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Not all milk tea drinks are created equal—or so OneZo Philippines likes to show its customers.

Established in Taiwan back in 2015 by Chen Yong-Hui, the milk tea brand seeks to offer drinks with the freshest ingredients.

“We want to elevate the milk tea experience of Filipinos,” Christopher Chua, general manager of OneZo Philippines, tells us in an interview during the grand launch.

How, you ask? It’s all in their tapioca pearls.

All about the pearls

When Chen opened OneZo in Hainan, south of Taiwan, there are already a lot of existing milk tea shops. “The market during that time was quite saturated and it still is as of now,” Chua shares. “But he was determined to stand out from all the other brands with fresh drinks.”

That involves making the pearls in-house, every single day. The same is true now that it’s in the Philippines.

“The process resembles baking bread,” the general manager says. “It’s a bit time-consuming, it’s costing us more to produce these pearls because we make them fresh every morning, and the shelf life is only for a few days.”

The result, however, are chewier tapioca pearls.

They come in different flavors, too. OneZo has five in total for all Filipino pearl-lovers: brown sugar, taro, strawberry, matcha, and mango.

Fusing old and new favorites

Complementing these pearls are their line of drinks.

Chua classifies their beverages into two—traditional and emerging favorites. For the former, there’s the classic milk tea, the well-loved taro milk tea, as well as our fruit teas. For the latter, there’s the brown sugar drinks such as Dirty Milk and Dirty Tea.

Here’s a look at the full menu:

More to come

It’s a norm in OneZo to tailor their drinks based on the preferences of consumers in a country. In Taiwan, for instance, sesame-flavored pearls and caramel-flavored pearls are absolute bestsellers.

This is why widening the brand’s local range of drinks is something Chua and the rest of the team are working on. “We would introduce new flavors in the coming months—two to three months, approximately—with the know-how and equipment that we have to create flavored pearls,” Chua reveals. “We want to incorporate the local taste in our drinks.”

More branches are about to roll out in the future, too. Though there are no confirmed dates, Chua says they are opening their second store at Estancia Mall in Pasig and their third at the Araneta Center in Cubao.

“We believe it’s high time that we innovate and offer something unique to the milk tea arena,” Chua asserts. “And I hope OneZo would resonate with Filipinos so that moving forward, it becomes a norm that we don’t serve preservative-laden pearls and have them served fresh everyday.”

OneZo Philippines is now open at the ground floor of The Promenade in Greenhills. 

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