January 18, 2011

Milk Tea Mania

            Crazy over milk tea.

            It’s been a couple of years since the milk tea or bubble tea mania actually boomed in Manila. Since I stopped drinking coffee regularly over a year ago, I’m pleased to see that there are a lot of alternatives in the city.

            Here are 8 milk tea shops in Metro Manila that I have visited for the past 3 years.


Creamy Korokke,Vegetarian Roasted Pumpkin Wrap and Special Takoyaki

            The first milk tea I had is from Kozui, over 3 years ago. That time, I was attracted to Kozui’s green and healthy food plus Japanese snacks like takoyaki, cold noodles and such. I don’t have any inclination to tea before but I was curious with their Matcha Milk Tea, so I ordered one.

            Since then, I’ve been to Kozui around 4 times. Kozui’s matcha is like a smoothie drink, icy and creamy. Sweetness level is a little too sweet but still good. Other milk tea blends are also so sweet. Aside from these drinks, Kozui also have fruit drinks like pomegranate, passionfruit, etc.

            Price:               PHP 75.00 – P150 per drink
Address:          258 B Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Fernandez, Quezon City


            Tea.ology is the newest bubble tea shop. I’ve only tried it once but their tea is promising. They serve a wide selection of teas like the classic teas, fruit tea infusions, milk tea and their own signature blends.

            Tea.ology’s Tealuxe Signature Blends include Mojitea (Green Tea with Mint and Tangy lime), Frosted mint chocolate milk tea, white chocolate milk tea and dark chocolate milk tea. I’m curious about the dark chocolate milk tea. Will it be more chocolatey or more on tea?

            And if you’re not into tea, Tea.ology has an alternative for you: Passion Fruit Yakult, Lemon Yakult and Sagada Coffee.

            Toppings:         Pearl, Coconut Jelly, Coffee Jelly, Sweet Tea Jelly, Egg Pudding
            Sweetness Level: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.
            Price:               PHP 45.00 – 95.00
Address:          Upper Ground Level, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato, Quezon City


My easiest fix for stress is Bubbatealicious. First, it’s light on the budget, only P50.00 for a large drink. Second, the milk tea shop is the most accessible to home and work. Plain milk tea is more of tea than milk which is good. Pearls are chewy but sometimes, a little crushed and soggy.

            There are 2 drawbacks for Bubbatealicious. One, pearls are their only topping and they add powdered flavoring to their drinks.

            Sweetness Level:         50%, 100%
            Price:               PHP 35.00-70.00
Address:          SM Malls

Bubble Tea

            A lot of people are raving about Bubble Tea. First, it’s not the typical Bubble Tea stall or like the other small shops mentioned here because Bubble Tea is a restaurant of its own. At Bubble Tea, you’ll find all the Japanese goodies like ramen, sushi, and more. Also, it’s the most expensive milk tea shop in town because the ingredients are imported from Japan.

            The food is something to rave about. I’ve been there thrice and still enjoyed the food I ordered. But their milk tea is another thing.

            Personally, Bubble Tea is my least favorite milk tea shop in town. The milk teas are just like tea-flavored milk. I’m really disappointed that people are raving about their milk tea that’s more milk than tea.

Also, I know a lot of people like Bubble Tea’s tapioca balls. The different sizes of the tapioca are pretty cool to look at. It seems like the bubbles are dancing on the bottom of the glass. But I don’t like the irregularity that the bubbles give when I’m chewing it in my mouth.

All in all, I wouldn’t mind eating at Bubble Tea. I’d go for Herb Teas but never again for their milk tea.

Toppings: Pearls, Egg Pudding
            Price: PHP 80.00 and above

Address:          LG/F SM North Edsa, The Block, Quezon City
LG/F SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
#220 Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City
#229 Wilson St., Greenhills, San Juan


            I’ve tried Zentea only once. We ordered Kiwi Green Tea, 3 Berries Personalitea and the Nai Cha. With Zentea, the milk teas taste milky instead of tea. But since I’ve only tried it once, I’ll have to visit another branch to know if the ‘milky’ taste is their signature blend. However, the Kiwi Green Tea tastes good.

Toppings:         Pearls
            Price:               PHP 35.00 to 70.00
Address:          EGI Taft Tower Taft Avenue Malate, Manila

 Moonleaf Tea Shop

           Moonleaf Tea Shop is also a new milk tea shop in town. Located in Teacher’s Village near UP, it’s probably the best milk tea shop in Northern Quezon City. Their tea is made from freshly brewed tea and the tea leaves are imported from Taiwan.

            What I like about Moonleaf is that even if it’s already in milk tea form, Taiwan’s Oolong tea is still pronounced. Also, if you customize your sugar level, the server is kind enough to let you take a sip from your cup first to know if that’s the level of sweetness you prefer. When you’ve finalize your preference for your sweetness level, that’s the only time they’ll seal the cup.
Toppings:         Pearls, Nata, Egg Pudding
            Sweetness Level: In 6 sugar levels, 6 being the sweetest.
            Price:               PHP 65.00 to 100.00
Address:          44 Magiting Street, Teacher's Village Quezon City

            And now, for my Top 2 favorites (in any order).

Happy Lemon

            First of all, the tea in every drink is strong which makes me want to celebrate. Finally, a milk tea that has a strong tea flavor! Pure bliss!

            Aside from the tea flavor that overpowers any toppings or any additional blend, Happy Lemon also have odd combinations. The Rock Salt and Cheese series is a sure hit as well as the Lemon Series and the Mousse Spin. Plus, Happy Lemon has a wide range of toppings.

            In fact, we can’t get enough of Happy Lemon that my friends and I ordered 2 drinks in one sitting.

Toppings:         Pearl Sago, Seaweed Sago, Malt, Perilla, Brown Sugar Jelly, Nata de Coco, Aloe, Mesona Jelly, Adzuki Bean and Pudding
            Price:               PHP 60.00 to 100.00
Address:          G/F Promenade Greenhills, San Juan


Serenitea has been my comfort drink for over 7 months now. They have an extensive choice of plain tea, milk tea, tea with yakult, tea latte and special mixed tea. And I must say, that they have fine quality tea, that with each drink you choose, you can definitely distinguish the tea’s distinct taste. I’ve been to 4 of their 5 branches, and it’s amazing how consistently good their drinks are.

With Serenitea, I feel that they take a great deal with a client’s tea preference through personalizing each drink. A lot of tea lovers seriously take the sweetness level of their tea, so choosing the sweetness level in 25% increments is a relief.

Plus, I love how the cups look different with cute vector designs which you’ll also see posted in the interior of the shop. Last, Serenitea offers light snacks. Although it’s a bit odd that a tea shop like Serenitea mostly offers fried snacks instead of healthy snacks.

Toppings: Pearl, Lime Jelly, Nata/Crystals, Egg Pudding
            Sweetness Level: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%
            Price: PHP 60.00 to 120.00

Address:          Little Baguio, San Juan City
Aguirre Avenue BF Homes Paranaque City
N. Roxas St., Banawe, Quezon City
Cinema Area, Alabang Town Center
Adriatico Wing, Robinsons Place, Manila

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  1. I think Kozui, Serenitea and Happy Lemon deserve their own blog posts! HAHAHA :D

  2. Let's visit Kozui and Happy Lemon again.;) I'm planning to restock my tea collection!;)

  3. Since I live in BF Homes, I'll visit Serenitea and try their specialties. Can't wait. :9

  4. Moonleaf Tea Shop is my favorite hangout. I go there 3-4 times a week. I must try the other milk tea shops you recommended. Thanks for the tip! :)

  5. Try them, and when you have, let me know what your favorite milk tea shop.:)

  6. Love moonleaf. Im there almost everyday. Not just the teas are good but also the community:)

  7. You should try Simple Line at Taft. :D

  8. Hi C Rabino!:)

    Actually, Simple Line was the second milk tea I've tried. That was when I was in college and it was still Simple Life.:)

    Right now, there are really good milk tea shops out there. You should try them!

    Gong Cha @ MOA / SM North
    Chatime @ Rob Pioneer / Banawe
    Golden Chopsticks @ UST

  9. I wanna try Happy Lemon! I love Chatime's taro red bean milk tea and Gong Cha's wintermelon milk tea :D

  10. how about gong cha? :) anyway, love this post..at least i've gotten to know some other milk tea shops. i tried a couple of teas in your list and and it was like a happy moment. although, i got to say that i didn't particularly enjoyed happy lemon. other than that, you made good recommendations!

    1. Hi Daphne! I made this post before Gong Cha came into the scene. Right now, I have a few more recommendations, including Gong Cha, Chatime, Cha Dao and Tea 101. Of the 4, I like Tea 101 the most. Tea 101 is a Taiwanese Milk Tea shop, which I think is the most authentic of all because they offer a lot of Taiwanese beverages I've seen in Taipei. They also have Heineken Milk Tea and other "different" kinds of teas.;)

    2. oh i see, i just happen to stumble to this blog when i was browsing for some really nice food blogs.. anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. i will make sure that i will try them all. :)