Food

A Totally Scientific Analysis of CIBO's New Bottled Iced Tea

Versus the one they serve in a glass
IMAGE Sasha Lim Uy
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CIBO's iced tea is one of those things that unintentionally spawned a life of its own. Like its sibling beverage, the Uva Nera, the Te Freddo--lemon, in particular--has developed its own cult following since the Italian casual-dining chain opened in 1997. 

Renowned by many as the best iced tea in Metro Manila, CIBO's Te Freddo al Limone is a brewed then blended refreshment that's distinct but pleasantly light, with the right blend of tartness and sweetness. It uses black tea leaves which leaves a lightly but pleasantly bitter finish. You can easily detect the calamansi flavor in the way each sip gently catches at your throat. Like everything else in the restaurant, it is a reliable comfort. 

CIBO owner and Asia's Best Chef Margarita Fores gave the Philippines more than just prestige this year. Yesterday, September 29, she finally released bottled versions of her famous drink. Now, every order of a Te Freddo will be accompanied with the server asking, "Take-out or dine-in?" Curious iced tea lovers that we are, we decided to analyze this new marvel in a bottle, in the most scientific way we can without actually doing science.

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DINE-IN BOTTLED
PRICE P105 (excluding tax and tip) P95
SWEETNESS

Equal bits tart and sweet. It also has a temperate bitter finish. The foam makes it harder to add water in case you want it subtler

More sweet than tart. The bottled brew is best served ice-cold. If you want a milder flavor, just add ice cubes!
SHELF LIFE As long as you're in the restaurant The label indicates the month it was bottled and the month of expiration. Ours, bottled in September, will last till December 2016. 
EXTRAS Foam and mint
Foam doesn't add flavor, but if you're feeling whimsical, just shake your bottle extra vigorously. Or, you can take it home and blend it yourself!
ACCESSIBILITY Any CIBO outlet Currently available in CIBO restaurants, but it will be available in supermarkets by January 2017

The verdict? We've realized that the best CIBO iced tea is the one you have at the moment. And with these bottles, we can enjoy it virtually any time and anywhere. 

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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