Cuenco: In good company

Joanna Cuenco

EVERYBODY is claiming to be the best milk tea maker in town. From someone who has tried many milk teas, it always boils down to personal taste. However, what sets Island Tea Company apart from the rest is that it does not use powders. All tea beverages are prepared fresh upon ordering using authentic teas from Sri Lanka. Tea lovers will definitely appreciate the bold flavors offered here that can’t be achieved from powdered mixtures. Authentic tea also offers the health benefits of antioxidants and is a comforting beverage on sick days or any day, for that matter.

Earlier this month, Island Tea Company opened its kiosk on the second level of Ayala Center Cebu, outside Playnation and Rustan’s department store. This franchise, one of about 50 nationwide, is operated by Jamila Liwalug, who told me that there are also branches in Sri Lanka and planned expansion in the U.A.E.

What makes Island Tea Company in Ayala more inviting is that it’s not just a grab-and-go drinks kiosk, but also offers pastries and seating for one to enjoy a little slice of peace with that slice of carrot cake. This franchise has partnered with Cebuano bakery, Crema Homegrown Recipes, to pair the teas with delicious baked goodies. Crema is truly homegrown, with ensaymada, cakes, pies, and more, carefully and lovingly baked in the commissary beside the home of proprietor Sharon Lopez. Some of us may know Crema from the previous branch in Parkmall or Banilad Town Centre, or have ordered directly from them throughout the years. Crema is the perfect pair for Island Tea Company as it also uses only fresh, real ingredients.

Until the malls reopen, Island Tea Company delivers through Grab Food, while Crema Homegrown Recipes accepts orders for delivery through its Facebook page.