BUMBLE TEA: The Milk Tea Buzz (OAP)

(This feature was published in OurAwesomePlanet.com and Mercato Centrale last April 26, 2013)

The milk tea trend has been around for quite some time now and it looks like it is here to stay, especially with the summer season at its peak. This hot weather calls for refreshing beverages to cool you down and milk tea is a good choice. It is really my preferred drink, as I am more of a tea person rather than coffee.

There are lots of milk tea brands out there but not all are created equal. What I like about Bumble Tea Place in is that it offers a wide range of beverage choices, and it also customizes sugar levels, which I really appreciate because I’m not too fond of overly sweet drinks. Customers may choose if they want 100% sugar content in their drinks, or none at all. Although it takes an extra step before you can get a hold of your drink, it is worth your time so you can alter the tea according to your taste.

The Bumble Tea Place is actually an offshoot of one of Mia Espiritu’s subjects during her grad school days. “I left the corporate world so I can focus on my studies, but I wanted to still have a source of income.” Mia conceptualized different food concepts and tried it out in various bazaars all over the metro, but it was the milk tea that turned out to be the most successful. In 2011, she decided to focus solely on milk tea and pitched the idea to Mercato Centrale. Since March 2011, she has been in the milk tea business, in which she offers around 30 flavors.

Although the milk tea is a Taiwanese concept, Mia tweaked it a bit to make it more appealing to the Filipino palate. The Winter Melon Milk Tea with 100% sugar, for instance, would appeal to the sweet Pinoy taste. Add some pearls to it and it becomes a bestseller. I also like the coffee jelly add-ons, which gives more flavor and texture to the drink. Aside from the milk teas, I also like the juice blends. I sampled the Peppermint Lemon Green Tea that had a floral taste. It was light and it definitely quenched my thirst. Other must-tries are the Sweet Black Milk Tea and Dark Chocolate Rock Salt and Cheese.

Milk teas are made more fun with add-ons like pearls, coffee jelly, and flavored nata, which The Bumble Tea Place offers as well.

I could use some milk tea now, in fact, as the hot summer sun continues to intensify.