, from black, green and white to rooibos, and herbal and fruit-based tisanes.
Bestsellers for the company include French Earl Grey, which has bergamot-infused black tea perfumed with rose and sunflower petals and hibiscus; Green Rose, green tea paired with mango, papaya and rose petals; and Fruitalicious tisane, a blend of cranberries, blueberries, dragon fruit and goji berries.
Singapore has been among T2’s top five markets in online sales over the past two years, and Sparshott hopes the country’s reputation as a tourism hub can expose the tea company to visitors in Asia.
“Tea has moved from being a beverage for old people to having infinite possibilities … there is an appetite for new invention in teas,” she says.
Like its more than 75 outlets in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, the T2 shop in Singapore has black floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with brightly coloured tea boxes, tea pots, cups and accessories. Taking centre stage is an island brew bar with tea-making apparatus, where six types of hot and iced tea beverages are brewed daily for customers to sample.
Sparshott says customers can also attend regular tea masterclasses and tea-blending sessions through the tea community group T2 Society, which is free to join.
She says T2 intends to open another three or four outlets in Singapore in the coming year.
Started in Melbourne in 1996, T2 was acquired by Unilever in 2013, which owns such tea brands as Lipton.
Other tea boutiques in Singapore include the TWG Tea chain and The 1872 Clipper Tea Company, which opened a tea retail shop-cum-bar in Ion Orchard last April.