Travel Magazine

Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

By Mustachio @mustachio2011
We arrived at Chatime past 5PM and waited for about 15 minutes. Kim was busy so she asked Jean to accommodate us for that time. We met Jean, who was waiting for us outside the cafe. After introducing ourselves, we went inside Chatime together.
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers
"Welcome to Chatime," the guy in pink greeted us as we entered. Jean asked us to order what we like. We've already tried their Pearl Milk Tea, and seeing that we had to choose from a ton of flavors (136 precisely), we opted for their newest brews Honeydew Pudding Milk Tea and Mint Green Tea with coconut jelly, and a taste of their pica-pica bestseller, the Barbecue fries.
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea TowersOnce Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea TowersClick to enlarge
Good and Happy service:
Whenever I talk to the restaurant owner or their representatives I tend to ask this question:
"What makes your establishment better/ahead/different from others?"- Mustachio the curious
"We make it a point to greet everyone who enters the tea house."- Jean the calm
Right on! A hello, good morning, or welcome, done with a genuine smile is a simple gesture that everyone appreciates. Also, the better the service, the more manna flows in. That explains the 'Welcome to Chatime' we received a while ago.
As we sat there waiting for our tea, Mark, Choi City's management trainee, came in to meet us. We introduced each other, smiles and handshakes. Continuing with our talk, I extended the question to him:
"What makes your establishment better/ahead/different from others?" - Mustachio the curious
"Chatime's interior is an extension to your living room where you can relax and hangout with family and friends." - Mark the wise
He continued that Chatime is committed to making their customers feel extra comfy. With the bright lights, chairs, and couches, you can wear your pajamas and flip-flops here while catching up on your readings and sipping tea. I even saw people rearranging the chairs to accommodate their barkada (group of friends).

Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

Can aptly be called The Eastern Starbucks.

Variety, Consistency, and Customized Choices: 
Chatime isn't the first tea cafe in Cebu or even in the Philippines, so it got me wondering "amidst the sea of milk tea sellers out there, what makes Chatime's beverage special?" My summary to that, from what Mark and Jean answered, would be Variety, Consistency in Taste, and Customized Choices.
You have a variety of 136 drinks to choose from, hot or cold, and whether with different toppings or not. Furthermore, the consistency in their taste does not change either. Take it from Mark, who's tasted the Chatime brew from branches outside the country. Whether you buy their Pearl Milk Tea in Chatime Manila or Chatime Taiwan, the flavor will still be the same. The secret lies in the precision of the machines used to calibrate the flavors. Better still, you have the option to customize your drinks according to its sugar and ice level. It's the closest you can get to personalizing your brew.
New Brew: I had the Honeydew Pudding Milk Tea while my date had the Mint Green Tea. We also added the barbecue fries to fill our taste buds.
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

Honeydew Milk Tea topped with pudding (Php120 large) - I advise you put less sugar and less ice in this milk tea. With the pudding, it's already sweet. You couldn't finish the drink with one sip, so it's probably best to leave the ice in the bucket. Just a fourth of the drink got me bloated already (in a good way) that I ended up finishing the drink after three hours of chatting. For the frugal, the regular Honeydew Milk Tea (without the pudding) starts at Php95.
My date ordered the Mint Green Tea topped with coconut jelly (Php70 regular + Php20 coconut jelly). She was curious about the new flavor. She wasn't a fan of mint (except for peppermint gum) but she still found this strange brew refreshing. The taste even went well with the coconut jelly that Jean recommended.For Php65 you can have a good munch with their Barbecue Fries. We were glad we went with what Jean recommended. It reminded me of Potato Corner but with thicker fries. But honestly, we have no wide knowledge or fuss with potato fries. As long as we can eat them, then we're happy. :)
Random Facts about Chatime:
  • Founded in Taiwan in 2003, Chatime is an international franchise with over 800 stores worldwide
  • Currently has 28 branches in the Philippines, 26 of them in Luzon, one each in Cebu and Davao
  • Ever wondered why the furniture is purple and pink? These are the founders' favorite colors.
  • Their best sellers are Pearl Milk Tea and Chocolate Mousse
  • You can charge your gadgets here for free. They have a traditional electrical outlet and a USB outlet.

Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

We just had to take this picture.

Special thanks:

Thank you Mark and Jean for answering our questions, laughing with us, and responding to our mostly off-topic inquiries and suggestions (e.g. your age, purple/pink shirt coincidence, love life, Foursquare, best customers, worst experience, and wherever our thoughts wandered).
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

For the above reasons, it's fair to tag them as "Mark the wise and Jean the calm".
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time Part 2: The Tea Towers

The clock is past 7PM. Our stomachs are semi-full, but it's time to fill it up more. Choi City here we come.
eBloc 2, Cebu IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
Sundays to Thursdays 11AM to 12MN
Fridays and Saturdays 11AM to 1AM
Once Upon a ChaChoi Time
Part 1: The Fellowship from a Text
Part 2: The Tea Tower (you're here!)
Part 3: Turned to a King

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