Wentea, an eco-friendly milk tea shop, has opened its kiosk in Puerto Princesa City to serve residents its smooth, enjoyable, and nourishing tea infusions that advocate the reduction of single-use plastics.
Milk tea lover Wenna Visto, owner of Wentea, said she thought of making her own blends during the quarantine period when she had a craving for it. This led her to explore and start DIY (do-it-yourself) milk tea until she began serving her homemade product to a few individuals.
Aside from just enjoying every cup of milk tea, Wenna is fully aware of the effect of each plastic use on the environment. She had a soft launch of her first stall in one of the malls in the city on January 3, followed by its official opening on January 8. She also made sure to use non-plastic straws, one which is even edible, and containers that are reusable.
“Eco-friendly talaga si WenTea, environmental-friendly, in terms ng mga gamit — straw. We use edible straws. We encourage milk tea lovers na magdala ng sariling lalagyan o tumbler para mas ma-less sa use ng plastic. Meron kasi kaming reusable hard cup na ginagamit,” she said.
“Naging unique si Wentea sa iba dahil sa mas concerned siya na mabawasan din kahit papaano ang single-use plastics. Hindi man natin talaga totally maiwasan ang plastic pero mabawasan man lang. Mas marami na ang nagko-consume ng plastic at hindi na siya healthy sa environment,” she added.
She believes that Wentea could be one of the advocates of the reduction of single-use plastic while offering her product.
Unlike other milk tea stores in the city, Wentea is only serving medium and large sizes and avoids offering their blends in liters to encourage the moderate consumption of sugar or sweets.
“Kasi sa akin ay parang hindi na siya advisable kasi masyado na siyang matamis — yong consumption — kasi kung isang liter ang i-o-order, unless for sharing. Pero kung halimbawa na teen or kids, tingin ko hindi ‘yon healthy na ganoon karaming consumption,” she said.
Wentea is enhancing the taste of the tea to highlight its benefits to the human body. It aims to promote the balance of sweetness and tea so everyone could also enjoy its healthy advantages.
“Iyong sweetness kasi ng tea ay depende sa sweet preferences ng customer kung anong gusto nila. Pero sa amin ay wala kaming sugar level. Kumbaga ay naka-fix na siya na iyon. We try to balance na hindi masyadong matamis at hindi masyadong puro tea. Kasi kapag nakainom tayo ng tea, talagang nakaka-refresh, nakaka-relax,” she said.
Despite the milk tea fad and the visibility of many stores, Wenna is not threatened by her numerous competitions as she is confident that Wentea has quality.
Opening amidst the pandemic
Wenna also knew that other businesses had stopped their operations because of the effect of the pandemic to the economy, but she is grateful with the opportunity she has that could also help those who are jobless or those who were retrenched from their previous works.
“Isa rin siya sa naging way na magkaroon ng income, although may sad part na sa dami nang nag-apply, kaunti lang din ang na-hire. Pero ang mga kinuha na rin namin ay iyong may experiences na para hindi na rin bago sa kanila and hindi na mahirap i-train,” she said.
She is looking forward to branching out in other towns in the province to spread the goodness of Wentea in a built-in store with food offers for diversity.
At present, she is positive that Wentea will be loved by any age and choices are also offered for those who would like to try fruit teas and lemonades.
Anyone who is curious about Wentea could visit its stall at the ground floor (activity area) of the NCCC mall, which is open during mall hours.
Customers are encouraged to bring tumblers to save P30.00 and their own take out bags whenever they buy at Wentea.