I love tea, in particular, loose leaf tea. Several years ago, my parents came back from a trip to China with two tall canisters of tea. One was called Oriental Beauty, the other was Dragon Ball. Let me tell you, I was the only one to drink those teas regularly. The rest of my family were not tea drinkers. Oriental Beauty had a rich, delicate flavor, while Dragon Ball was stronger and had more caffeine. Oriental Beauty turned out to be an Oolong tea. Dragon Ball tea leaves were actually rolled into balls.

One day I came to the end of those canisters and looked around for replacement loose leaf teas. A friend from Melbourne gave me two teas from the tea boutique T2, Creme Brulee and Chocolate. They make great dessert teas.

In my search for more loose leaf tea I went to Chinatown in Binondo, Manila, and found at Bee Tin Grocery a pack of Ti Kuan Yin tea.  When brewed too long, it can keep you up awake at night! I also found Waitrose’s Darjeeling loose leaf tea in Rustan’s supermarket. My latest purchase was a kilo of George Steuarts Ceylon black tea (yes, a kilo, and I am steadily drinking it up on a daily basis).  I found it at a Christmas weekend market stall at a mall I go to. I use it to make my own milk tea at home instead of going out to buy it from a retailer.

I think it’s great that there are now more tea salons in Manila, like TWG Tea and da.u.de tea . There are, of course, bubble tea establishments galore, but I mean places where you can actually buy the tea leaves. Of course when this all runs out I don’t mind tea bags, but I’ll keep looking for the loose leaf.