Worth The Weight x Throwdown: Milk Tea Shops in Katipunan

As I wait for the photographers from last friday and sunday’s photoshoots, I’ll just try to enlighten you guys in the recent arrival of one of my favorites, milk tea. For a while, I had to travel all the way to Greenhills to satisfy myself with a large cup of Serenitea and a million card games. After hoping and praying that there will be a milk tea shop in Katipunan, my prayers have now been answered in the form of The Tea Shop and Moon Leaf.

The Tea Shop is an expansion of the frozen yogurt store I used to frequent as a freshman I Heart Froyo. I Heart Froyo began as a little shop that sold inexpensive but still quality yogurt with comfortable bean bags and a relaxing atmosphere. It then expanded to a sandwich store rightfully called ‘wichkraft. The milk tea line started as a real small one which only sold basic Assam and Jasmine milk tea with pearls. I like my milk tea flavored more than anything else so I didn’t come back for my milk tea cravings until my sister told me that they’ve expanded their menu and their Chocnut milk tea was good.

True enough, on my next trip to The Tea Shop, they’ve fully expanded to lots of different flavors and bases of milk teas and their own variation of Happy Lemon’s rock salt and cheese line. So far, I’ve tried Chocnut Milk Tea (black tea based milk tea with real chocnut chunks), Mascuvado Milk Tea (black tea based with brown sugar), Roasted Wintermelon (Oolong based) and Sweet Wintermelon (black tea based). So far, my favorite is Mascuvado, which is reminiscent of Serenitea’s best-seller Okinawa. Chocnut isn’t for everyone unless you really like peanut butter and chocnut in general. Roasted Wintermelon and Sweet Wintermelon tasted almost the same, just a faint distinction from the different tea bases. They have different sinkers on their menu but they never seem to have pudding, which happens to be my default sinker choice. Also, they tend to make their milk teas a little sweeter than what I’m used to so I advise that you ask them to make the sugar level 50%. Unless you like it real sweet!

Aside from it being worth the weight, it’s also worth the wait. The Tea Shop takes a while to make their drinks, for some reason. I never really enjoy waiting for things that could be done quickly so this bothered me a little.

Moon Leaf started out as a little milk tea shop in Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, a long stretch of indie but really good restaurants. Due to the scarcity and high demand of milk tea in the UP-Katipunan area (which is infected with hungry students from UP, Ateneo, Miriam, Holy Family, Claret, etc), whenever I’d go there in the late afternoon, the flavors I usually want are never available. Nonetheless, I got to try their House Milk Tea, Honey Milk Tea, Wintermelon Milk Tea and the one I drank today, Hakka Milk Tea. All the rest are self explanatory in names but the Hakka Milk Tea is also reminiscent of Serenitea’s Okinawa, only it uses black sugar instead of brown.

Moon Leaf also offers quality and good-tasting milk teas and offers a wide range of teas. Unlike The Tea Shop, it doesn’t have it’s variation of Happy Lemon’s rock salt and cheese line. Oh and for those who can’t find Moon Leaf in Katipunan, it’s just a small stall in right in front of Crave Burger. By right in front, I mean it’s really just in front of the door. It’s like a kiosk. I heard that there’s another milk tea shop that recently opened last saturday beside Fruit Magic, behind McDonald’s but I’m unsure of the name and what it offers so I’ll fill you in on how it is when I’ve tried it out.

Bottom line, both are really good milk tea shops but I’m gonna have to put my money on Moon Leaf in terms of quality of tea for the simple reason that they sell all sinkers presented on their menu and I like being able to taste more tea than milk in my drink. For the ambiance, however, I’ll definitely go for The Tea Shop. If you’re intending to just get some tea to go, Moon Leaf is your pick unless you want to take into Crave Burger (they sell good burgers too, by the way). They all have their strengths but I always find myself going back to my first love, Serenitea.

So for you milk tea lovers in Katipunan who have been waiting just as long as I have, time to rejoice!

Follow the sign that says I Heart Froyo and The Tea Shop is inside! It’s on the second floor of the building beside Bo’s Coffee.

Moon Leaf is along Esteban Abada, the backside of the strip of restaurants on Katipunan Avenue. Behind McDonald’s.

Nicole x

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