The Philippines has been explored again just recently – by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s master tea blender and buyer, David DeCandia, along with local chefs, to get a taste of the native flavours, to formulate a tea recipe that we can proudly call our own.
“We’re looking at incorporating unique ingredients, profiles of the Philippines with tea, and make a Philippine blend,” DeCandia says. “I just created a Singapore blend but I need to know a little something about the country, like I put orchids in the Singapore blend because that’s their state flower.”
The man behind CBTL blends like Chai (my personal favourite and CBTL’s most popular beverage), Moroccan Mint and Strawberry Cream, is required to create a collection of 15 teas every year. He travels a lot and visits tea estates, preaches the gospel of tea in general and Ceylon tea in particular.
“This is fun, this is passion, this is really who I am,” says DeCandia, who left the oil industry a couple of decades ago and never looked back. “Some people can do tea for years and not really embrace it. Because it took me by surprise, I just accepted it. I didn’t even drink tea.”
Now, he shares that he’s been told in the factory he works in that he can finish at least seven 32-oz cups on any given day. He has lost count himself.
When do we expect the “Philippine Blend” then? Not anytime soon. The master tea blender is already working for his 2018 collection, and hopefully, our blend will be part of this collection.
For the meantime, let me enjoy my Chai.
Featured Image from: Ernoe Penarendo
Wayne B. | Pinoy Trends
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