All roads lead to Rome. For Chinese tea, all roads lead to Pek Sin Choon. Low-key yet ubiquitous, Pek Sin Choon has long established itself as an experienced purveyor of Chinese tea in Singapore. You may already be an ardent fan, having walked into their Mosque Street store to buy a pack of fragrant tea leaves. Perhaps you’ve ordered Chinese tea at renowned restaurants. Or perhaps you’ve attended events celebrating arts and culture, and were served expertly-brewed tea. Whether you knew it or not, there is a good chance that the tea you savoured came from Pek Sin Choon.
Founded in 1925 by Bai-Zhuang Dan Niang and her son, Pek Kim Aw, this venerable brand had humble beginnings. Pek Kim Aw started by selling tea to individual households, and he did so the traditional way – carrying the tea on a shoulder-pole and walking door-to-door looking for buyers. As business grew, Pek Sin Choon settled at a more permanent location, and started boldly innovating with their blends. One of their notable creations involves pairing a Put Tee Hiong (不知香, “Renowned Unknown Fragrance”) tea blend with Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶, pork ribs in broth), a local dish. The combination proved extremely popular; as of 2022, Pek Sin Choon supplies tea to a vast majority of Bak Kut Teh stalls in Singapore, and many other established restaurants.
Today, Pek Sin Choon is more than just a tea wholesaler and retailer. A nexus of community in the Chinatown melting pot, their store is a connecting hub for people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. For instance, they hosted a book launch which brought tea aficionados, teaware artists, traditional F&B brands, heritage enthusiasts, and expatriates from the American Women’s Association, together for the event. Other luminaries such as temple leaders and celebrities have also graced their premises, all in the name of promoting traditional Chinese tea culture. Through these efforts, Pek Sin Choon continues to increase awareness of this staple of Chinese society, and preserve a facet of cultural heritage.