Tea drinking has been around for 5,000 years, originating from the emperors of China and eventually reaching foreign lands – from Great Britain to America, where it sparked the American Revolution. With the ease of brewing and ease of access to tea, it comes as no surprise that this tea culture has reached the Philippines.
While Filipinos lean more on coffee drinking, tea’s popularity in the Philippines is now increasing as more and more people are finding out the various health benefits that tea can offer. In fact, there are hundreds of herbal teas available in the Philippine market today targeted for people who want to lose weight or those who want to relax. What’s amazing is that the rich tropical culture of the Philippines has also paved the way for unique blends and tea brews that are uniquely Filipino.
What Is Tea?
But first things first – What is tea? When it comes to the overall concept of tea, it’s basically a concoction that’s extracted by boiling tea leaves, dried fruits, or flowers. However, the traditional definition of tea actually originates from a single plant: the Camellia sinensis, a plant that boasts some of the most
For floral and fruity teas, however, these are referred to as “herbal teas,” not to be confused with the general term “tea.” So, if you want to be as clear as possible, you’d want to refer to teas not from the Camellia sinensis plant as “herbal teas” or infusions. This means that most local teas in the Philippines are more on herbal infusions, such as malunggay tea, calamansi tea and lagundi tea.
Teas also come in two forms: bagged and loose tea. If you’re accustomed to buying tea from Philippine supermarkets, you’re probably familiar with bagged tea, which consists of a sealed bag filled with tea leaves. For this type, you’ll only need a mug or a tea server and hot water.
Loose tea, on the other hand, gives you more control over how much tea leaves you want to steep. There are numerous brands that offer loose tea now, with some even offering direct delivery to your homes. But don’t forget to buy a tea infuser so you can brew your tea without the hassle of needing to strain the tea leaves out. Don’t worry though, there are numerous stores and online shops that offer tea infusers in the Philippines.
8 of the Best and Unique Herbal Teas in the Philippines
The Philippines is home to hundreds of herbs and plants that boast impressive health benefits, which is also why our country is home to various kinds of herbal teas. If you’re looking for local herbal teas in the Philippines, you won’t need to look much farther since our local markets may cater to your tea curiosity. Here are some types of teas that are being brewed every day in Filipino households:
- Malunggay Tea – Malunggay is a very popular herb when it comes to natural health, with its high antioxidant content and effects on heart health. There are numerous tea brands in the Philippines that offer malunggay tea in their catalogs, like Golden Spoon.
- Lagundi Tea – If you’re familiar with herbal supplements and medicine, you’re probably aware that lagundi is used to alleviate cough and cold symptoms. So if you’re looking for a natural way to ease coughing, you may try brewing a cup of lagundi tea.
- Calamansi Tea – Calamansi tea can offer vitamin C boosts but in a very refreshing and delicious form. You can try mixing calamansi with honey and ginger for a calming and warm tea that you can drink when you want to relax.
- Blue Ternate Tea – A caffeine-free option for tea, blue ternate has this distinct blue hue that’s extremely attractive when you’re steeping it in hot water. But aside from its beautiful color, blue ternate is also loaded with antioxidants, which is also beneficial for your health.
- Pandan Tea – If you’re looking for a sweet-flavored tea in the Philippines, pandan would be a good choice because it boasts a unique honey-like flavor with small hints of coconut. Pandan is also useful for digestive discomfort and colds thanks to its high antioxidant content.
- Tanglad Tea – Also known as lemongrass tea, tanglad tea is well known for its extremely fragrant aroma that can ease headaches with just its vapor. With the distinct flavor of lemons without the tangy flavor profile, you can enjoy this tea for a comforting cup before bedtime or just when you think that you deserve a warm embrace in a cup.
- Banaba Tea – A popular plant in folk medicine, banaba may be one of the more well-known herbal teas in the Philippines out there. With scientific studies showing Banaba’s benefits for diabetics and asthma sufferers, hundreds or even thousands of Filipino households may have a Banaba tea box lying around in their kitchens somewhere.
If you’re curious about Banaba tea, there’s a high chance that you can get a hold of bagged Banaba tea in any supermarket out there. You can try brewing a hot cup of tea, or you can also try mixing it with lemongrass and honey for a more refreshing blend.
- Salabat – If you’re someone who grew from the province, you’re probably familiar with salabat, an herbal tea in the Philippines that consists of ginger and honey. The warmth and spice that ginger offers can provide comfort and soothing for sore throats and colds. You can even try drinking salabat when you have a sore stomach since ginger may also ease gastric discomfort.
So, the next time that your throat feels raw or scratchy or if you feel that your stomach is unsettled, consider brewing a cup of salabat with a few pieces of dried or fresh ginger with a teaspoon of honey.
The Best Tea Accessories for Your Philippine Herbal Teas
Brewing or steeping tea is a pretty straightforward process – all you need is your tea leaves, hot water, and your mug. And this is probably how most Filipinos enjoy their cup of tea! But with the introduction of loose teas into the Philippine market, people are now starting to shift to using tea accessories for better flexibility, as well as an eco-friendlier approach (since you wouldn’t be throwing out teabags every time you steep tea). If you’re looking for tea accessories in the Philippines, such as teapots, infusers and tea servers, Curated.ph has a fine selection you can choose from. We’ll even deliver them straight to your doorstep as soon as possible so that you can start relaxing and enjoying your hot cup of tea after a long day of work and study.