Charles Yap and his World of Tea
Meet Charles Yap, a Singapore-based PR executive with a passion for Chinese tea. This guy takes his tea time seriously, brewing each cup with care and meticulously purchasing and curating a selection of rare teas. Discover his ten favorite items from his collection of tea and tea related objects sourced from around the world.
“I only became interested in Chinese tea four years ago, when I was living and working in London. My friend Laura Porter, who is a London travel writer for @aboutdotcom @VisitBritain, @anglotopia @GBChefs & more, called me one Sunday morning and asked if I’d like to accompany her to a Chinese tea house in Notting Hill. I visited and met Pei Wang, a fellow Singaporean who owns @Teanamu in London. I got hooked to Chinese tea and have been learning and exploring a lot since. Today, I have an entire cabinet of items and knick-knacks dedicated to the enjoyment of Chinese tea.”
1) Sun Tzu’s The Art of War Teapot my parents got me from their recent holiday in Taiwan. It has an interesting tripod formation and the full script of The Art Of War is micro scripted on the lid. You need a magnifying glass to read the text.
2) Tea Utensils – Essentials for Chinese tea preparation – the scoop, the tong and the pick. Housed in a ceramic tumbler from Habitat in the UK.
3) The pitcher – In Chinese tea ceremony, the tea goes from the pot into the pitcher before entering the cup. This ensures that the tea is not over brewed. This pitcher is actually an old Italian sauce pot from a flea market in Broadway Market, East London.
4) Omani coffee cups – I love improvising and these cups are a gift from the hotel I stayed with when I visited Muscat in 2009. I love the intricate design.
5) Gai wan – Lidded cups – known as the gai wan – are very useful as they can be used as a tea pot as well as a cup. I found this from a shop in Chinatown, Singapore.
6) Meet Mr Tea – a silicone tea steeper. Just load his little silicone trousers, perch him in your cup, watch him relax. Found this in the gift shop at Newseum in Washington DC. Always makes me smile.
7) Puer – my favorite tea is the Puer and I have a large range in my collection. This is a Puer Tuocha from 2002 – I love the design of the tea box.
8) Long live the Queen – I drink mostly Chinese tea, but love this limited edition Diamond Jubilee tea from Tea Palace. It’s a farewell gift from InterContinental London Park Lane, where I stayed during my last day in London before relocating to Singapore during the jubilee celebration week.
9) Pitcher stand – This small souvenir is a miniature of the Chinese pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. It’s a great memory of my visit, and works so well as a pitcher stand.
10) Kagurazaka pot – I have a big collection of teapots. This is a gift from a colleague, who was exploring the Kagurazaka neighborhood in Tokyo and thought of me when she saw this tea pot. I use it for brewing Uji Sencha.
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.