Posted in Restaurant Hopping, Sweets for the Sweet, The Flavors of Asia

In Which One Has Tea with Lemon in a More Enjoyable Frozen Form…


The combination of tea and lemon is a classic mix of tastes, a refreshing pair of flavours that tastes as good cold (as in iced tea or Southern sweet tea) as it does hot.  I was thinking of this combo when I found myself standing before the gelato counter at Caffe Bene, dithering over whether I was going to get coffee, tea, or something more indulgent for a post-lunch treat.  Among the tubs freezing in the display case were blueberry, yogurt, chocolate, espresso, green tea, and lemon.  One look was all it took and a doppio featuring a scoop of green tea topped with a scoop of lemon was soon in my hands.

The lemon gelato was like a cross between a granita made with sweetened lemon juice and a gelato (that said, I daresay it would be best described as a sorbetto al limone) in the sense that you get a bright lemony flavour with a pleasant tang in a soft ice that is more milky than creamy.  It was like eating a light, frozen scoop of proper lemon curd – so much so, in fact, that I wanted to buy a pint of the stuff to serve in puff pastry shells; it’d be like a summery version of a tarte au citron.  But, I digress…

A deep, rich, green below
A deep, rich, green below

The green tea gelato (gelato di tè verde) was just as dreamy: a deep green ice cream heady with Korean matcha (Caffe Bene is, despite its molto Italiano name, a Korean franchise) with its herby, nutty aroma.  It was perfectly bittersweet: the tannic bitterness of the tea was balanced by sweet cream.  The melty parts were lush and creamy, while the more solid parts had a bit of a chew to them that was most pleasant.

Eaten individually, these ice creams were delicious.  Eaten together, on the other hand, and they were sublime.  The sweet-tart lemon was an excellent counterpoint to the bittersweet green tea.  It was also a play on textures with the lighter, milkier lemon balancing the creamy lushness of the green tea below.  It’s like a classic cup of afternoon tea, only in a more indulgent form.

Caffe Bene: Ground Floor – SM BF, Sucat Road, Paranaque City (with branches in other parts of the NCR)



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

2 thoughts on “In Which One Has Tea with Lemon in a More Enjoyable Frozen Form…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s