FOOD: TEAs in the Metro!

Milk Tea places in the metro have popped up overnight like enchanted mushrooms hyped up on manic pixie dust. Yes, milk tea is the Starbucks craze of this generation, as more and more people seek healthy alternatives to beverages, and the masses have settled on teas as the ‘it’ drink of the season. This is my personal take on people's craze about the said MILK TEAs.

8. Cha Dao

Location: #42 Esteban Abada St. cor Rosa Alvero, #64-D Holy Spirit Drive, Don Antonio Heights, Unit 2 FADI Building, #5 West Capitol Drive, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Salcedo Village (soon)

Price: P50 up

Origin: Homegrown

The lowdown: We like the fresh flavors of Cha Dao, and we also love their Yakult blends particularly the wild berry flavor. This homegrown brand gets ingredients from Taiwan and Bangkok. They offer unusual flavors like Thai tea blends, which are really good.

Signature drinks: Cha Yen - Thai milk red tea with vanilla & cinnamon

Meals: Chips and cookies (try the white chocolate chip cookies!)

Plus points: Cha Dao hits the sweet spot with its student-friendly prices (they even offer student discounts), so you can get your milk tea fix for less. They also offer text and drive pick up services for when you feel like having your tea at home.

Taste rating: 3/5

7. Happy Lemon

Location: G/F Promenade, Greenhills, 4/F Eastwood Mall, 2/F Archaeology, Power Plant Mall

Price: P75 up

Origin: Import

The lowdown: We love that their milk tea with black pearl sounds like a bad sequel to a Pirates of the Caribbean flick, but nothing is bad about the flavor of their milk tea. The pearls are the right kind of gooey-gummy. However, with Happy Lemon’s extensive drink selection, we feel that their strength really lies in their fruit blends and their unusual cocoa mixes.

Signature drink: Cocoa with Rock Salt & Cheese

Meals: none

Plus points: Try their new fresh fruit series called QQ Brilliant Fruit Tea.

Taste rating: 3/5

6. Moonleaf

Location: 44 Magiting St., UP Teacher’s Village, 103 Maginhawa St., UP Teacher’s Village, Esteban Abada St., Katipunan, 1012 GM Tolentino St., Espana

Price: P70 up

Origin: Homegrown

The lowdown: A favorite hangout in Maginhawa St., Moonleaf Tea Shop has a strong Twitter following as well, and is a favorite among the college crowd. This cozy cafe serves fruit and milk teas. Though their selection isn’t as varied as most cafes, staples like the Jasmine Milk Tea and traditional black milk tea blends are deliciously sweet.

Signature drink: Winter Melon Milk Tea (crowd favorite)

Meals: Pastries are offered in their Maginhawa branch; try the banoffee pie loaded with cream.
Plus points: Moonleaf Tea Shop offers limited edition drinks like tiramisu, peppermint and caramel Hakka.

Taste rating: 3/5

5. Zen Tea

Tea taste: Say “hello” to childhood. Their nai cha or pearl milk tea is like sipping Chocnut through a straw. Meanwhile, the yummy Highway tea (green apple and passionfuit) tastes like Sola or Snapple. On the menu, there’s also malt milk tea and more fruit combos such as Highway (green apple, lemon, and passionfruit) and Tango (mango and peach).

Tapioca: Nice and chewy

Add-on options: Sago

Service: The place gets busy, but the service was still decent.

Price: P35-P70 but their large sizes are pretty small.

Where to buy: (0908) 869-ZENT for deliveries. Gen. Vicente Lim St., near Xavier School; Pearl Dr., Ortigas, near UA&P; 3/F RCBC Plaza Ayala cor. Rufino, Makati

4. A-Gan Tea

Originated from its brand spirits, pure tea, A-gantea persists in brewing with cherry-picked leaves from a tea plantation in an elevation of 1200 meter inTaiwan’s Ali Mountain. The word A-gan in Chinese means sweet & refreshing aftertaste, which is what our A-Gan Green Tea is famous for. Their store is located at the Greenbelt 2 Park, Ayala Center, Makati beside National Bookstore.

To know more about this exciting event, kindly like their official Facebook account: and follow them on Twitter:

3. Serenitea

Location: Alabang Town Center, 74B N. Roxas cor. Banawe St., BF Homes Paranaque, Burgos Circle, The Fort, G/F Cyber & Fashion Mall, Eastwood, G&L Bldg. J. Abad Santos cor. V. Cruz, Buchanan St., McKinley Park, North Greenhills, L1, Adriatico Wing, Robinson’s Place, Ermita

Price: P95 up

Origin: Homegrown

The lowdown: The original, and the little place that started it all, Serenitea cropped up as a tiny tea place that served real, freshly brewed tea beverages steeped in their “teapresso” machine. Today, with over five branches and steadily growing, this old-timer still has the moves. P, a milk tea lover has this to say about Serenitea: “You know it’s not watered down because even after the ice melts into the drink the taste of the milk tea still comes out.”

Signature drink: Okinawa, Hokkaido & Assam milk tea blends

Meals: We are fans of the chicken chop and the potatoes, and the corn (we’re fans of everything on their menu).

Plus points: If milk is your tummy’s kryptonite, their Yakult tea blends are also a must-try—they’re the perfect refreshing treat during a crazy hot Manila day.

Taste rating: 5/5

2. Cha Time

Location: Pioneer Center, Robinson’s Galleria Supermarket, Landmark Bridgeway, Glorietta, One Archers Place, SM Mall of Asia, 75 C. Nicanor Roxas St., Banawe, SM City North Edsa, 207-B Wilson St., San Juan

Price: P75 up

Origin: Import (Taiwan)

The lowdown: Milk tea lovers should make the Pioneer Center branch a hangout, what with its comfy seats, free Wi-Fi and long strips of extension cords, perfect for those who want to get some work or social networking done while sipping tea.  ChaTime’s teas are no slouches in the ring either, their milk tea beverages hit the right spot of sweet and creamy.
Signature drinks: ChaTime Roasted Milk Tea, a choice so popular that the stores end up running out of this beverage really fast. Forget ordering this an hour before closing, they’re all out by then.
Meals: Some branches also serve food, like the curry hotdog which sounds iffy but really, really good once you try it.

Plus points: ChaTime has a huge and varied selection of drinks, ranging from milk tea, coffee, slushies, juices, oriental pop teas, signature mixes and mousses.

Taste rating: 5/5

1. Gong Cha

Locations:  1/F Entertainment Center, SM Mall of Asia, 2/F Skygarden SM North Edsa, 3/F Food Choices, Glorietta 4

Price: P80 up

Origin: Import (Taiwan)

Signature drinks: Try the Earl Grey milk tea, a favorite among milk tea connoisseurs

The lowdown: Gong Cha’s milk tea blends are creamy and flavorful--the tea taste comes out minus the watered down taste some drinks have. The tapioca pearls are the right mix of chewy and gummy and even at 0% sugar, you can still get a nice, sweet flavor thanks to the pearls and milk.

Meals: None

Plus points: Try one of their add-ons, the Gong Cha Milk Cream to give your beverage an extra creamy boost.

Taste rating: 5/5

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QQ Milk Tea of A-Gan Tea, Naicha and CremeTea of Zen tea, Banana Milk Tea of Cha Time, and of course, Earl Grey with pudding and grass jelly of Gong Cha! My personal favorites. :)

So that's my personal take on Milk Teas around the metro. How about you? What's your personal favorite? Feel free to leave your comments or share this post to your friends. Ciao!

You can follow me at @i626leo for random updates.

Thank you!

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