You know you’re in Asia when you walk around with a cup of boba.
Calling all bubble tea addicts! With plenty of up-and-coming brands springing up on our sunny island in recent months, it looks like the craze is back and here to stay. While popular chains like Koi and Gongcha are perfectly suitable for quenching your thirst on a sweltering hot day, there are now a myriad of bubble tea stores that offer equally good drinks, with some rolling out unique and quirky flavours. Who knows, one of these shops may just be your new go-to. Here’s our list for some of the best bubble tea shops you can find in Singapore.
Opening in May 14 at 313@Somerset, this 21-year-old Taiwanese bubble tea chain has its own tea mountain, professional tea tasters and tea roasters. The company uses only tea leaves harvested from the local farms in Taiwan, and is known for its freshly brewed tea. The menu in Singapore is still under wraps for now, but some of its bestsellers in Taiwan include the Cassia Black Tea with Mousse, the Wonderland comprising Baileys Irish Cream, oolong green tea, white gourd tea and vodka (yes, vodka!) and the Lost In Garden comprising rose lychee, green tea and vodka. Here’s hoping these flavours are available here. We’re predicting that there’s going to be a snaking line the day the outlet opens, as with many other bubble tea chains on this list.
Chicha San Chen is at#03-41, 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, 238895.
Keeping things fresh daily, this Taiwanese bubble tea chain offers different types of pearls that are made fresh, daily. The mainstay is honey white pearls, but they have matcha, cocoa, coconut, coffee, peanut, black sesame and rock salt pearls from Monday to Sunday respectively ($0.70 a pop). They even have season specials such as durian pearls last National Day. Go for the Honey Lime Green Tea ($3.20) with honey white pearls for a refreshing drink, or try more unexpected flavours such as the Pink Guava Rock Salt Machiatto ($3.90).
Hollin is at Blk 190 Toa Payoh Central #01-538, 319196 and #02-605 Suntec City Mall East Wing, 3 Temasek Blvd, 038983
Known as the original creators of cheese teas and the most popular bubble tea chain in China, HeyTea (formerly known as RoyalTea) launched its first overseas shop in Singapore in November 2018 to much fanfare, sparking long queues. Boasting drinks made with only high-quality ingredients – their creamy cheese foam is imported from New Zealand and their fruit teas are made only from fresh fruits, perfect for cheese tea connoisseurs!
HeyTea is at ION Orchard Mall, 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-29, 238801
In need of a quick, refreshing drink to perk yourself up? Each-a-Cup has kept their prices really affordable and with outlets all over Singapore, you won’t have to go out of your way just to grab a drink. Pick up a Honey Green Tea ($2.80/$3.80) or Rose Lychee Black Tea ($3) for major #Throwback vibes to when bubble tea stores first started appearing locally.
Each A Cup has outlets islandwide. To find out where, visit here.
Hailing from Taiwan, Playmade puts a huge emphasis on the quality of their pearls. In fact, customers can see them being churned out behind a glass panel at the store. Made fresh without artificial flavouring, pearl lovers can choose between flavoured pearls like Pink Cactus, Burnt Caramel Black Sesame, Purple Sweet Potato, and White Pearls – or go for 3P, which allows you to select up to three types of pearls.
Playmade is at Tampines One, 10 Tampines Central 1, 529536.
With local actor Nat Ho serving as its Singapore Brand Ambassador and Creative Director, you’ve probably heard of Bobii Frutti’s pretty, Instagrammable drinks. Featuring aesthetically-pleasing ‘layers’ and colourful pearls, the drinks have pretty interesting names too – like Mermaid’s Tears ($5.90), Uji Snow ($6.50) and Extraordinary Bubble Milk Tea ($4.50). The brand prides itself as being the healthier choice for bubble tea, using pure natural ingredients such as fresh milk and no artificial colouring. Taste-wise, they don’t disappoint.
Bobii Frutii is at #04-K4, The Clementi Mall, 3155 Commonwealth Ave West, 129588.
A fruit-lover’s paradise, Partea brings the party to your tastebuds with drinks that feature plenty of healthy fruits and a lower amount of sugar. The guilt-free selection includes mixtures of traditional Chinese tea and fruits, milk, or cheese. For those who would prefer to nurse a warm drink, offerings like Honey Citron Tea ($3.90) or Longan Jujube Tea ($3.90) are also available.
Partea has several outlets, such as #02-470, Suntec City North Atrium, 038983. For more, visit here.
With a mission to make premium milk tea affordable for its customers, iTea is a wallet-friendly alternative for tea lovers with a picky palette. What’s more, many of its outlets are conveniently located in the heartlands, so it’s easy to grab tea blends, juices and dessert bowls on your way to or from work. We recommend trying their best-selling drink, the Grass Jelly Milk Tea ($2.70), which is a satisfying thirst quencher.
iTea has outlets islandwide. To find out where, visit here.
It’s pretty easy to spot a U-Cha outlet, considering that there’s a giant bear mascot at the front of its stores. Once known as Hokkaido gelato shop Milkssimo, the now-bubble tea chain offers a range of uncommon tea flavours – such as Jasmine Grapefruit Tea ($4.20) and Peach Oolong Fruit Tea ($4.50). The drinks are also accompanied with an adorable teddy-bear themed packaging. A refreshing change from the usual suspects.
U-Cha is at #02-13A, NEX, 23 Serangoon Central, 556083
Prefer to keep your drink order simple instead of racking your brain over what flavours to get? Then head on over to Tiger Sugar, a brand that doesn’t allow customisation of drink size, sugar level or toppings – instead, they deliver drinks based on a perfectly measured recipe. Their most popular drink is the Brown Sugar Boba Milk ($5.30), an Instagram-friendly concoction which does not contain tea. Instead, it has fresh full cream milk poured into a plastic cup coated with brown sugar syrup. The result? Caramel-ish ‘tiger stripes’ that blend into the tea with a couple of shakes (hence the name). It’s a sugar rush, so we think this drink is only for those with a sweet tooth.
Tiger Sugar is at various outlets, such as#B2-32, Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road, 178905
By Zoe Zeng & Kayce Teo, April 2019 / Images: Facebook
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