It’s two of our favorites in just one sip
If you’re not yet over with your quest to taste the best ube desserts and drinks out there, then this ube-flavored milk tea is the next thing you should try.
Created by local milk tea brand Frotea, the ube cheesecake milk tea embodies the brand’s mission of serving milk tea that suits the Filipino palate.
Established in 2012, Frotea has a unique story. While most businesses first venture in the country’s capital before branching out to its regions, the milk tea brand began its journey in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
“I went back to Palawan straight out of college and I wanted to have something on the side. Something that would keep me busy aside from working with my family,” says Ana Lustre Malijan, owner of Frotea. “There’s something comforting about milk tea. It’s something we look for and crave.”
An engineer, Ana recognized the demand for quality milk tea and FroYo (frozen yogurt) among consumers of all demographics on the island, which are mostly made up of tourists that came from Manila.
“Most people in Palawan didn’t know what milk tea was,” she says. “It was a very new concept to a lot of people there. People who usually traveled to Manila were our first customers and before we knew it, hype picked up through word-of-mouth. We got a lot of customers from curiosity.”
With the brand’s growing popularity, Ana and her team put all their attention into improving its strongest product, the milk tea. In 2019, Frotea began importing all its ingredients directly from Taiwan. The company’s full-service local commissary accommodates big volumes that ensure quality standards remain consistently high and the standard retail price of its products stays low.
Unfortunately, much like other food and beverage businesses, the milk tea brand also faced great challenges during the pandemic.
“It was tough at first, I believe if not all, but most businesses didn’t have a risk management plan for a pandemic,” Ana tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. But we had to move forward, rethink, and revisit our strategies. Our operation has three main goals: provide employment for our staff, grow slowly but surely, and operate at the least expense as possible. We also shifted all our marketing efforts online. The internet, especially social media, has played an important role in keeping our business up and running. We were able to reach our customers while at the safe haven of their homes.”
“We took advantage of the opportunity to relocate our kiosks near the supermarkets where the foot traffic is nowadays,” she continues. “We also partnered with local aggregators and delivery services to widen our reach by adding these income channels.”
Now with a number of stores in Luzon and Visayas, the brand is among the leading shops in the Philippines that specializes in authentic Taiwanese milk tea. Apart from its ube cheesecake variant, Filipinos also love its Oreo cheesecake and wintermelon milk teas.
“Milk tea is really refreshing. The sweet taste of milk tea complimented by the chewy tapioca makes a unique experience that appeals to the Filipino palate. It’s even almost a complete meal for some,” Ana says on why Filipinos love milk tea. “It has this effect that brightens up our stressful days. And we all know how Filipinos are addicted to coffee, they can consume two to three cups a day because they say that the effect of the caffeine helps boost up their day. I believe the same goes with milk tea.”
Facebook and Instagram: @froteaphilippines