Monday, July 25, 2011

Food Diaries: Flavorful Teas at GONG CHA

When we went to SM North Edsa yesterday, I saw a poster about this new store which allegedly offered the infamous Hong Kong Milk Tea. Since I have been craving for one these past few weeks, I told Bala and Tutapel that we should check it out!

Gong Cha Philippines

A rundown of the store's branches in other Asian countries really piqued my interest. Too bad, I wasn't aware of the store's existence when we were in Hong Kong and Macau. I wished that somehow I can also try out their branches in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as part of our itinerary. 

As you can see, there were a lot of customers that day despite the rains. They seemed like regulars because they knew exactly what to order, unlike me, a newbie, who had to ask what their house specialties were.

Gong Cha Philippines

For the House Specialty line, they said that their signature favorites are Winter Melon and Earl Grey Teas.

Gong Cha Philippines

And for their Milk Teas, it's the variant with Pearl Jelly that is obviously a front runner. Having heard all of this, I decided to order the medium-sized Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly for myself and the large Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Tea for Bala and Tutapel.

Gong Cha Philippines

When you look closely at the info sticker plastered on the plastic cup, you would see my name on it and the product and time of order. A far cry from our favorite Starbucks who still uses a pentel pen to write the client's name and order on the cup. On the sticker, it also shows your sugar preference-ranging from 100% to 75% to no sugar, if my memory serves me right.

Gong Cha Philippines

Before I tried Bala's order, an instructional poster greeted me by surprise. When I read it, I can't help but smile because scenes from our Tea Ceremony in Kanagawa-ken just flashed before my eyes. The intricate steps involved in a seemingly "simple" thing like drinking tea from a cup is transformed into a traditional work of art which teaches the participant about the value of patience and appreciation for the small stuff.

Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Milk Tea (Php 95). This particular variant is heavenly to say the least. The presence of Winter Melon or Kundol beautifully highlights the smoothness and creaminess of the milk tea resulting in a drink that is almost dessert-like! A reminder though that this is basically a sweet drink, considering the fact that I asked them to just put in 75% sugar. If for some reason, you're not fond of sweet things, make sure to ask for 50% or less sugar in your tea. 

Gong Cha Philippines

Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly (Php 80). The tea taste is more apparent tin this concoction which explains its bitterish undertones. But when consumed with the firm pearls, the drink becomes more fun and enjoyable. If you want a strong tea taste, then this variant is most definitely for you.

Gong Cha Philippines

I can't wait to taste other variants from their Ice Cream and Creative Mix product lines next week. Looks like Gong Cha has now become our family's favorite "fourth place!"

Gong Cha Philippines

Gong Cha Philippines


Sky Garden
SM North Edsa
Beside Starbucks

SM Mall of Asia

Footnote: "Fourth place" means one's favorite place next to the home, school/office and church. It was commonly associated with Starbucks for having transformed the way people have included Starbucks coffee and the place itself in their daily lives.  


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  1. i must try gong cha soon! :)

  2. hi saccharine!yes. i truly recommend it. it's really worth a try!

  3. of all the tea bars sprouting in the metro, which one do you like best: serenitea? bubble tea? happy lemon? kozui? gong cha?