Weekend in Shanghai Tea

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Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Devilish
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190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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From TWG Tea Company

An exclusive tribute to a city of juxtapositions. This precious green tea is embellished with ripe red berries, swirls of mystical blossoms and a hint of mint, producing a cup of dazzling freshness.

About TWG Tea Company View company

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4 Tasting Notes

326 tasting notes

I am grieving… because after having been stored in my cupboard for a year, this tea has become stale and lost its charm. When I bought it in Singapore a year ago, it had the most amazing aroma, whether dry or brewed. It’s the refreshingly sweet aroma of fresh mint and strawberries! The green tea base was lovely too. Somehow, I think the tea was too wonderful to be named “Weekend in Shangahai”, for I had visited Shanghai and didn’t think it’s such a nice place. I had a hard time deciding whether I liked it or Weekend in Casablanca (which I bought at the same time) more. My rating for this tea was based on my first tasting experience with it.

And what did I find today? The sweet bouquet was still there when I opened the tea tin, but it was much less intense. That did not really bother me… but the weird, foreign taste in my first brew did. I couldn’t really describe it but it tasted like Chinese herbs. You know, herbs stored in the old drawers of Chinese pharmacy for ages and sold for medicinal purpose. I was shocked. Then I thought maybe it was because I used the same cup to brew a hibiscus tea yesterday (Of course I washed the cup after using it. But evil hibiscus does sound like the culprit right? I admit that I’ve never liked hibiscus :P). So I got more dry leaves from the tea and brewed in another cup.

This time, there was less foreign taste. In fact, there wasn’t much taste in the liquor. It was bland, with only the faint aroma of mint+herbal medicine. That really broke my heart. I guess this is the punishment I deserve for buying tea at a rate much faster than my consumption. :( Oh god… I promise that I will drink more tea every day from now on…

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

It happens to me as well – particularly with flavored green teas! Flavoured black teas or plain teas seem to old their charm much longer!


Yes yes it does seem to be the case! I have 2 more flavoured green teas from TWG in my cupboard, I’d better consume them ASAP!!

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303 tasting notes

Skip this first part if you just want to read about the tea:

I first smelled this tea in Harrod’s, finding a small, quiet island in the TWG section of the tea department. No small feat, considering it was right before Christmas last year. I sniffed my way through a number of tins and got stuck on the so-called ‘weekend teas’. I snapped a few pictures of the tins and meant to read up on it when I came home, but forgot all about it.

A month later I was in Singapore (I’m sorry for sounding like a demented tea socialite, bear with me), and imagine my surprise when the TWG logo showed up again… and again, and again. I knew nothing about the brand; I’d just assumed it was a trendier spin-off of Twinings, or something.

A quick search yielded the following: TWG is a Singaporean company, carefully branded to be Singapore’s “first and only upscale tea salon”. This was definitely a niche in the Singaporean brandscape that needed filling; tea culture is somewhat lacking, with either imported Japanese concepts where everything is beyond kawaii, or madly overpriced hotel-style afternoon teas.

So far so good, but there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the brand. For instance: the TWG is generally accompanied by the year 1837 on signs and logos, but the brand was founded no earlier than 2008.

This all makes me reluctant, to be honest. Singapore is so entirely about money, all the time; everything anyone ever talks about is money and shortcuts to money and how to get more money and money. I find that depressing, and it’s clear TWG is a pitch perfect Singaporean brand in that respect. They colonize the most exclusive locations, style their shops and salons to the very last detail (tarnished brass and dark wood everywhere), hardbrand the products and charge ridiculous sums of money for everything.

I’m the first to admit I love a good branding effort. I do; I sometimes enjoy giving in and just going with it because it’s done so well, but TWG are just too devious about it, and it’s painfully clear the product is just the sideshow. TWG is all brand and I can’t get excited about that.

Actual tea review:

I added the above to be honest about my TWG prejudice. This is the first tea I’ve purchased from the company, but I’ve tried their products at a couple of their salon locations. I’ve also had their tea-infused ice cream, which is very nice, albeit, again, ridiculously overpriced.

This looks beautiful in the bag, long, whole green leaves studded with red petals. After steeping, the petals turn fuchsia and it’s one of the prettiest steeped teas I’ve seen, colour wise. In terms of scent, well, I didn’t go the adventurous route here – this smells like something I’ve had before, most likely one of those German-imported greens they sell in every tea shop in Sweden. It’s vaguely fruity/floral and that’s it. What more do you need? Fruity/floral is where it’s at!

There are no steeping instructions on the bag, and none were given by the staff (again, one of those things that’ll tell you this is more about the experience and the ritual of shopping, than what you actually purchase) so I did a semi-Lupicia, letting this steep for 1.5 minutes, at 90C. No bitterness, but also not very much flavour – I’m going to try a different steeping strategy next time, not least for you temperature purists out there.

So, to summarize: meh. TWG will not (CAN not) be my new boyfriend (even though I would have loved to get a chance to meme ‘Bye Lupicia!’).

Unlike an actual weekend in Shanghai, this tea bores me.

[Picked up at the TWG Tea Salon & Boutique in Raffles Place, Singapore, January 2015.]

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Great write up! Really interesting.

Christina / BooksandTea

I agree, more talk about branding when it comes to tea!


Thanks, guys! One of my fave topics, so hugely appreciated feedback.


Kinda how I feel about TWG, Anna! We have a store here and it’s very fancy and pretentious and there’s a tea I want but there’s no way I’d spend $40+ for 50g of it. That’s just silly, especially because I feel their base teas aren’t all that fabulous. (I think I’ve had 4 now. :) ) It is a neat experience to go into the store, but whoa.


LOL@ demented tea socialite! You did way more research than I on TWG! I took them at face value for being a much older company! I do like some of their teas, but not all of them live up to what I was hoping for. I used to work for a guy who was from Singapore and your description of the attitude towards money make his behavior make a lot more sense.


More interesting stuff from Wikipedia: In 2011, a lawsuit against TWG Tea was filed by tea retailer Tsit Wing International and its parent company Tsit Wing, for incorporating the abbreviation TWG in its name, which was trademarked by Tsit Wing. The latter company, which is based in Hong Kong, was founded in 1932.13

A judge handling the lawsuit noted in July 2013 that the use of the “existence of the date 1837 in TWG Tea’s sign has led people to believe that the company was established at that time”, while in actuality it was founded much later, in 2008. In justification, the firm’s spokespeople claimed that it was instead a tribute to the “year when the Chamber of Commerce was founded in Singapore”.13 The case was ruled in Tsit Wing’s favour, with damages payable yet to be decided. Shortly after the ruling, TWG Tea filed for appeal.14

On 3 December 2014, TWG Tea lost a court appeal and as a result it may have to change its name in Hong Kong. TWG Tea has room to pursue its final appeal. According to the company’s lawyer, in case the company loses the appeal again, it may use another registered logo containing the acronym “TW” instead of the currently used “TWG”, to which Tsit Wing had no objection.15


Welcome back!


Hej hej! Nice to see you around. It still blows my mind how you’re able to travel so much!

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785 tasting notes

I was likely attracted to this tea for the description of mint and berries. I’ve had a couple cups of this hot without exciting results and decided to try cold brewed. I get a lot of green tang, a little fruit flavor behind that and not much else. I’m not feeling it.

I just realized this is my first tea of 2017. I’d better step up my tea game because this is no way to start off a new year!

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