(SPOT.ph) If the sight of milk tea still makes your heart flutter, then you’ve come to the right place. This time, we’re putting the spotlight on the newest craze in town: Brown sugar. First appearing in milk-tea shops in Taiwan, one popular kind is made with pure milk and pearls blanketed in a decadent, thick brown-sugar syrup. If you’re a hardcore milk-tea fan and prefer something caffeinated, most shops offer milk-tea versions, too. Its appeal lies in its sinfully sweet syrup, which typically uses muscovado sugar for that distinctive nutty-caramel flavor. Curious or can’t get enough of it?
We’ve rounded up the best places in Metro Manila for brown sugar milk tea:
Originally from Taiwan, Tiger Sugar is one of the latest and buzziest milk-tea shops to arrive on our shores. Don’t be surprised if you see a snaking-long line outside their little kiosk at Bonifacio High Street—their Brown Sugar Boba Milk With Cream Mousse has been getting a lot raves because it uses fresh cream instead of milk, making it richer than the usual.
Tiger Sugar is at Bonifacio High Street, 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea
If you didn’t know, YiFang was among the first milk-tea shops to introduce brown-sugar milk to Manila. Besides sweet tea drinks that use real fruit juices, their Brown Sugar Pearl series is enough reason to visit. The Brown Sugar Pearl Milk is a treat for people who like their beverage really milky. Prefer a robust tea flavor? Go for the Brown Sugar Oolong Milk Tea.
See a list of YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea branches.
Chatime is a staple in any milk-tea lover’s list, for good reason—they’ve been around the milk-tea business long enough to perfect the classics. Also from Taiwan, the popular brand boasts an extensive menu that offers a wide range of options, from milk tea and tea lattes, to smoothies and slushies. Riding on the brown-sugar trend, Chatime recently launched their Marble Collection, offering three irresistible iced beverages made with creamy fresh milk and brown-sugar syrup: Marble Pearl Black Tea Latte, Marble Pearl Milk Tea, and Marble Pearl Fresh Milk.
See a list of Chatime branches.
For many people, Moonleaf offers more than just great milk tea—they serve a chock-full of nostalgia, too. It first became popular among students studying in the Katipunan area until it expanded to almost every city in Metro Manila. Their signature Wintermelon Milk Tea is a no-fail choice, but they’ve also got a lot of new and seasonal drinks on hand, like the Tiger Moon Brown Sugar Milk Tea, which uses fresh milk, their signature tea blend, and an addicting dark syrup.
See a list of Moonleaf branches.
Chachago is the newest kid on the block, quietly opening in the Tomas Morato area in 2018. Besides the usual milk tea, the Taiwanese beverage shop has almost every kind of tea drink you can think of, including fruit teas, tea lattes, Yakult teas—you name it. Their Brown Sugar Series offers more than the usual, too. The Roasted Brown Sugar Cacao with Salted Whipped Cream is as heavenly as it sounds, with a sweet chocolatey base perfectly complemented by a slightly salty whipped-cream topping rounding everything out.
Chachago is at 53 Scout Tobias Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City.
There’s a reason why Happy Lemon is a favorite among many. For one, their bright yellow façade can light up anyone’s day in an instant. Apart from that, they’ve got drinks for every kind of milk-tea lover out there. Famous for their Rock Salt and Cheese series, Happy Lemon has been stepping up their game by offering trendy items, too. Their latest is the Tiger Milk Tea, with robust milk tea and brown-sugar syrup, under the Tiger Series, a batch of brown-sugar drinks that can satisfy any sweet tooth.
Happy Lemon has branches all over Metro Manila.
When you talk about milk tea, expect that Serenitea is bound to come up in the conversation. Known for their punchy teas, like the earthy Hokkaido Milk Tea and nutty Okinawa Milk Tea, Serenitea also has a lot more in store both for regulars and first timers. In 2018, they launched their much-awaited Brown Sugar series, collaborating with local milk brand Holly’s Fresh Milk. Don’t leave without trying the Brown Sugar Grass Jelly, with an extra-sweet syrup tempered by creamy milk and silky grass jelly. They’ve also got Brown Sugar Taho, a drink-snack hybrid, for when you’re craving the popular Pinoy treat.
See a list of Serenitea branches.
Oh My Tea
Oh My Tea is the newest addition to Maginhawa’s roster of milk-tea shops. Although they specialize in Thai milk tea, you can’t deny that they serve crazy-good brown-sugar drinks, too. You shouldn’t miss the Golden Sugar Milk Tea—not only is it lip-smackingly sweet, but it’s also great for your IG feed!
Oh My Tea is at 111 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.
This new milk-tea shop at SM Mall of Asia flaunts a minimalist aesthetic that we love. But beyond Sun Tea's cool façade are great drinks, like the crowd-favorite Cheese Tea and Cheese Fruit Tea. Don’t worry, they’ve also got brown-sugar drinks for those pesky cravings—the Brown Sugar Pearl with Cheese Cap doesn’t only have that distinctive muscovado taste, but it also has a creamy cheese froth for maximum enjoyment.
Sun Tea is at SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
Black Scoop Café
If their name rings a bell, it’s because Black Scoop Café became known for their unique milk-tea ice cream. But this Maginhawa-based coffee-slash-milk-tea parlor isn’t one to stop experimenting with trends—they’ve recently come up with their own version of the world-famous drink through their Brown Sugar Latte, a delicate milky drink laced with sweet muscovado syrup.
Black Scoop Café is at 101 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.