The perfect blend of creamy milk and tea, swirls of sweet caramel-colored sugar, chewy and tasty tapioca pearls… what's not to love about brown sugar milk tea? This is one bandwagon that has become a mainstay in the Pinoy refreshment scene. Majority of the milk tea shops today offer their own versions. Some would also let you mix and match their blends with yummy add-ons (cream cheese or—wait for it—crème frickin' brûlée).
Although brown sugar milk tea has built a following, not everyone is a fan of them. Some would prefer to stick to their classic drinks or their go-to orders, too. Others might not have the slightest idea what the fuss is about. If you fall into any of these categories (or if you simply want to try what other cafes have to offer), below is a list of the best brown sugar milk teas in Manila.
Disclaimer: Some brown sugar beverages here may not necessarily have tea in them, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll call them collectively as brown sugar milk teas.
From the time they opened their first branch in the Philippines and until now, there has always been a two-hour line during peak times at Tiger Sugar. They have various versions, but Brown Sugar Boba Milk With Cream Mousse is their bestseller. Expect a silky combination of tea, milk, and sugar plus chewy pearls you won't be able to get enough of.
Special notes: You've got to shake the milk tea (15 times, according to Tiger Sugar) to mix it well. You might not be able to appreciate it much otherwise. And if you're the type that needs to have a less sugar option, sorry, they don't allow adjustments to the sweetness level to make sure you enjoy their perfect blend.
Tiger Sugar has seven locations around the metro: Bonifacio High Street, Eastwood Mall, TriNoma, SM North The Block, SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta 4, and SM Megamall.
Here's another shop that always has a line, but the wait is totally worth it with all their refreshing concoctions. Yi Fang may be famous for their fruit teas, but its Brown Sugar Pearl Tea Latte is a bestseller among brown sugar fans. Aside from its fresh milk and flavorful brown sugar pearls, it's made with their premium Sun Moon Lake black tea.
Price: P120 (medium); P140 (large)
Special notes: Extra brown sugar pearls are available for large cups (just add P30). But be warned: Yi Fang is quite generous with boba, so the additional serving might shock you like it does with most people! P.S. They've recently come out with two new brown sugar drinks you might want to try, too: Brown Sugar Pearl Cocoa Latte and Brown Sugar Pearl Matcha Latte.
Yi Fang has seven locations around the metro: Ayala Malls the 30th, M. Paterno San Juan, TriNoma, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Stopover Corporate Center, SM Mall of Asia, and Tomas Morato. More branches will be opening soon.
"Shaking tea up" has always been Chatime's mission, and they did just that with their Marble collection. The global franchise makes these drinks with creamy fresh milk and premium brown sugar. You can choose among three versions: Marble Pearl Black Tea Latte, Marble Pearl Fresh Milk, and Marble Pearl Milk Tea.
Price: P110 (regular); P120 (large)
Special notes: Apparently, the collection is not always available in all of Chatime's branches. Among the locations that offer it (according to Foodpanda, at least) are Julia Vargas, Pioneer Center, Lucky Chinatown, Eton Centris, and Century Mall, and prices on the app are P120 for a regular and P130 for a large (exclusive of delivery fees). P.S. Some Chatime locations also offer food like burgers and chicken chops that you can pair with your chosen beverage for a filling meal.
Moonleaf’s Brown Sugar Milk Tea is part of their Tiger Moon brown sugar series. They found a nice blend to their basic milk tea that’s sure to please you if you have a sweet tooth. The best part for pearl lovers? You automatically get double the usual serving of boba when you order this drink!
Price: P130 (regular); P140 (tall)
Special notes: The sweetness level can’t be adjusted for this milk tea. For the same prices, you can try other drinks in the Tiger Moon collection: Brown Sugar Grass Jelly and Brown Sugar Coffee. If you want to upgrade your milk tea experience, try adding salted cream. The extra P30 will be worth it!
Chachago offers four drinks in their brown sugar series, and the most popular ones are Brown Sugar Pearl with Milk and Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea. Some patrons say that the fresh milk makes all the difference. Others says it's the flavorful pearls that hit all the right spots and keep the drink tasty even after all the ice melts. Whatever you believe, this is one must-try Taiwanese milk tea you can't miss out on.
Special notes: If don't like your drink too sugary, request for a 30 percent sweetness level. And if you find yourself craving something savory, you can order bite-sized chicken chops at P110 or Taiwanese sausage at P100.
Chachago has eight locations around the metro—Banawe, Fishermall Malabon, Scout Tobias, N. Domingo, Barangka, Kapitolyo, Katipunan, and BF Homes. More branches will be opening soon.
Happy Lemon's beverages have become crowd faves for their rich and refreshing taste. What's great when they launched their Tiger Milk Tea was how they added another dimension to their classic drink through swirls of brown sugar. The result? An attractive confection that supposed to make you roar!
Price: P99 (large); P109 (jumbo)
Special notes: Make sure to shake before you sip! Top off your drink with extra rock salt and cheese for an additional P30. If you can't get enough of boba or brown sugar, order an add-on of pearl sago at P15 and brown sugar jelly at P20. Oh, and for those cold rainy days or if you just feel like having a warm drink, you can also have the Tiger Milk Tea hot at P99.
There are several beverages and snacks that make Serenitea a crowd favorite. Aside from their Taro Lover, Thai tofu, the fruit- or Yakult-infused teas, chicken chops, and Wintermelon or Hokkaido Milk Tea (BRB, drooling), one delightful treat is the Brown Sugar with Holly's Fresh Milk. The pearls drenched in delicious brown sugar alone would be an indulgence to chew on. Then, it's balanced by premium farm-fresh milk that tastes like no other.
Special notes: You might be asking, "Where's the tea?" Well, all of Serenitea's brown sugar series drinks are milk-based, so no, there is no tea. Make sure to try the Brown Sugar Taho (P150) and the Brown Sugar Frost (P180), too!
Oh My Tea
It may not be as famous or as big as the previous milk tea shops, but Oh My Tea (or OMT) is definitely a contender when it comes to producing the best brown sugar blend. Offering Thai and Taiwanese milk teas, OMT has always prided themselves in authentic and refreshing recipes. Their Golden Sugar Bubble Drink was such a hit when they offered it for a limited time in 2018 that they decided to bring it back for good and satisfy the taste buds of Maginhawa food crawlers.
Price: P115 (medium); P125 (XL)
Special notes: Here are other yummy variations to try: Golden Sugar With Pudding (P125 to P140) and Golden Sugar Salted Cheese (P130 to P145). OMT serves limited cups of the Golden Sugar drinks per day, so be sure to order early if you want to try them! You can also order ahead and arrange a pick-up, and if you can’t head all the way to Maginhawa, you can always have your drink delivered via LalaMove.
Oh My Tea is located in 111 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.
Black Scoop Cafe
This trendy cafe might be famous for their soft serves, but their Original Brown Sugar Latte is a must-try for brown sugar pearl lovers. The rich caramel flavor will make you fall in love, while the chewy boba will keep you wanting more. Pair the milk-based drink with your favorite savory bites like their buffalo wings, tuna pesto pasta, or grilled cheese sandwich, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal.
Price: P110 (medium); P120 (large)
Special notes: You have to try the version with cream cheese, too! And for matcha lovers, there’s also the Matcha Brown Sugar Latte with Cream Cheese. Sounds like an interesting flavorful drink for days when you just can’t decide which craving you want to give in to, right?
Black Scoop Cafe has various locations in the metro: Lucky Chinatown Mall, Teacher’s Village, Banawe, The Block SM City North EDSA, Festival Mall, Shangri-La Plaza, CKB Centre Tomas Morato, One Archers Place, U.N. Square, Gateway Tower Cubao, Eastwood Citywalk 2, Crossroad Tandang Sora, SMX Convention Center MOA, BF Homes, Loyola Heights, Kapitolyo, Estancia Mall, Project 6, and Regis Center Katipunan.
The Alley also originated in Taiwan, and fans have been so happy when they finally set up shop in the Philippines. One of their foremost beverages is the Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk, made with creamy fresh milk and brown sugar “deerioca” (their signature tapioca pearls). Aside from the silky blend with hints of roasted sugar, you’ll love the soft boba that will make you wish they offer the drink in a larger size.
Special notes: Unlike the other brown sugar milk teas on the list, The Alley actually recommends that you try a sip or two first without mixing the drink first. This way, you’ll get to savor the individual ingredients. If you want a milder taste, they say it’s best to stir the drink nine times. If you want a next-level experience, though, you might want to try the Brown Sugar Deerioca Crème Brûlée Milk (P130), too!
The Alley is located in SM Mall of Asia. Another branch is opening soon in SM City North EDSA.
- Gong Cha’s Brown Sugar Milk Tea (P95 medium; P105 large) is perfect for classic milk tea lovers. The brown sugar isn’t overpowering, and additional pearls costs only P10!
- Dakasi has come out with an off-menu Hokkaido series, which you can enjoy with either their signature pearls or special cookie bits and cream. Dakasi milk tea prices start at P100.
- Suntea PH (located in Sta. Mesa) offers unique versions of brown sugar milk. You can try their Boba FlexiTea, Roasted Sugar, and Hokkaido at just P79 (medium) or P89 (large). PSA: For those who hate single-use plastic, you can bring your own bottle!
- Sun Tea in MOA, on the other hand, offers this special concoction: Brown Sugar Pearl with Cheese Cap and Crushed Oreos (P155). They serve it from 5 p.m. onwards, so time your visit right.
- Xi Fu Tang is one of those authentic Taiwanese milk tea shops that specialize in brown sugar drinks. Aside from the velvety boba stir-fried in brown sugar, their Brown Sugar Boba Milk (P120 cold; P135 hot) has a torched brown sugar top layer for a bit of crunch and a roasted sugary flavor.
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