I know what you’re thinking. The moment you read durian jasmine tea, your eyebrows probably scrunched up in confusion and even disgust. Trust me, I did too. But what if I told you, it’s actually so good that I took not one gulp but finished the whole drink?
Since 27 May 2018, Hi Tea has been serving up seasonal D24 Premium Durian Jasmine Tea at Far East Plaza, and will also offer this special drink at their second outlet opening soon at Northpoint City.
We’ve had our fair share of durian pizza, durian bingsu and even durian steamboat. But Hi Tea has managed to find the balance between the rich and creamy fruit, and the gentle and floral jasmine tea, giving birth to this bizarre concoction — making it easier for us to now, drink durian.
Run by local founders, the brand strives to spread their love and knowledge about traditional Chinese tea, especially amongst us millennials who tend to stick to milk tea with pearls. But what we all know, despite the differences in age, gender or background, is durian.
Like all of their drinks on the menu, the D24 Premium Durian Jasmine Tea ($6.80) is cold-brewed which makes it possible to retain the tea flavours but reduce the harsh bitterness. The durian flesh and cold-brewed jasmine tea are blended together then layered with their secret recipe of a rich and fragrant durian cream.
In order to fully enjoy the drink, you should drink directly from the cup first for the fluffy sweetness of the cream, and then savour the jasmine tea blended with durian through a straw for an aromatic aftertaste.
At first, I thought it’d be too heavy to be a drink, but it was surprisingly refreshing, smooth and well-blended with the jasmine tea which helped to soften the intense flavour of the fruit.
It was so refreshing that I found myself reaching for more sips; and coming from neither a durian lover nor hater, that’s something.
If you’re not up for their durian tea challenge just yet, there is a wide range of other refreshing fruit teas.
From chunks of pineapple to watermelon, lemon, lime, strawberry and passion fruit, the Mix Fruit King ($5.80) was zesty with a mild, bittersweet oolong taste. It is advised to wait for a few minutes before drinking this, to let the cut fruits soak in the tea which can later be eaten with an attached fork.
You can also try their best-seller Watermelon Snow ($4.80) blended with freshly-cut watermelon and jasmine tea, and the recently launched Avocado Snow ($6.80).
Tea traditionalists may opt for Hi Tea’s Cloud Teas instead, with their house-brewed Oolong, Jasmine, Pu’er and Red tea topped with “clouds” of fresh cream and milk.
I tried the Lychee Red ($3.80) and Rose PuEr ($3.80), which were fragrant with a soft bitter taste which cleansed my palate. You may also request to add the “cloud” to the cold brew fruit teas like the Watermelon Snow, Rockmelon Ice and Strawberry Snow, for a great pairing.
But hey, before the durian season is over, I’d say you should just take up the durian jasmine tea challenge for a pleasant surprise. You’ll thank me later.
Dates: Till June/July 2018
Expected damage: $6.80 for the D24 Premium Durian Jasmine Tea