I’ve never been much of a tea drinker. Not the traditional tea kind, anyway. I’m fond of milk teas, iced teas and Starbucks’ Green Tea Frappuccino. But the normal Earl Greys and Oohlongs completely escape me.
A lot of my friends swear by it, however. It soothes, they say, it relaxes the mind. It was these friends I thought of when I came across TWG Tea Manila during one of my blog-hopping bouts.
TWG (The Wellness Group) Tea originally came from Singapore, the country that even years before was a major trade hub. Its shores encountered coffee, spices, and of course, tea. TWG celebrates this and offers not only premium tea products but elegant settings for the drink, as well.
Such a setting can be found in Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center. I heard that they had another branch in Resorts World, but as of now, that’s a kind of unfamiliar territory. There’s a limit to how far I can drag my friends to. Sigh.
We had to wait for an hour before a table became free (Yay to bookstores that let you loiter at any given amount of time!) but in the end, I would say it was worth it.
The interiors were incredibly nice, I felt like I was transported to those old tea salons back in the day. I also remembered Titanic for some reason.
It took us forever to choose our teas. Mainly because there were over 400 of them. I gave up after I got confused between Chittagong Hill Tea and Golden Pu-Erh, and just let my friends decide for me.
In the end we whittled it down to Royal Darjeeling, Chocolate Earl Grey, Vanilla Bourbon and Créme Caramel.
They say that the teacups were especially designed to enhance the whole tea experience and the teapots (which you can purchase) were geared towards making the perfect cup of tea.
The tea was quite affordable, in my opinion. Most were only Php195.00 a pot. But if you’re not in the mood to spend, just steer clear of the ones that cost Php500+. Even so, that would still leave you with a pretty wide selection.
TWG also offered some delicious food to go with the teas. I wanted to try to be all British-like and go for the scones, but being that they were not available, we all opted for the macarons instead. They were pretty good; actually, they beat all the other ones that I’ve tasted.
Apparently, to better experience or taste your tea, you shouldn’t share with other people and concentrate on your own. Hmmm. With my friends that doesn’t seem to be a possible option. We passed all of our pots around like it was some kind of Mad-Hatter Tea party and we even cut down the macarons into tiny pieces so we can all taste each of the flavors. It’s either we’re weird, or we’re cheap. Raise your hand if you’re with weird!
My tea-loving friends loved the tea, and for someone who hasn’t mastered the art of it yet (yours truly) I can say I did as well. I especially loved the Chocolate Earl Gray, an already popular choice among TWG’s customers. I kept giving it longing glances behind my friend’s back.
Did I say I loved the interiors? Oh yeah, that was the very first thing I said. But anyway, I’m very fond of the color gold (let’s not psychoanalyze that any further, shall we?) and the brown-gold combination is a classic. The mirrors, the chandeliers and all the other tiny details only served to heighten the ambiance they were trying to project which was: Posh, posh, posh. The service also contributed to this statement, the waiters were attentive without being pushy, respectful but not snooty. The fact that they make you feel like billionaires is just an added bonus. Everyone was really nice, and the manager even took our group’s picture! Thank you, kind sir!
TWG is definitely a great place to come back to again and again. It’s good for relaxing, especially amongst friends. They may not have stickers to collect (hey, that’s not a bad idea!) but I bet it’ll still be fun to try tasting all of its 400 kinds of Tea.
*Thanks to Mikki Miranda for the Title!