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Wu Wei Tea: Chinese Tea-Flavoured Ice Cream Like Da Hong Pao & Pu Erh Tea In Penang

Wu Wei Tea in George Town

Decades-old parlours, alleyway creameries, and boozed-up scoops – Penang’s got them all. In a land teeming with a deluge of ice cream shops, innovative creamy scoops are key to stand out.

When we heard that teahouse and ice cream parlour Wu Wei Tea has the less-than-your-typical ice cream offerings – particularly, their range of Chinese tea-flavours – we decided that these would be too good to miss.

We popped by right on the next sweltering afternoon, in anticipation of a robust yet sweet, chilly adventure.

Ambience at Wu Wei Tea

Wu Wei Tea Penang - george town

Wu Wei Tea in George Town sits right in the midst of the heritage labyrinth of shophouses, cafes and small businesses, sporting a tranquil charm. Yet, it is stately in its facade.

Head indoors to find an interior that’s significantly dimmer, creating a somewhat serene balance and a refuge from the aggressive sunlight outdoors.

Wu Wei Tea Penang - ice cream shop

The designs and architecture resembles that of a modern Chinese teahouse, with simple concrete counters where the brews are steeping, warm wooden shelves where bins of tea leaves sit, and scatterings of green plants to elevate the zen-ness.

Wu Wei Tea Penang - deco

Ice cream at Wu Wei Tea

Amid the muted atmosphere of the shop, the ice cream refrigerator display looked flashy with its mighty layout of homemade creamy concoctions.

Ice creams in tea houses may sound a little offbeat, but if these scoops are Chinese tea-flavoured, the idea of it isn’t all that bizarre. In fact, it’s genius.

Wu Wei Tea Penang - ice cream

While they do offer a selection of non-tea flavours such as Watermelon Sorbet and Lotus Biscoff, we were mostly intrigued to spot flavours that are commonly on tea menus, such as Pu Erh Tea, Thai Milk Tea, Jasmine Tea, and Da Hong Pao.

So, we picked a couple of those to go along with our steaming teas.

Tea ice cream

Priced at RM8.90 for a single scoop and RM16.90 for double scoops, Wu Wei Tea’s creamy treats can also be enjoyed in true ice cream fashion: have them served in a Charcoal Cone, or atop warm fluffy Waffles for a small additional charge of RM2 and RM9 respectively.

Wu Wei Tea Penang - tea ice cream w cone

Our Matcha and Pu Erh Tea, or Black Tea, were served as perfect orbs perched precariously on top of one another, held within the embrace of the charcoal waffle cone which cradled the melted pool from the scoops.

The earthy and deep flavour of the Matcha ice cream balanced out the sweetness of the Pu Erh Tea flavour, though the latter wouldn’t have impressed us much on its own. The specks of tea leaves stippled all over the scoop raised our expectations of a fragrant yet mellow mouthful, but the sweetness cut that short.

Nevertheless, the deep cocoa of the waffle strengthened the balance, and sponged up the trickling ice cream with ease.

Wu Wei Tea Penang - tea ice cream

We ordered another portion of double scoops – the Jasmine Tea and Da Hong Pao flavours – sans the waffle cone. The Jasmine Tea flavour was delightful – delicate, refreshing and rich all at once. Its signature floral aroma came through as a mere whisper, leaning towards dewy instead of perfume-y. Needless to say, it was the scoop that vanished the quickest.

We spent a minute deciphering the Da Hong Pao, which circuits from being sweet to earthy and smoky with underlying florals, and then back to a subtle milky sweetness that lingered slightly.

White Peach Oolong Tea

Wu Wei Tea Penang - chinese tea

The inventory of filters, ceramic bowls, pots, and cups aren’t just for show. Here, they offer a varied and thoughtful selection of tea leaves, which are freshly brewed upon order.

Our White Peach Oolong Tea (RM9.90) was served in a clay teapot set which decanted the incredibly fragrant tea into dainty drinking cups. Huffing away the emitting wisps of steam, we cautiously sipped on the hot liquid and were sent straight to heaven.

The infusion of the tangy white peach brought out the natural sweetness of oolong. Mingling with these are flavours like fruitiness, nuttiness, and a modest caramelly profile. Fantas-tea-c.

The verdict

Wu Wei Tea Penang - sign

Spending a slice of our day at Wu Wei Tea certainly felt like a tranquil respite. We chilled, then drifted off into a blissful diabetic coma, and finally washed all the cool scoops down with a quiet indoor sipping of some comforting tea.

Whether you’re here for a tranquil pause in lieu of coffee or icy treats to refresh your senses, Wu Wei Tea is the pitstop that’ll get that all settled for you.

Wu Wei Tea @ George Town
Address: 31, Lorong Prangin, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang
Opening hours: Mon, Wed – Fri 1.30pm-11pm | Sat & Sun 1.30pm-12am (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: 017-898 6935 | Wu Wei Tea’s Instagram

Wu Wei Tea @ Bukit Mertajam
Address: 44,Tingkat, 1, Jalan Arumugam Pillai, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang
Opening hours: Wed – Fri 2pm-11pm | Sat & Sun 1.30pm-12am (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)

For more food features, here’s Dream Burger at Hin Bus Depot in Penang and Food Bayana, Penang’s first food court with a robot delivery system.

Photography by Jia-Ju.

Cover image adapted from: TheSmartLocal Malaysia