Milk Tea in a Bamboo Cup: The Darlings’ Milk Tea of Iloilo

Trying to find a balance between marketability and sustainability, a couple, who are both teachers, from Maasin, Iloilo tried to come up with an eco-friendly business that will also capture the attention of its customers.

Jade Dioquino and Melanie Dilao are overseas Filipino workers who are in Thailand as teachers. Back then, they used to have milk tea when they have no class. That’s when they started dreaming of having their own milk tea shop.

They went home to the Philippines for a vacation. But that was a day before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented. Since then, they could not return to Thailand.

With a lot of time in their hands, they decided to start working on their milk tea business. They called it Darlings’ Milktea.

milk tea in bamboo cups

Image: Facebook/Darlings’ Milktea

Standing out

Jade and Melanie observed that there are lots of milk tea shops around, even in Iloilo. They tried to come up with a business concept that will click for the millennials—totally different and new. The business should also have an impact on the local community.

As science teachers promoting sustainability, the couple thought of serving milk tea in bamboo cups. Jade is from Maasin, Leyte—known to be the Bamboo Capital of the Philippines. “Since there are lots of bamboos in Maasin, why not use them?”

“And now, we are bringing a foreign taste with a touch of local,” Jade says.

“We always tell our students to be eco-friendly, love Mother Earth, and support locals.” Melanie shares.

milk tea in bamboo cups

Image: Facebook/Darlings’ Milktea

Customers can choose between having their milk tea in plastic cups or in bamboo cups. Most of them would choose bamboo cups.

Through their milk tea business, the couple was able to support their families and the locals of Maasin.

“We want to create an impact on our local community. So, using what is abundant in our local community will bring pride also and will help our fellow Maasinhons to have their own livelihood and source of income, as we face this pandemic,” Jade states.