Tea time-A A +A
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
OVER the years, variants of tea preparation have also sprouted left and right and one of which is called bubble tea. Tracing its roots to Taiwan in the 1980s, bubble tea is tea flavored with fruit syrup or milk, then mixed with tapioca pearls. It’s a cold, sweet and healthy concoction, making it a perfect choice of drink for quenching one’s thirst in this summer heat.
“We make tea-drinking hip,” said Fillip Castro of the recently opened Bon Appetea chain in Cebu. As the name suggests, it serves bubble tea—with milk teas, fruit teas and Yakult teas to choose from. It is a brand that originated in Manila, conceptualized by chef Tom Pestaño, and then brought to Cebu by brother-in-law Fillip.
At present there are two branches of Bon Appetea in Cebu: one in Salinas Drive and another in Apitong Street.
Bon Appetea prides itself on using freshly brewed teas for their drinks. It uses Assam for the milk teas, then Ceylon and Jasmine for the fruit teas. Bon Appetea’s bestseller, according to Fillip, is Nirvana which is Assam-based tea blended with winter melon.
“Our highlight is the salt and cheese foam,” Fillip added. “The foam is salty and cheesy and it perfectly balances the sweetness of the tea. When we serve our salt and cheese foam, we don’t seal it, we only use a lid and we tell our customers to sip it to get an overall taste of the three flavors.” Another bestseller is the Cocoa with salt and cheese foam. It’s a yummy blend of the sweetness of chocolate and the spiky taste of the foam.
Bon Appetea also has tea mixes for health buffs. Its line of Yakult teas are basically tea mixed with the popular skim milk Yakult and added with fruit. There are lemon, passion fruit, blueberry and mango Yakult teas to choose from.
“Our milk teas come with pearls already,” Fillip said. “We call our add-ons sinkers, and aside from the pearls, we have nata de coco, honey aloe, coffee jelly, caramel jelly, and egg pudding.” Then soon to be launched is what Fillip calls ‘naughteas’ or drinks that are added with alcohol-based sinkers.
One of the good things about Bon Appetea is the very personalized service it offers.
“My wife Gina and I are very hands on,” Fillip shared. “We talk to our customers; we want them to hang out in our branches.” Their branches are cozy and neat; truly an ideal place for relaxation, hanging out or even studying.
Fillip also disclosed that they plan to make Bon Appetea a home for various events and functions. Among the activities he has lined up is Rock Band night, where customers can freely play the fun Xbox game.
“We make tea refreshing for people to drink,” Fillip said lastly. Indeed, if you’ve always associated tea with hot water and tea bags, then it’s about time for you to have a modern day tea party at Bon Appetea.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 02, 2012.