Coffee or Tea (or me?)

I am a tea person…

I first discovered this when my first-ever Starbucks coffee (a free cup courtesy of an American boss) became my ticket to the Ayala movie house restroom. (Whew, thankfully they have nice and clean restrooms..) And other realizations were of the same kind so I’ve finally decided that no matter how aromatic and tempting coffee might seem to be – “I’d have to pass, thank you.”

Ironically though, I could drink native coffee (a.k.a. kape from sinangan na mais) and my stomach could tolerate it. I remember when I was younger, my mother would serve breakfast with “buwad potpot” (dried fish) and “kape Dragon” and I would really enjoy pouring the coffee into my rice like it was “sabaw” (soup). It was the only kind of coffee I could take without hurting myself…(I just remembered that as a child, I was told coffee would stunt my growth so I guess in a way that was also a psychological contributing factor that led to why I am not a coffee person. I never drank coffee but that did NOT make me any taller…oh well)     

Anyway, it was when some colleagues and I went to Hong Kong and during our side trip to Macau that I fell in love with tea. (Our Macau trip consisted of trips to Casinos that offered free drinks including coffee and milk tea so naturally my choice had to be milk tea.) It was hot, very aromatic, really delicious, overflowing and FREE!! J This favorite drink of mine is called “chai”.

After that trip, tea became my very own coffee however it wasn’t a very popular drink back then and the only instant drink I could find was Lipton Milk Tea and since it was the only one there is, it was the best one! It was more expensive than the regular tea and coffee and not all grocery stores sell it so whenever I did see a pack in the grocery, I had to buy one.

When I spent a couple of months in Singapore (a month to look for work and the second to actually work), I didn’t have a problem finding tea because it was sort of a staple product everywhere and my Singaporean uncle and his kids were very fond of it. It wasn't at all unnatural to drink tea rather than soda after a meal in a restaurant. (Read more about the benefits of tea over coffee here.)

Thanks to the many Koreans and other non-Filipino Asians now residing in the Philippines, tea and milk tea have become popular as well that it is no longer hard to find stores that specialize in tea or even just serve it on their regular menu. It is but apparent in the number of milk tea shops sprouting in Cebu. 

Which brings me to the main agenda of this post - 2 tea products that I would highly-recommend to anyone:

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Chai Latte 

The first time I had this was again with another boss (Filipino this time) who, just like me, couldn’t drink coffee. (His reason was more religious compared to mine which was physical.) 

They serve it in clear glass; foamy, aromatic and totally divine!!! (Do I need to mention, this was totally free?!)  

Just thinking about it makes me thirsty for it. The taste was warm, calming, and leaves your mouth with a very pleasant taste. It was so good that I wanted to buy their instant tea packs but realized you have to process it the way they do with their expensive machine and milk additive to actually resemble how well they make it.. (So I didn’t.) I was only really interested in the drinking part and not all the fuss that came with it; plus the machines were expensive!

If I am not mistaken, this is sold at P135 pesos  (more or less but I could be wrong but definitely not below 100) and since I am the typical “tihik Cebuano” (stringent Cebuano); I only really bought it for myself once but always have fond memories of how it tastes. I just might get one for myself again, just to re-live the experience... 

But to buy a drink that is more than 100 pesos, I’d really have to want it or have to be really depressed and angry that I’d want to splurge! (Yeah, my idea of a splurge is a tea that costs more than 100. To give you a mental picture of how stringent I am, I brought with me an entire carton. about 2-3 layers high, of mineral water to sell during Sinulog and took a jeepney not a taxi and ended up carrying it a long way just so I could save…so yeah.. That’s me! Hehe)

But enough about me, let’s talk about my second tea product suggestion.

Cobo Milk Tea 

Although there are plenty of stalls that now sell Iced Milk tea, this has got to be the best I’ve had so far. I even like the way their crew handled my order! 

I’ve had it twice and from the same stall at the Gaisano Pavilion in Banawa. The small one I believe costs 49 pesos and you have to add 10 for the black pearls and they ask you for the sweetness level. (I guess this works for those who prefer less sugar or no sugar as opposed to adding more sugar unless you’re planning to go to an early date with Mr. Diabetis, that is…)

I might try their other tea products but so far, I am loving the regular milk tea one...

Discovering and making a personal affirmation that I am a tea person actually made me realize that I am more Asian than I originally thought I was.. Sure, I tend to think in English and only English-speaking people get most of my jokes but that does not in any way surpass my innate-life-and-death need for rice (standard 2 servings every meal), “balot/buwad/hipon/etc” and Pinoy street foods and now my totally-Asian affinity for tea.

So yeah, I am tea person and I am Asian! J

How about you, are you a coffee or tea drinker and why? If you know of other great tea products, do share them here... 

nmed 09/15/2014 @ 11:17am

 P.S. Pictures were borrowed from google search... 
The title of the post, by the way, is a joke for those who are not familiar with it... ;-) 


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