Milk Tease

Cebuanos go crazy over milk tea

MILK tea has become a favorite drink among Cebuanos, no doubt. Stands and stores are sprouting all over the place — from malls to sidewalks to old refurbished buildings on old commercial streets coming back to life. That doesn’t come as a surprise, though. Milk tea is accessible and easy on the tongue, and with a wide selection of flavors, there’s a milk tea mix for everyone.

The options and choices, though, can be a bit overwhelming for the milk tea drinker, especially when the cashier begins the customary interrogation:

Would you prefer Oolong tea to Earl Grey, or Black to Green? What flavor would it be: chocolate, strawberry, apple, wintermelon, or a mix of two or more? How much sugar shall we add? Would you like to top it off with some sea salt cream?

Then there’s something more to chew on: the milk tea drinker is faced with an even wider array of add-ons: pearls, nata de coco, egg pudding, aloe, grass jelly, seaweed jelly, brown sugar jelly, malt, cocoa, beans, black bricks, and panna cotta.

The choices are endless. The result, the same, an empty plastic cup save for the ice cubes.

Milk tea

Cool comfort

Enjoying your milk tea becomes even more pleasurable as many milk tea stores provide cozy seats, clean tables, good lighting, great Internet connection, and air-conditioning.

As a result, milk tea stores have become a popular hangout for students and young workers to chill and unwind, the way coffee shops were a few years ago.

Prices are likewise affordable: for P70 to P150, depending on the size, add-ons, or the milk tea brand itself, you can get yourself a satisfying milk tea high.

Healthy tea

Drinking milk tea, of course, isn’t just for enjoyment. It’s actually good for your health.

“Tea has health benefits like preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. If we add milk to tea, the additional benefit would be the intake of calcium, which is good for bone health,” said Dr. Marissa Cuenco, who practices family medicine in Cebu City.

“However, some scientists can’t agree whether adding milk to tea will diminish the health benefits of tea. Some studies found out that the protein in milk will decrease the absorption of the catechins in tea, which is responsible for its health benefits,” she clarified, referring to a type of antioxidant.

And just like anything that tastes as great, milk tea can be “addictive,” draining your pockets sip by sip. Worse, if you don’t keep tabs on the sugar content and keep calm on the cream, you’d be staring at some health issues sooner than you think.

The key, of course, is moderation. So, the next time you think you’ve reached your milk tea limit, ask yourself this: “To tea or not to tea? That is the question.” (Stephanie R. Castueras, STC Mass Comm)


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