Get ready for a durian par-tea
The king of fruits has made its way into creme brulee, chendol, kaya and soft-serve ice cream.
Now, it has seeped into tea.
Specifically, the D24 Premium Durian Jasmine Tea, featuring blended D24 durian flesh and cold-brewed jasmine tea, and topped with a layer of rich durian cream made with fresh milk and durian.
Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the blend was created by seven-month-old local artisanal brand Hi Tea.
Its co-founder Lucas Lee, 29, aimed to set it apart from countless other offerings from rival bubble tea brands.
Speaking of its "cacophony of flavours" in a cup, Mr Lee, who is also Hi Tea's marketing and finance director, told The New Paper: "We wanted to create something that is truly unique and decidedly Singaporean, fitting our status as a home-grown brand."
He and co-founder Darren Wu, 22, were speaking at the opening of Hi Tea's second outlet at Northpoint City on Monday, where the D24 Premium Durian Jasmine Tea ($6.80) was launched. It will also be available tomorrow till Sunday at booth 56 at pop-up creative market Artbox Singapore.
Hi Tea boasts 20 different concoctions, including: the Mix Fruit King ($5.80), made of freshly cut pineapple, watermelon, lime, strawberry and passion fruit in oolong tea; and the Watermelon Snow ($4.80), featuring freshly cut watermelons blended with jasmine tea.
It opened its flagship store at Far East Plaza last November, in a bid to reintroduce tea drinking to younger Singaporeans and show that Chinese teas can be delicate and sweet if brewed or infused in different ways.
Mr Lee said: "We love drinking Chinese tea but feel that the love and appreciation for good tea is something the younger generation do not enjoy."
On average, the Far East Plaza branch sells 250 cups daily. Next month, Hi Tea will be opening an outlet in Jakarta.
Unlike other bubble tea brands in the market, which use pure green tea, red tea and black tea, Hi Tea uses jasmine and oolong tea leaves, and even offers lychee red tea - a special blend exclusive to Hi Tea.
It uses the cold brewing method, steeping the tea leaves for five to 12 hours in cold water instead of hot water. This results in more delicate notes and a smoother and rounder finish, Mr Lee said.
He added: "After months of extensive research, we discovered that the hot brewing techniques typically add a layer of bitter and heavy flavours."
Looking forward, he is encouraged by the changing mindset of young people here and hopes to spark a revolution.
"Creating new tea flavours is a work in progress and we aim to be at the forefront of innovation," he said.