This tea shop out of Tondo, Manila is serving single-sized, insanely affordable (PHP50/US$1) Thai-inspired milk teas—a welcome addition to any boba lovers’ quick-fix list. But judging on what got you clicking (quit snickering), that’s just the tip of their selling point.
It’s the shop’s… ugh, curious-looking logo which demands that you pay firm attention. Oh, we’ll just go on and say it. It’s because there’s a friggin’ penis printed on the tea bottles (hey, you were already thinking it).
“Actually I’ve received many DMs regarding the logo. I have to explain to people one by one that it’s actually just a big straw inserted in a cup,” Dew Thai’s owner, who wanted to be identified only by her first name Irish, told Coconuts Manila via chat.
Irish said her small business, which she runs out of a food cart, started operating just two weeks ago. It’s her first foray into the food business, and even with a day job, she managed to make the logo herself.
“I created it using an app called Logo Maker. We wanted to make a very minimal design and googled a lot of milk tea logos. Just to be unique and creative, we thought we’d focus on the straw. I guess it depends on how people look at it because everyone’s minds and perspective runs differently,” she explained.
As expected, the creative artwork drew in a lot of reactions.
“Some laughed, some were disgusted. I guess in the end it still worked because that’s the goal of a logo, right? To catch people’s attention,” Irish said.
While it conveniently tied in with the logo, she said she thought about the shop’s slogan “size doesn’t matter” even before she created the brand’s insignia. The name Dew Thai is also a clever play on words.
“It comes from the Visayan word ‘dyutay’ meaning small. So we thought of other words that sounded like that but had a different meaning. ‘Dew’ for tiny drops of water and ‘Thai’ because they’re known for their milk teas, so we wanted to do a touch of Thai concept. I’ve also dreamed of going to Thailand,” Irish said.
Phallic jokes in the comments section aside, Dew Thai actually carries a pretty respectable tea lineup. The single-sized 16oz teas come in five flavors: Okinawa, Taro, Hokkaido, Wintermelon, and Dark Choco—the last two being the shop’s bestsellers.
Cheesecakes, burgers, and fries are also on offer, and the food will set you back a pocket-friendly PHP20 (US$0.40) to PHP100 (US$2) per serving.
Irish said it’s risky to start a new business during a pandemic, but her humble tea shop has helped give her neighbors jobs. While the store’s target market was initially Tondo residents, she said she’s gained customers who live outside the district, thanks to her viral and quirky logo.
But last night, she tweaked the design to keep from further scandalizing people. It now comes with a slightly flatter straw tip.
“Apologies to those who were offended, but it doesn’t mean a thing. We now have a new and wholesome logo, so there’s no issue,” she said.
Do you think the tweaked logo looks better? Feel like ordering tea? Leave us a comment or tweet about this story, and tag us @CoconutsManila
Dew Thai is at 814 Almario St. Tondo, Manila
Open 1pm to 9pm for pick-up and deliveries within Tondo; 2pm to 7pm for deliveries outside Tondo
FB: @dewthaimilktea | Phone: +63956 729 2201, +6377298345
Read more about places to eat and drink in the metro here.
This article, Got tea? This Thai-inspired beverage shop in Manila has an interesting proposition, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!