KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
One of the great pleasures of traveling is taking time to enjoy tea in a new place in accordance with the customs of the local residents.
These are our picks:
Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur: This Colonial hotel adjacent to the Botanical Gardens is oh-so-majestic if you wish to take tea in the old world elegance by way of the Reading Room or Tea Lounge. The hotel also offers afternoon tea in the Orchid Conservatory, where you can sit among the Instagram-worthy blooms (bookings are essential).
BOH Habu Tea Garden, Ringlet: This 5,000-acre farm is set in a peaceful valley. In the cool highland air, it is worth strolling up between the tea bushes to the top of a nearby hill for spectacular views. There is a café serving tea and basic food, as well as a short factory visit for those interested. The garden is closed Mondays.
BOH Sungai Palas Tea Garden: If you’re after spectacular photos, this is the garden to visit. Sprawling 8000 acres, the Tea Centre is perched on the side of an expansive valley of tea. It offers a Tea’ria (refreshment area), an exhibit hall and factory (with an oh-so-brief experience of the tea-making process). Note: The garden is popular and can get crowded during the holiday seasons and weekends.
Purple Cane: Aside from a comprehensive range of teas for sale, Purple Cane Tea House offers Chinese food cooked in tea broths instead of the buckets of oil that is popular in Malaysia. There are a number of outlets around KL. Try green tea rice or chicken and lotus soup in tea broth.
Hojo Tea, Garden Mall, Mid-Valley City: A gold mine of specialty tea wares and premium teas, most of which are hand selected from natural farms in Yunnan. Apart from just buying tea, you sit and watch an attendant brew the tea of your choice.
Tea Press, Damansara Uptown: For a good dose of Zen, head to this Japanese tea house for soothing cups of green tea. The menu includes interesting renditions of tea such as tea espresso; green tea blended with marigold, and roasted green tea blended with cinnamon and chili.