Best Bubble Tea In London – Many teas, also known as pearl tea or boba, are a Taiwanese drink that is taking over the streets of London. The name “bubble tea” actually comes from the bubbles that form when you shake the drink, rather than the traditional chewy balls of tapioca that you order through a buttered straw. These days the list of flavors and toppings is endless. Find out where you can get more love here:
Why: Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea with a subtle flavor, blended with creamy milk for the authentic taste of a true Asian bridge tea.
Best Bubble Tea In London
Who: Chatime is an internationally recognized brand that started in Taiwan and now has over 1,000 international websites. Their menu offers a wide variety from fruits to iced teas, but they have a particularly good range of classic Asian teas. Also, their tapioca pearls are freshly made, not delivered.
Gulu Gulu, Gatot Subroto, Bandung
Who: In the heart of London’s Chinatown, Candy Cafe is a lively internet cafe. Go there for work or to meet friends and you will be greeted by over 30 students from Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. They even serve unique Asian dishes and desserts – the red herb walrus is a must try.
Why: It’s annoying in the best way and won’t break the bank. They even have a loyalty card program to keep you going.
Who: Bubbleology is Europe’s biggest tea company – they’ve taken the odd and made it for everyone. All of their teas are freshly cut and have flavor combinations and additions like no other. They’re even bringing us World Raw Tea Day on April 22, 2016 — keep your eyes peeled for some serious love.
Who: Amanzi is a company that truly loves tea: their tea bar is modern, relaxing and boasts over 100 different loose leaf teas. You don’t expect many teas on their menu, and that’s what makes it so interesting. They also serve most teas in domed plastic cups, like premium muds.
The Best Bubble Tea In London
Why: There’s a lot of fun in this drink, all made with organic milk, freshly brewed tea and natural flavors. You haven’t tasted black tea until you’ve tried this.
Who: Bijou starts a tea revolution in London. While most tea chains use powdered milk, Biju uses organic milk, soy milk, or almond milk, and they don’t add any weird colors or flavors to their drinks. They also cook tapioca pearls on the premises every two hours. This is a health tea and these guys will be very successful.
Alex is a trained journalist and food writer who cut his teeth in restaurants. He likes to combine the two whenever possible and works in Jamie Oliver’s editorial office. Her love of food comes from her mixed Japanese, American and English upbringing, so you’ll often find yourself craving ramen, crackers and grease. Baking brings her endless joy, which she also shares on her Instagram, @littlegoodemunches.
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If you don’t mind waiting in long lines for fluffy waffles or matcha soft serve, this Asian-inspired dessert can satisfy your sweet tooth. Much of the tea culture existed in London for several years, but few survived the trend. As a huge tea connoisseur (I’m from the US, where most teas made their western debut), I decided to try them myself.
Called bubble tea “without the misery,” Bijou is the place to go if you’re looking for fresh ingredients and inventive flavors. Bijou founder Nicholas Phan, 28, said he knew he wanted to open a specialty tea shop when he saw the ugly ideas behind others in London.
Invented in Taiwan in the 1990s, loose tea has always been a street food made with powdered milk because there was no refrigeration. As many tea shops traveled west, many kept the tradition alive. However, Fan breaks the mold with freshly brewed tea recipes at Bijou in Soho and Westfield Mall.
Each loose leaf tea is brewed fresh to order in an espresso machine, which sets Bijou apart from other London shops. Their staff then prepares the tea concentrate for cooling. Once cooled, the tea is mixed with organic British milk, almond milk, soy milk or coconut water and shaken until so-called “bubbles” rise to the top.
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“I wanted to have a healthier dessert drink,” Phan said. “When I thought about it, I wasn’t disappointed with the drinks. People didn’t care, like they care about specialty coffee. With most teas, it was like ‘anything goes.’
As it turns out, Fan’s idea worked. According to a database that tracks reservations, 90 percent of Biju’s guests are repeat visitors. One Friday afternoon, when I was at Biju’s ‘off hours’, a wave of young people came in and out, many of whom told me they came once or twice a week.
“I like peaches with lychee jelly and cherry seeds,” Arianna Arcilla, 16, from London told me. “Not too sweet, just the right amount. I come here twice a week with my friends.”
Amanda Magsterek, 22, from London, said she has been visiting Bijou every week since her brother introduced her to the place.
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Perfect for: Foodies, vegetarians and those looking for a sweeter treat than the usual bubble tea shops.
I tried: Taro Ube milk tea with coconut water “coconut cream”; Iced tea with passion fruit and cherry seeds. Matcha milk tea with honey, tapioca pearls and cherry seeds. Oolong milk tea roasted with tapioca pearls (served hot). Hong Kong Milk Tea with Egg Preservative
The winning flavor: matcha milk tea. Fan made me a special combination: almond milk and honey instead of spices, with extra tapioca and cherry seeds. The tapioca pearls were the perfect chewy texture, not too hard, but not white either. The cherry seeds added extra texture and the honey was very subtle. Matcha is my favorite flavor, but when it’s not done right, it can often taste like borax. Biju’s take on the Japanese staple was creamy and delicious. Phan added that everyone who comes in is testing substitutes like me.
Tip: Almond milk complements most drinks and produces brighter colors than whole or soy milk (if you want to take pictures).
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This Soho staple has a great selection of teas, with fun combinations like Cadbury chocolate or Oreo toppings. I found the tea too sweet, but customers can adjust the amount of sugar that goes into the drink.
I tried: Rose Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls, Lychee Black Tea with Tapioca Pearls, and Lychee Star Mango Tea with Tapioca Pearls.
Winning Taste: The rose milk tea was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The tea was sweet and creamy with floral notes and the pearls had a slight hint of honey. A sweet treat for sure.
The British franchise was founded by Eric Ho, who says his aim is to create “the highest quality drinks and desserts”. The menu is extensive and includes specialties such as iced desserts and milkshakes. Flavors range from classic fruits like mango and lychee to exotic flavors like Yakult and Rose Guanine.
Non Dairy Milk Tea
Tip: If you are a student, bring your ID. 20% discount for students.
This Chinatown shop is small, unexciting, but packed to the rafters on weekends. They offer the classics: fruit teas, milk teas, tapioca dumplings, but manager Eason Au says that offering the basics isn’t enough to compete with dozens of bubble tea shops. Due to stiff competition (there’s even a shop next door), Happy Lemon tries out some unique menu items, like special stone-salted cheese (which doesn’t look exactly like it) and taro balls (superbly soft and sweet). . Since the Taiwan-based franchise opened in April 2015, the staff tries to change the menu every six months.
“We’re not talking about the best tea or the best customer service,” Au, 24, said. “We try to do the best we can with everything.”
Tip: Big fan of Happy Lemon? Buy a £5 loyalty scheme membership for access to points, free drinks and special offers.
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Bubbleology first launched in London in August 2011 in Soho. The store has grown exponentially since then.