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Chinese Tea Culture:
The Singapore Chinatown Experience

— this project is inspired by the tea-wrapper of the olden days that can be opened up fully and easily.



part of singapore culture & design research project


The Chinese Tea Culture is a range of tea packages that hold significant meanings to Singapore Chinatown. The tea packages showcase four personages who have contributed to the development of Chinatown. The type of tea chosen is the “real” tea they have drank in the past. The design is a fusion of the new and the old: contemporary layout and illustrations, with a touch of the traditional white and red strings that were widely used in Singapore in the 1970s.


The packaging structure is inspired by tea-wrappers of the olden days that can be opened fully and easily. The purpose is to create collector’s mementoes for Singapore Chinatown Visitor Center. The mementoes must be a representative of Singapore’s Chinatown. The target audience is tourists and young Singaporeans who want to learn more about Chinese culture and traditions.


The four personages of the Chinese Tea Culture are Samsui Woman, Towkay, MaJie, and Kopi Uncle.

  • Samsui Women: Liubao tea has a “cooling” effect, which is very suitable for Samsui women who work under harsh conditions on the construction site.

  • Towkays: Longjing tea is regarded as a status symbol due to its expensive production process and elegant flavour. Suitable for Towkay (the boss).

  • Ma Jie: Tie Guanyin tea has a refreshing fragrance and a bittersweet aftertaste. MaJies savour it to seek relief from long hours of domestic work.

  • Uncle Kopi: ZhengShanXiaoZhong tea is affordable and easy to brew. Kopi Uncles sells it because of its economic quality and general popularity.


Chinese Tea Culture is supported by National Heritage Board Singapore, 

Singapore Tourism Board and Chinatown Business Association, Singapore.

Research period: 2009-2011

Production period: 2012-2013

Second Version: 2017



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