Tag Archives: Matcha

Le-zy Black Cat goes to Le Petit Souffle

century city mall

What I liked about the Le Petit Souffle menu was that it was brimming and skipping with cats.

How do you like it meow?

century city mall restaurant

Admittedly out first visit to Le Petit Souffle (Century City Mall) was redeemed only by the catty menu.

It warranted a second visit because the parfait was not available (tsk, tsk) and it was my priority over the souffle. Hence, we had no choice but to settle with the (slightly delayed) souffle par-tay.

le petit souffle dessert

The Valrhona Guanaja Souffle (adorned by my cats), sank after a few minutes of photo ops. I never had the chance to dig in to its full-bodied souffle grandeur. It tasted like the lighter sister of the angry lava cake.

where to eat makati, dessert

The Matcha Valrhona Ivoire Souffle came heaps of minutes later. Either they whipped up a second batch or forgot all about our green order.

no no souffle

We were not much of a fan of the Frozen Souffle (Souffle Glace). The citrus hints just overpowered the Vanilla Bean, and the flowers did not help calm the raging palate.

where to eat restaurant century city mall

Luckily, visit #2 gave us a chance to sample the savory treats.

vegetarian food makati

My heart goes to the Vegetarian Soba Pasta which was the opposite of the overpowering vanilla bean-citron souffle. It was light yet hearty and still paved the way for dessert. And look at the mushrooms! Love it!

le petit souffle makati

The Squid Ink Rice was a carby feast for anyone who wanted an adequate balance of rice, seafood and egg. It was too filling for one, and a pleasant to-share dish since sharing the black teeth makes lunch even more spectacular. =P

le petit souffle dessert

Last but certainly not the least, finally, the Matcha Parfait makes it appearance after lunch!

This is what matcha desserts ought to be made of!  Perfectly creamy yet matcha-filled, this one was worth the wait. Those Pepero sticks were an added bonus too!

A bit on the pricey side, but this little cup is sure to make the trip to Le Petit Souffle worth the traffic, the wait and the 2nd chance.

 

 

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Seeing Stars: Dakasi (Trinoma)

 

Being a constant labyrinth, I don’t suppose I will ever memorize Trinoma’s tributaries and tenants—despite my infamous boast of being its daily patron. To prove my case, I never knew J.Co was open until I noticed hordes of orange boxes that clouded my peripheral vision with citrus sights. And, our dearly beloved Cibo unexpectedly disappeared, to be replaced by a ribs place. All these happened during my watch, so much for retail omniscience.

Getting lost may have its points too. I stumbled upon the soon-to-open sign of Army Navy (Trinoma Foodcourt—who eats there?), and mindlessly followed the brightly shining Super Mario star that led me to Dakasi. For those new to this strange-sounding store, it is not a cousin to Saizen but more of the striving youngest sibling of Gong Cha and Chatime. Enough with the clues, it’s a milk tea placemore of a stall—that has no other USP than having the Eiffel Tower on its cup. It does not hail from Paris though.

From High and Guangzhou Post

The first time I had a cup of Dakasi, I was verbally struggling in the underground mall in China. This time, everything is in English, and so if I couldn’t get my order right, blame the Eiffel Tower. Oui?

For comparison, it was a necessity that I order the Matcha Brown Rice Milk Tea (which I had in China). Another petty craving was the Yakult Green Tea, which I felt was fitting since all these were in conjunction with Trinoma’s “going green” campaign. Show your love for Mother Earth, bring a big bag. 

In the absence of the language barrier I was finally allowed to utter “25% sweetness” and expect 100% comprehension from the cashier.

It was almost perfect until, “Ma’am you should try that in 100%. You will not enjoy the full taste of the tea if it’s only 25%,” the sugar-loving cashier urged as if I wanted to get into her red bull mode.

She did not know whom she was dealing with though. With my self-made allergy to sugar, if I could have it my way, I’d go for Zero % but of course couldn’t give them the shock treatment on their soft opening. I do have a soft spot for Super Mario.

So I just gave her the look, and a “No.” That’s me being short and sweet, she’ll recover.

 

At 25% sweetness, the Matcha Brown Rice Milk Tea is fairly flavorful and maintains the strong matcha taste (and color). Compared to Chatime and Serenitea counterparts though, it has a creamier texture, but not as silky smooth as Moonleaf (sedimentation occurs to which I have no qualms though). Had I gone for that horrendous 100% sweetness, this would be like sipping melted matcha ice cream. Delicious but will require one hour of carrying groceries with my bare arms. This is Quezon City, no plastic bags allowed.

The Yakult Green Tea is another story—watery and derives the flavor from Yakult which is not exactly the best tasting yogurt on the planet. Going for the 100% sweetness level might not remedy the flavor, and Dakasi ought to incorporate more fruit into this drink. This drink falls below my yogurt-tea drink standards since counterparts from Chatime and Happy Lemon are much more enjoyable and cheaper, and they’ve become part of my honorary to-crave drinks list. The Chatime Yogurt Green Tea, in particular, has that subtle citrus flavor that even at 30% sweetness, can suffice as the perfect dessert.  

Of course that’s just 2 drinks out of their vast menu, and with the Buy 1 Take 1 promo on their soft opening, I’m bound to make this a daily ritual until I become known as the “Lazy Black 25% Sweetness Cat” or more believably, that “annoying and demanding girl”.

 Oh and they offer chocolate pudding as a sinker, so how about that for super?

Dakasi is that middle stall near Marks and Spencer and Healthy Options, and if you get lost still, allow your humility to sink in and consult the concierge. Don’t expect mushrooms to guide you to the end of the level.

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Got Tea? Top 6 Milk Teas in Manila v.2

As I read my previous top milk tea list (Got Tea? Top 5 Milk Tea Joints in Metro Manila), circa September 2011, I cringe and apologize for showing inexperience and passing off this passé list as a work of a tea connoisseur. Evil dazes and big question marks met my shallow judgment, and I admit that Kozui made it to the list because I found its green tea-inspired theme so kawaii (“cute”)!

The superficiality and naiveté have got to end, and so I proudly bring out the 2011 Top 6 Milk Teas in Manila v2. No list is perfect, as no taste buds are alike, so treat it as a guide to this cat’s pet drinks to end 2011. Before you read on though, please not that I am disorganized, hate tapioca pearls, have a propensity to misquote prices and detest sugar, extra sweetness and creaminess—which my list will considerably reflect. Other than these flaws, tea is my next favorite drink to water, and so I wage war to those who screw up this life-changing brew.

Chatime Philippines Jenina Gonzales

1.       CHATIME  

Chatime remains as the undisputed milk tea provider as it combines price, flavor, variety and location. The customizable ice setting brings bias to my decision, being constantly allergic to ice-dominant drinks. Chatime’s got mousse, frap-like concoctions, milk teas, fruit teas and the add-ons that you’d expect from the typical milk tea fares—in large servings, so P100 already ensures one mighty burp. A loyal patron of the matcha mousse with pudding, I’d brave storms just to order this comfort drink. With an extensive offering that includes interesting and novel categories such as QQ Jelly and Oriental Pop Teas, I ought to live beside a branch. With newly opened branch in Unimartuh-oh, Happy Lemon’s got one less reason to be happy.

Serenitea Jenina Gonzales

2.     SERENITEA

Serenitea brews teas right in front of you, so as far as “organic” goes this has got to be the closest to Mother Nature’s green heart. With roasted rice and whatnot topping the drinks, there’s the feeling of natural goodness that every cup delivers. Going 0% sweetness wouldn’t be a problem because the tea’s flavor is strong, vibrant and soothing. Spying the Serenitea branch along Jupiter was awesome sight for the Makati dwellers and workers, who need a break from the sugar-infested drinks and syrupy fares of the central business district. Genmaicha Tea Latte makes my top list, and with pepper tofu, potato and chicken chops in the menu, not to mention Amaretto Tea Latte, there’s always a reason to find peace in Serenitea. 

Gong Cha Philippines J.Anne Gonzales

3.       GONG CHA 

Gong Cha collects lines for a living because every Gong Cha branch is perhaps never without a patron. Gong Cha offers milk teas, even “creams” up drinks for the non tea lover and offers fancy combinations (creative mixes) for the adventurous. Youngsters and yuppies may find delight in the ice cream and coffee offerings, so it has evolved into a tea-coffee place that can’t do without cream. Gong Cha’s tagline is probably: Location, location, location—and has effectively lived by this mantra. Properly situated, even in foodcourts, no one can ever “not” find Gong Cha. It finds you, and so popularity vote goes to this one.

Happy Lemon Philippines Jenina Gonzales

4.       HAPPY LEMON  

This will sound very immature but I have to say it still: Chris Tiu’s milk tea place. Chris Tiu + kawaii-sounding drink names in that signature smiley cup are enough to send giggly girls flocking to Happy Lemon. In Eastwood, Greenhills, etc. and soon in Trinoma, expect kids to arrive in hordes and sample the “rock salt and cheese” everyone’s talking about. The fancy names do live up to their expectations and produce fun and delightful drinks. I’ve found much love with my Matcha faves (matcha with adzuki bean and pudding and matcha with malt). From yakult to yogurt and lemon series, there’s a lot more reason to visit Happy Lemon than just basketball and boys.

 Cha Dao Philippines Jenina Gonzales

5.       CHA DAO 

Cha Dao is amazingly cheap, you can expect change for P100—and we’re talking Large with add-ons already! Assam and Wintermelon are crowd pleasers, but you can still expect the common favorites: Green tea, matcha, oolong, chocolate and classic. Why, they even have Kopiko – so very Pinoy!  Black sugar seems to be their not-so-secret ingredient, while the popping bobba as an add-on is sure to be a favorite (count me in). A locally established joint and based mainly in the Quezon City area, now there’s more reason to chill at home. Oh yeah, they deliver too!

Moonleaf J.Anne Gonzales

6.       MOONLEAF TEA HOUSE  

Flying to the moon may be a rare occurrence, but finding a P55 milk tea in Manila isn’t. Moonleaf’s got a pretty simplified menu scheme, 2 price segments (P45 and P55) for the drinks and add-ons—all offered in those XL cups (they’re really huge).  Wintermelon’s still on the list but so is my new favorite Oolong. Don’t be hasty in judging the giant coolers; they contain fabulous and tasty brews of various teas (like Jasmine and Black). Student’s choice award would probably go to Moonleaf as it bests others in terms of price, location (scattered in Diliman area, among other places) and taste (rich in flavor and caffeine). Note for the insomniac: Do not consume after 3pm or you’ll end up a zombie like I did! Note for the students: Now you can party, errrr, study all night!

That’s it for my Best 6 for 2011. I ended up with 6 because I couldn’t choose between Cha Dao and Moonleaf, so I included them both!

Many haters may distrust milk teas and deem them ‘’faddish drinks cloaked in Asian health myths” but since they contain mainly milk, tea, ice and some sweetener, can’t say they’re detrimental to our health either. With inexpensive choices available and unsweetened varieties part of the menus, the appeal is compelling and universal. At least they taste better than coffee (for me), supposedly harbor less calories than frozen yogurt and sit well with the budget friendly.

Milk teas are actually doing some kind of public service by getting the population to drink tea, disguised with fancy names and flavors—but tea nevertheless! That’s some kind of feat for a nation that discriminates vegans, hates anything that taste like leaves and thinks tea is “grandma’s drink.”

All rigth, tea time!

Previous Links:

Top 5 Milk Teas v.1: Got Tea? Top 5 Milk Tea Joints in Metro Manila

Chatime: It’s Cha Time! (Chatime @ SM North)

Happy Lemon: Promenade Picks: BonChon Chicken and Happy Lemon

Gong Cha: Going, Going, Gong Cha!

Cha Dao: Cha Dao To-Go

Moonleaf: Fly me to the Moonleaf Tea House

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Cha Dao To-Go

Cha Dao Tea Place along Maginhawa St. was seen as the only destination to ward off the potential mad November heat stroke. But no, we couldn’t go there because it was All Saints Day and we had to, well, do the more holy things required by law to make this holiday appear more official.

The only solution to deal with the summer madness: Cha Dao to-go! Brilliant idea.

I watched in fascination as 11 cups of milk tea were delivered, gulped in various degrees of thirst and delirium, and all finished in a matter of minutes, with matching burps and sighs. The assortment was colorful too: from chocolate to assam to the classic milk tea with extra, extra pearls.

I had the Matcha with pudding, less sugar. It came with less ice too, after having been in transit for a few minutes, which I pretty much preferred since too cold a drink would be an invitation for a sore throat with this kind of weather. The matcha flavor was rather diluted by a combination of water, milk and perhaps the ice that had melted. The tea flavor was not as rich as other milk teas, but I spotted a hint of jasmine in the green tea that made it more “fruity” on the side. The egg pudding was all right – sweet and smooth.

It might be safe to say that Cha Dao boasts of quantity over flavor, which might seem appealing to those more into the milk portion of milk teas, the tea novices and those who just like to go for that sweet milky drink. Without the egg pudding, this would’ve been a lighter drink and in that sense, a refreshing treat and life saver for those suffering in this unforgiving -ber month heat wave. Best of all, it’s cheap and with branches scattered in the QC territory (Katipunan and Teacher’s Villagewhat joy). I guess it’s cheers to Cha Dao!

*Do forgive the crappy photo. Dehydration prodded me to take pictures in haste.

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Got Tea? Top 5 Milk Tea Joints in Metro Manila

Just last year, people barely cared about tea, considered it a post meal obligation and called it a Chinese influence – which was weird because I was actually drinking Japanese matcha.

After being snubbed for centuries, fast forward to the present: Filipinos welcoming and bombarding the milk tea joints with the same Pacquiao intensity. Strange what these Asian popstars can do to our dietary preferences. From frozen yogurt and gelato to chai latte with pudding—much better though, wouldn’t you say?

Scouring through the Metro you will spot them everywhere, with names that have nothing to do with tea to a myriad of adjectives that could possibly describe drinks. Let’s not be fooled by flashy names and pink colored teas though; TASTE still matters. Oh, and location as well.  

Here are my Top 5:

1.       Chatime – Found in some SM Malls, Chatime provides fast, cheap and cha-rming (“tea”) drinks with customizable ice and sugar settings, not to mention the plethora of toppings that includes rainbow jelly, coconut jelly and aloe vera. With huge servings and a vast menu selection, you’ll never get tired of this place and neither will your wallet. With oolong tea, chrysanthemum tea and a host of Oriental pop teas included in the selection, and the mousse variants that will take straight to froth heaven, you’ll find yourself asking: So, when’s our next Cha Time?

 2.       Happy Lemon – Insanely popularized by Chris Tiu, females first flocked to Happy Lemon for the purpose of a celeb sighting. However, with its casual ambience and trendy, enticing and fancy offerings, everyone has been raving about Happy Lemon, the place and the owner—an added bonus. With innovative drinks including malt, yakult, yogurt, blueberries, coffee, and an assortment of teas, one trip is never enough. First timers encouraged to order the bestseller Green Tea with Rock Salt and Cheese can only say, amidst frothy smiles, “This rocks!”

3.       Serenitea – One of the pioneers in the local milk tea scene, Serenitea fuses organic and fun tea drinking in its giant swirly cup. There’s something very zen about the sight of real tea leaves (genmaicha, oolong, assam, black, green, jasmine—you name it) being scooped from their tranquil homes and brewed to our desired tea concoction. Savor the aroma that’s enough to summon Buddha for a sip of Grass Milk Tea or Passionfruit Fruitea. Straightforward and simple, de-stress at Serenitea with its peaceful atmosphere, yummy tea drinks and delightful menu fare. Yes, they serve delish snacks as well.          http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z1zR5QEKf7w/Tdp4IMBR0XI/AAAAAAAABhM/mrwMu5jIaSc/s1600/0147%2BTealogy%2B006.JPG

4.       Tea.ology – Unfazed by the stocking dilemma at Mercato Centrale, I fled to Tea.ology’s Il Terrazzo branch for a queue-free experience. Undulating patience required, drinks are concocted to match each buyer’s tea and sweetness preference. With an atmosphere that mimics local cafes—complete with magazine racks, tempting product visuals and ornate sounding drink names—Tea.ology provides the less sinful alternative to the local calorific hangouts. Who can resist Roasted Barley Milk Tea, Dark Chocolate Milk Tea or Kyoto Matcha Milk Tea? This place is something even tea novices would pay their respect to. Amen to that. 

http://foodplace2go.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Kozui-3.jpg5.       Kozui Green Tea Café – Winner of the “Going Green” campaign is awarded to Kozui’s teas which are mainly—what else would you expectmatcha/green tea.  Not to be outdone by the more prominent milk tea joints, Kozui  (Tomas Morato) offers its green tea blend in various concoctions and fruity flavors. Not to be missed, the ice blended Korichio ventures to the “frappy” drink but with fruity fusions and of course, whipped cream! While Kozui’s food selections may be short on the so-awesome-I’ll be-back department, its tea drinks can certainly boast of the delicious tea twist. Green, but certainly not mean.

Will the Philippines be in the running as the next Tea Capital, perhaps in Southeast Asia? At this rate, I should hope so. Forget the frozen yogurt shops and coffee joints that are making us fat, pudgy and too chatty for our mates.

This time, let’s make time for tea!

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It’s Cha Time! (Chatime @ SM North)

Chatime Philippines Jenina Gonzales
There was a time when Happy Lemon single-handedly reigned supreme among the Taiwan-based Manila milk tea joints. Sure we’ve got Serenitea, Kozui and Quickly but they seem clumped in the Greenhills area, quite a distance from the Northern clique. It’s not that I hate going to Greenhills, it’s just that a weekly spree in the area (as much as I love it) can cause quite a dent in my pocket, and a very shallow pocket I have at the moment.

At this time of economic and tea deprivation, a lifesaver finally brews at SM North EDSA. Chatime, properly situated near the entrance of the Sky Dome and just a short walking distance from TriNoma is finally open and ready to dish out our favorite tea drinks!

Craving for taro milk tea or something more exotic like a passion fruit green tea brew—Chatime’s exhaustive menu listing is enough to compete with Happy Lemon, sans the fancy sounding names. Not only can we adjust the sugar settings (100%, 75%, 50%, 30% and zero), we can also choose how much ice to place in our drinks! Pretty neat, considering that half the population is nursing either a sore throat or a cold on account of the monsoon season. 

                                                                                                  

  

  

Always a first choice, I mindlessly selected the Matcha Mousse (large, 50% sugar, 70% ice with P15 pudding = P110), while my brother went for the Oolong Tea Mousse (large, 50% sugar, 70% ice with P15 pudding = P105). Call it sibling revelry, even if for a day. I was first expecting a frap-like concoction, judging from the name “mousse” which ought to have been a no-brainer, but what was served was a gigantic glass of frothy whipped tea swimming with awesome pudding.

At P95, large is well, an abysmal treat for any tea lover. Blending well with matcha or oolong tea, the pudding’s mild sweetness complements the tea’s delicate bitter taste (we did choose 50% – and no regrets, whatsoever).

http://www.maureenscribbles.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/0159-Happy-Lemon-004-green-tea-rock-salt-cheese.jpg

The mousse-froth, as it turns out, is Chatime’s version of the Rock Salt and Cheese of Happy Lemon. The result is a delirious mix of flavors that makes one brilliant, flavorful and gigantic tea drink. Next time (I suppose there definitely will be one), I will try out the 30% sugar, so that I can enjoy more of the “tea” and its kick and less of the sweetness (aka calories).

At a more affordable price than Happy Lemon, a more convenient location than Serenitea and a premium tea selection compared to Quickly (and other cheap milk tea joints), Northern dwellers ought to make time for Chatime. The walk from TriNoma (should you park there like we do) may be quite tedious, but rest assured, the trip home would be on Froth 9.

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Tea-totaler’s Top 10: Ode to Tea and Woe to Faux


Almost everyone confesses to having a drinking addiction. The Dionysus dudes, Juice junkies and Cola chuggers—they’re all out there, easy to spot with their choice drink in hand. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the addiction with the barrage of colorful and fruity beverages unabashedly making their way in our TV screens and heads.

What’s so strange is that I’ve decided to join the bandwagon. Might as well have a pet drink—a much better conversation starter than “How’s the weather?”

“Pleased to meet you, Java Joe. I’m Groovin’ Green Tea. Want some?”

My (incomplete) Tea Shrine

Well that was bloody pathetic, but you get the picture. Tea is such a remarkable drink of choice, and I often wonder why many people pass up this wonderful creation that is served for free in most Asian restaurants. What a waste.

I’m not going to preach on the benefits of tea, as there must be millions of sites and commercials that dwell on the said topic. Hence, this tea sage has decided to spill some bits of personal and novel insight (some of which you may already know) spawned from this love affair with Tea. I may not be British but I do keep a tea shrine (a glorified way of referring to the pantry), always prepared and well stocked for any spontaneous tea party.

Who knows when the Mad Hatter might be knocking any time?

 

Well then, enough with the name-calling and whatnot, let’s proceed with the Top 10:

1. DON’T GET PLASTIC ON ME

No, it's not what you think.

The sugary, flavor-infused bottled tea drinks in the market aren’t necessarily Tea. Call them juice, fruity drinks but surely they cannot be classified as tea alone. Why, even iced tea is faux tea, with its composition of nearly 90% sugar. My point is that to qualify as tea, the drink better taste like one! You know, the grassy-herby flavor that is bland or mildly sweetened—now that’s tea. Sadly, the organic pungency is what most manufacturers try to mask with sweetener, juice and more sugar. Not only is the flavor tainted, even the health benefits are thrown down the drain as the calories and fat pile up. Just because it says “Made with green tea leaves” does not make it an authentic tea experience.

If you’re a true tea lover, ditch the plastic and dip in the tea bag! Go for the bottle, and settle for being a tea mistress.

2. FIND YOUR NEW MORNING MATCH-A.

Green tea (Matcha in Japanese) makes the best morning pick-me-up, as a healthier alternative to the traditional cup of joe and a great complement to pancakes. Not only does it contain reasonable amounts of caffeine, it also gets your digestive gears running early in the morning. Now that’s just the same effect as a fiber blast with 0 calories. A teabag of Lipton Green Tea goes a long way, and downing another cup after lunch ensures a post-meal perk without the caffeine OD.

Ditch the Java. Here are your new morning buddies.

3. GRAB A TEAPOT AND GEAR UP WITH GENMAICHA.

What better way to enjoy a fabulous cup of tea than to brew it yourself! Get a bag of Matcha (green tea) or Genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice) and enjoy authentic goodness in a ceramic cup. Let the leaves seep longer and savor a richer and fuller blend—an acquired taste but well worth the wait. Genmaicha is an all-time favorite; the brown rice creates such a splendid brew that goes best with Japanese cuisine, or anything for that matter!

4. GO OOH WITH OOLONG.

Often overlooked, Oolong Tea can be a handy lifesaver especially after a major binge. It falls in between its famous cousins green and black tea in terms of caffeine content, flavor and oxidation level. Not to be dissed as merely so-so, oolong is regarded highly in China because of its fat burning potential among its other health benefits. Too bad in the Philippines only Gold Leaf produces this flavorful tea. A rare brand, Jin Ling, is spotted on occasion, but with green tea’s mass campaign, oolong is left to be enjoyed in the Chinese restaurants. Not a bad proposition, since it goes well with buchi!

5. CALM DOWN WITH CHAMOMILE.

Need sleep?

While green tea works best during the day, simmer down your hefty dinner with Chamomile Tea. Not only does it aid in digestion, it also calms down your nerves and enables a good night’s sleep. Take it solo or with a peppermint fusion and feel yourself getting lulled to sleep after a killer meal.

Forget green tea after 3pm; go for Chamomile’s flowery brew to let your day end with a does of tranquility, not hyperactivity. Best finds in the country are Marks and Spencer and Twinings.  Insomnia plaguing you as well? Have a cup of Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Herbal Tea and you’ll be snoozing in no time.

6. PAINT THE TOWN WHITE.

White Tea is a rather exceptional find but with very exceptional qualities. It trumps green tea in the health aspects and tones down on the caffeine level. Perfect for this insomniac! Last I checked, only Celestial Seasonings offers White Tea in the market. Will mass market producer Lipton come up with such? Pretty please, with steam on the top!

Note: Lipton in the US has Tea To Go, artificially sweetened and flavored green or white tea in powdered form, which could perhaps be my holy grail in sinfully flavored faux tea. In the Philippines, nothing has come close to this tea-riffic variant, yet.

7. GO GREEN.

When will we ever find these in the Philippines?

Green tea’s spill-over in the food and cosmetics industries is so immense it’s created a niche on its own. Consider the following curious concoctions, some of which have become mainstream favorites: ice cream (FIC, Arce, Haagen Dazs), Frozen Yogurt (Red Mango and Tutti Frutti), frappuccino and latte (Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Bo’s Coffee, to name a few), soba noodles (typical in Japan but about to be in the Philippines), perfume (Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden), soymilk (Lactasoy), soaps, toners and creams (Etude House and Watsons, among others), supplements (Fitrum, etc.), candies, chocolates (Meiji and Kitkat), mochi and cakes (Dezato and Bread Talk).

Can’t wait for the next roll out of green tea-based goodies! I do hope it’s pasta noodles, cookies or granola bars!

Best. Chocolate. Ever.

8. FEAST ON THE FAVORITES.

Of course not all green tea derived products are to die for. Some project a healthy and “going green” image but forego all the health benefits, and I’m not a sucker for those fakers.

Here are my Top 3 faves, the green tea goods that will make you go googly-eyed:

  • Frappuccino – I’m not a coffee person, so flavors like Mocha, Espresso or even Hazelnut have no appeal to me. Bring in the Matcha Frap and no diet is spared. Sure it can be fattening if taken everyday, but the pleasure factor beats every pragmatic thought being sent by the brain. Just think about it: It’s got green tea, it’s creamy and yes, we won’t be getting brown stains on our teeth after a grande sized serving.
  • Chocolate – I love Green Tea flavored Kit Kat so match-a it gives dark chocolate major competition in the comfort food department. Sadly enough, my stash from Japan is nearing the red line. Anyone visiting Japan soon? Hint, hint.
  • Ice Cream/Mochi – Ice cream already is the ultimate dessert, by default. Bring on the green tea flavor, and it becomes the undisputed choice. Go the extra mile by reaching for the ice cream-mochi medley and you’re set for life. No kidding. Green tea ice cream of FIC is already a wonderful freezer staple, and Mercato Centrale’s green tea ice cream mochi is well worth the travel to Bonifacio High Street on an early weekend.

9. FORGET THE FRIVOLOUS.

Not even green tea’s perfect. Even the world’s favorite tea has its share of disappointing derivatives. I’ve listed 3:

  • Iced Tea – Iced Tea (aka sugar with a wee bit of tea) veers away from the healthy drink segment by dishing out more sugar than a slice of cake. With novel add-ons including lemon or apple flavor, sugar, aspartame or even sparkling water, the tea has evolved into something monstrously unhealthy and is fast approaching the nutritional content of a can of cola.
  • Eye Roll-on – A world-renowned cosmetics brand decided to infuse green tea into the formulation of their eye roll-on. Like most eye therapy thingamajigs, it fails to perform as promised. But unlike those other eye thingamajigs, the blame here goes to green tea. Next time, why don’t we just sleep early?
  • Cake – Ah yes, if there’s anything that would be a splendid match for tea, it would be a green tea cake (obviously). Sprinkled with matcha powder and infused with the same grassy essence, this should be every tea drinker’s dream. Unfortunately, Dezato’s and Bread Talk’s Green Tea Cakes are a letdown for this cake lover. Not only do they taint the integrity of the tea, the cakes are uninspired and scream mediocrity that we’d rather pass on these well-packaged pastries. Next!

10. BLACK OUT.

Black Tea is the most common tea in the world and is basically the composition of every glass of iced tea, unless otherwise stated. Lipton lives by this tea, as well as most local brands. Black is actually similar to Green Tea, with the exception of some technical terms that we can do without.

If you want a conversation starter though, you can go with: Hey, did you know that black tea has the most caffeine content in the tea family? Which is the very reason why iced tea is every insomniac’s nemesis especially if taken during dinner—yours truly a constant victim.

While I am not entirely against black tea—which has fueled the economy with its mass market goods, bravo—it has become a cliché drink that needs a serious makeover. With innovation and competition abound in the business arena, when will I ever hear something like, “One sugar free, iced white tea with natural raspberry flavor for the Lazy Black Cat?” Hope to hear that in the next 9 lives.

 

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