Tea and mooncakes of luxury and refinement | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

TWG TEA Salon at Greenbelt 5
TWG TEA Salon at Greenbelt 5

Just as they have redefined tea, the founders of TWG are now reinventing mooncakes.


Once a drink that straddled being a mystery and being taken for granted, tea has become more upscale and more accessible, more contemporary and more desirable. Thanks to the TWG Tea Salon and Boutique which has sprouted in seven countries, and to retail outlets such as Harrods Knightsbridge London, El Corte Ingles in Portugal, and Dean and DeLuca in New York, tea aficionados can now choose from over 500 varieties of teas and tea blends.


With names that conjure romance and exotic places, the teas include Silver Moon, Dragon Mist, Lotus Jade, Eternal Summer, Snow of Fujian, Royal Moroccan and Lavender Valley. To make them and all its other tea varieties, the Singapore-based TWG obtains its sources from the fine harvests of 38 tea-producing countries, from Malawi to China, and from Laos to Japan.


Superlative harvests


It used to be that the best tea harvests would not even leave their countries of origin, says Maranda Barnes, TWG co-founder and director of business development and communications. TWG has changed that by persuading tea planters to supply them with some of their superlative harvests and making the resulting products available globally.

MARANDA Barnes, director of communications and co-founder of TWG Tea Co.
Pte. Ltd.


“We wanted to create something that would allow people everywhere to taste the best quality tea,” she says.


In keeping with being a true luxury brand, TWG tea salons exude the elegant ambiance of wood-clad columns, objets d’art, gilded mirrors and brass panels. The teas are served in ceramic teapots nestled inside 22-carat gold holders, which are then poured into cups made of fine bone china. To go with their tea, customers can order tea-infused French macarons, dainty finger sandwiches, and English scones smeared with whipped cream and tea jelly, as well as salads and main courses that include filet mignon and pan-seared sea bass.


New and unique


Now with the mid-autumn festival in full swing, TWG has likewise elevated mooncakes to the realm of luxury and refinement. Unlike the mass-produced mooncakes, TWG’s mooncakes have been reinvented by a French chef who has created something new and unique. Handmade fresh daily by master pâtissiers, the mooncakes are available in both the traditional and snowskin collections.


And just like the tea, mundane names will never do for these artisanal delicacies. Instead they make the imagination soar, with the Traditional Collection mooncakes bearing such celestial names as Constellation, Moonlight, Pagoda and Dragon.


Encased in crusts ranging from golden to chocolate, from a brilliant red to an earthy brown, the traditional mooncakes are infused with tea, their lotus paste fillings enhanced either with roasted melon seeds, salted egg yolk, raspberry marmalade, roasted peanuts or sesame seeds.


Virtues and aspirations


The Snowskin Collection, on the other hand, suggests virtues and aspirations, with mooncakes named Longevity, Royal, Pure and Illumination. Instead of lotus paste, their fillings are either a smooth, creamy mousse or a nutty praline. The snowskin that envelopes these fillings is lighter and more delicate than the crust of the traditional mooncake and is “a bit like marzipan,” says Barnes.


And just to show how lush they are, the Longevity mooncake is embellished with an edible 24-carat gold leaf, its white chocolate mousse filling anointed with Longevity tea and lavished with crunchy chocolate pearls and yuzu marmalade.


Given as gifts, these mooncakes express love and esteem, what with their exquisite taste, their sophisticated packaging of red and gold, and their price (P488 for a traditional mooncake, P588 for a snowskin mooncake). Lucky recipients, says Barnes, will certainly want to eat the mooncakes themselves and not re-gift them.



And since the mooncakes are made daily and have no preservative, it’s “like eating a fresh pastry,” she adds.


“Our thing is tea, so mass-producing mooncakes is of no interest to us,” says Barnes. Instead they want their handcrafted mooncakes to create a lasting impression on the customers.


Considering what TWG has done for tea, perhaps such a noble intention should not be surprising.


For more tips and stories, visit author’s blog: www.normachikiamco.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/normachikiamco. Follow on Twitter @normachikiamco.


TWG mooncakes are available in their Tea Salons and Boutiques, which are at Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City; Rockwell Power Plant Mall, Makati City; Resorts World Manila; and Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Shaw Boulevard cor. Edsa, Mandaluyong City.



Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.