Cebu’s Newest Milk Tea Café
Opened in February 2012 by the Jim family, Tea & Symphony is a new establishment that helps impart to Cebuanos the wisdom that tea (Camellia sinensis) is more than just the leaf-flavored or perhaps bitter drink that our grandmothers are quite fond of imbibing. For a change from ubiquitous coffee breaks, perhaps it’s time to give tea a chance and let yourself become accustomed to its taste that soothes, even though it has caffeine, like coffee does.
Did you know that tea is classed according to its method of manufacture into one set of types (green tea, black tea and oolong) and graded according to leaf size into another set of types (pekoe, souchong, etc.)? Some of the tea varieties served at Tea & Symphony were given names that correspond to these types, although others are named for certain places where tea can be found, like Darjeeling, Ceylon and Formosa.
The shop specializes on milk tea but also serves brewed tea (black or green), fruit tea, and even a few non-tea drinks: almond milk, coconut milk and taro milk. Much of the tea served at the café is sourced from Taiwan, which country is also the inspiration for the snacks served in the café. Chicken, fish and tofu prepared in Taiwanese Street Food-style are available in Salt n’ Pepper and Wasabi Pepper flavors.
Customers can also choose from a variety of toppings to enhance their tea-drinking experience, which include aloe vera, black pearls, coffee jelly, grass jelly, nata de coco, and egg pudding.
To make sure your tea beverage is as fresh as possible, the staff at Tea & Symphony will brew your tea only when you’ve ordered it. Those who are trying to control their sugar intake can choose the sweetness or syrup level for their beverage from Tea & Symphony: 100% – normal, 75%, 50%, 25% – mild, 0% – healthiest
If you happen to be in the mood for a sweet milk tea, Tea & Symphony can provide you with its Hokkaido, Okinawa and Wintermelon brews. They are considered the most naturally sweet-tasting among the varieties the shop has concocted.
Maybe just the name Tea & Symphony has given you the impression that classical music is played in their shop, but this is not necessarily so. You might be able to hear some unobtrusive bossa nova music played when you go there.
Visit the shop from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays or from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the weekend. You can call them at telephone number (032)416-1716. If you want to give Tea & Symphony a Facebook Like, then make sure you go to their page, http://www.facebook.com/Tea.n.Symphony
The Tea-Tasting Event
On a warm Sunday afternoon, Everything Cebu participated in a tea-tasting event hosted by Tea and Symphony, much thanks to Ms. Merryan Jim for the invite.
The owners of the recently-opened Milk Tea Cafe, Mr. Stanley Jim and Mrs. Kristine Jim, prepared a tasty array of Taiwanese Street Foods to accompany six tea flavors that they wanted to introduce to Cebuanos. We feasted on chicken, fish and tofu prepared in bite-size pieces. As for the cold tea variants, we sampled Tea & Symphony Milk Tea, Ceylon Milk Tea, Formosa Milk Tea, Strawberry Black Tea, Ching Black Tea, and Japanese Green Tea.
My partner, who is a Milk Tea enthusiast, says she loved the Tea & Symphony Milk Tea most. To quote, “It instantly made an impression. I was at a loss for adjectives, and that shames me as a writer.” This particular flavor is also considered a favorite by the owners and majority of the café’s patrons. Apparently, it is noted on the menu, as well. I, on the other hand, was transported to a wonderfully calm place when I took a sip of that delightful Japanese Green Tea. One can say that the rich aroma of the freshly brewed tea made a significant impact on the taste buds. Among the finger foods served, we both loved the chicken bits, which had just the crunch and tenderness to it.
We were also given Tea & Symphony gift cards by Mrs. Jim, with which we could avail of a free medium-sized drink with our choice of toppings. My partner availed of Ceylon Milk Tea with Aloe Vera while I chose their must-try Sakura Green Tea with Black Pearls. Both were delicious treats that we enjoyed to their last drops.
The overall ambiance of the café helped create a comfortable setting for either enjoying cold tea with friends or treating yourself to a warm cup of tea. Indeed, another addition to Cebu’s finest food places worth trying.
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