Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Super Duck: Fit to a Tea

The fact that tea is an excellent source of antioxidants – along with possessing a myriad of other health benefits – has long been established and reported at length. Its properties are believed to improve liver and kidney functions, clear your digestive system, and improve your mood, among others.  However, as tea shops becoming a trend with milk tea shops popping up here and there, you never really know if you are getting an honest to goodness premium tea on your glass or cups.
So if an invitation comes, where I can try a galore of sampling of what I have understood as authentic Taiwanese teas, there had been no reluctance.
I have to be clear on this though -I am not a tea connoisseur, though I have long understood the benefits so I have been a tea convert for years already.  I can consider myself to be in the middle of the tea novices and tea enthusiasts.   It's still fresh to me though how I used to loathe the grass-like taste of  the tea my grandma used to give me whenever I have the chills or stomach aches.  
Let me ask you something.  How many tea places- masked as milk tea houses, can you name?  Let me rephrase it.  How many tea places have you tried already?  Maybe 5 or more?  I, myself could find it hard to even count those that I have tried already.  Would you think I would be credited to have loved teas?
But the fact that trying out different milk tea houses makes you an expert on teas is outrageous, these famous franchises do not (for a fact) explain the origins or the tastes dimensions of your tea choices.  
If you are into teas, like the Brits and Chinese, you better know your teas well, and might be spending tons of money buying supra-quality brands (like those in TWG), I have the best news for you!
There is this place in Ortigas, that will surely educate you about quality teas which was franchised straight from Taiwan.  The owners contend that it is not the most famous brand in Taiwan but for them probably would be the best choice.  Are you ready to know the name of this tea house?  
Wait, look, up in the sky!  It's a bird! No! It's a plane! No! It's SUPER DUCK!
Corny noh?  I'm just that excited sharing my experience with you.  

According to the owners, who are steeping and brewing the teas themselves, they have tried out several tea places in Taiwan, and Super Duck was the one they had with the teas suited for their tastes.  So, they thought of why not bringing it here in Manila, since it's a booming business.  They have trained 10 months just to get everything down to the nitty-gritty of  making sure distilled water is used in making their concoctions (oh yes even their ice). 
Let me now share some of their offerings.
Passion Fruit with Perilla Seeds

Warning! They have a wide ranging-selection.  You can either go wild and adventurous with your kind of tea concoction, but whatever you choose, I guarantee you will definitely enjoy it.  Also, like any other tea place, you can choose the range of sweetness, the sinkers and can definitely ask for suggestions which would suit your mood for the day.  Like try some fruity or minty green teas for coughing and sneezy days.
In summary, they use five different kinds of teas, the Ceylon Black tea, Jasmine Green Tea, Green Heart Ooolong Tea, Wenshan Clear Tea and Tie Guan Yin Tea.
Now the exciting part begins...
L to R (going up): Golden Oolong Tea, Plum Tea, Roselle Plum with Fig Jelly, Mixed Fruit Green Tea, Peach Green Tea
We started of with one of their signature drinks, the Passion Fruit with Perilla Seeds.  In Chinese medicine, the perilla seed is believed to offer health benefits for the large intestines and the lungs, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. The seed is commonly used to resolve problems like asthma, prevent coughing and even help with constipation.
I like their idea of using fresh juice or even  fresh or frozen fruits to sweeten and give character to each concoctions.  Like in Plum Tea, Roselle Plum with Fig Jelly, Mixed Fruit Green Tea, Peach Green Tea.  You can have Plum tea in either green or black tea,  with a chunk of fresh plum. Now, don't you think having  Roselle Tea is interesting enough to visit them, what more with hearing fig jelly? I so find this place very gourmet.  If you are an avid health buff, and are serious in having 5 fruits or vegetables in a day, I would recommend you have the Mixed Fruit Tea, which is green tea bursting with citrus flavors and has fig jelly, nata de coco, perilla seeds, orange and grape.  One of my favorite is the Peach Green Tea.  Which is a perfect balance of real peach juice and subtle green tea flavors.
For the old-school or those that prefer the traditional way of having teas, you can opt to have Healthy Tea Bags.  These are loose leaf teas in original triangular sachets which you can order cold or hot.  Don't be surprised if it's served with the tea bags in the drink.
If you are only in to modern and trendy tea concoctions, well-known as milk teas, check out their selection under Super Duck Milk Tea.   Who can ever go wrong with Classic Milk Tea with Pearl (black tea) and their Signature Milk Tea with Pearl (which uses green tea).   If you however fancy pearl sinkers, why don't you try Jasmine Green Milk Tea, Green Heart Oolong Milk Tea and Wenshan Clear Milk Tea.  The Jasmine Green Milk tea being floral in aroma  and subtle floral notes with a mild and clean taste. The Green Heart Oolong is a type of High Mountain Tea with excellent fragrance and a clean, mellow, fresh sweet and brisk heavy flavor.  With Wenshan Clear Milk Tea, there was a floral-like aroma but gingery, albeit in a less intense manner. 
If you are however into more milkier and creamier level, I suggest you try their Milk Series, which is mixed with fresh milk.  I was able to try the Roasted Matcha with Brown Rice.  Matcha for me is an acquired taste, it is a Japanese ceremonial tea yet taste grassy, like having a doze of wheat grass.  But I learned to like it anyway, specially if its in a form of Cheesecake or other desserts.  Brown rice is a challenge as a sinker, don't you think?  It was alright.
Before we had the Milk Teas  with cheese, we were tried with French Rose Milk Latte.  Yes, the owners were a bit fuzzy about giving this to us, saying we might not like them, for it may seem to be for the distinct drinkers only.  I don't know about the others, I like, like it!  I remember having to go back to Makan Makan for their Bandung with Chichow.  The Bandung (rose syrup milk tea) is quite similar in taste to French Rose Milk Latte.
If you want a play of sweetness and saltiness, try the Nai Kai with Cheese series.  Their best-seller under this category is the Chocolate Nai Kai (the one sprinkled with cocoa powder in the photo above).  It's somewhat close to a cross between choco mousse and cheesecake but liquefied.  You can also try the Wintermelon Nai Kai (Gong Cha's Wintermelon MT is one of my fave yet still undominated), close to Gong Cha's version with  cheese taste to it.
Another premium brew which you want to try is the Tie Guan Yin Tea.  It is thought of as the most expensive tea in the world and is served to royalties.  Since it can be brewed more than seven times before it looses it's flavor, the price is alongside with the other blends.
To make your visit complete for a snack, they have selected proper pairings to your favorite bevs with the healthy theme still intact.  Quackers would go best with any hot or cold tea drinks, for one, they are not soggy and oily for a fried snack, and they are made out of processed veggie meats.  The Shrooms are awesomely crunchy yet soft on the inside.  They are made fresh from Porcini or Chantrelle type of mushrooms.
The Veggie Meat finger-foods I've tried are V-Chicken Nuggets and V-chzdogs.  They were surprisingly tastier than what I've tried in a certain hospital serving veggie meats.  They are also imported from Taiwan.
If you still crave for more of Taiwan's offerings, and can't still get over the summer feel.  Have their version of Halo-halo.  The Taiwan Herbal Jelly Dessert has different kinds of their sinkers mixed up in one huge cup served with crushed ice.  Two or more people can actually share with this.   Also, I've overheard they are branching out soon in Makati. 
I hope I have kept you stimulated enough with just a fraction of the tidy sum of choices they have at Super Duck.  After all, aren't teas supposed to enhance our over-all well-being.  I'm sure you can find the perfect tea blend that would finally suit you.  Well, I did! So let me conclude that this Modern Tea Place, Super Duck, really fit me to TEA (pun intended).

Super Duck Modern Tea 超級達可時尚茶飲
AIC Burgundy, ADB Avenue corner Garner St. Ortigas Pasig City
Tel No: 570 2292
0917 891 0697

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