If you have never experienced waiting in line for an hour just to get bubble tea (Taiwanese tea-based drink), we need to do some serious discussion. Whether you call it bubble tea, pearl milk tea or Boba, it is the current in-thing that’s impossible to ignore. Nowadays, it is a norm to see people queuing outside any Boba store and the lines are always a sight to behold! Commonly believed to have originated in Taiwan, this beverage is a sensation throughout East and Southeast Asia, especially among millennials! If you’re a big fan of milk tea, you need to visit these seven countries and try their own version of this Taiwanese beverage!
1. Cojiitii – Malaysia
With Malaysia’s hot weather, gulping down a cup of bubble tea is always a great idea and instead of going to your usual bubble tea store, why not give Cojiitii a try? Setting themselves apart from the rest, its specialty lies in its handcrafted cocoa beverages, with the addition of pearls (chewy tapioca balls) of course! Although considered as the new kid on the block, Cojiitii readily offers multiple variants of both cocoa and tea beverages. It also takes pride in producing beverages with high quality ingredients sourced worldwide! More reasons for you to step away from the basics and try Cojiitii’s one of a kind cocoa cheese tea!
2. Hulucat Tea House – New Zealand
If you’re ever in New Zealand and your Asian taste bud is screaming for milk tea, we got you covered! Located in Central Auckland, it is a quirky cat-themed teahouse that stresses on adorable cat décor. If that’s not enough, they also have endless choice of beverages that you can choose and you probably couldn’t find them elsewhere as they have distinctive bubble teas such as Papaya milk tea, Watermelon milk tea, Egg milk tea and more! Sounds unusual but we bet none of your friends have ever tasted it before, so why not be the first one? Hulucat Tea also has an app and website that you can order from before coming over to quickly pick it up at the store and leave!
3. Orange Tea – Australia
If you’re tired of those ubiquitous bubble tea stores, you should head to Orange Tea to experience its laid-back environment. Focusing more on fruit-based tea, their motto is to allow people enjoy drinking tea the healthiest way as most of us ignore the fact that a single cup of plain bubble tea has at least 160 calories! Located in Sunny Park Shopping Centre, you definitely need to try their most adored drink, Passionfruit QQ Jasmine Tea. Instead of using fruit syrup, Orange Tea actually uses fresh fruits to keep it genuine, but if you prefer anything milky, Orange Tea’s Taiwan Pearl Milk Tea is worth a try because it is one of the shop’s top 10 recommended drinks!
4. Chun Shui Tang – Taiwan
You can’t come to the birthplace of bubble tea and not visit Chun Shui Tang (Original Store). Not only it claims to be the first one to create this beverage, it also exhibits the founder’s favourite corner in the store where he spent most of his time entertaining tea lovers! They have several branches by now but what makes Chun Shui Tang at Taichung City unique is the decoration. The store is designed to imitate a traditional house that emphasises on paintings and Eastern ornamentation. Of course, coming here is incomplete if you don’t try its classic milk tea that they have invented! Care to bring some souvenirs home? You surely can! From postcards, pencil cases, stickers and more, you will have enough proof to show that you’re a true bubble tea fan.
5. Ochaba – Japan
Travelling in Japan is not only about appreciating the country’s landscapes and attractions but also to understand the culture. Drinking Matcha (Green Tea) is always one of the best ways to start learning about the Japanese themselves and Ochaba is a great place for you to start. Located in Shinjuku, it is Japan’s first bubble tea store that specialises in milk tea that uses Japanese tea leaves! Even though bubble tea is trending, Ochaba puts much thought in tea-making to keep the tradition of Japanese tea alive, hence the shape of the tea cups that follow the traditional form and the adoption of Mount Fuji as its logo. Ochaba’s topping is the most interesting of all as it does not use the typical pearls you always see but instead it uses Warabimochi, a well-known traditional Japanese dessert!
6. Cuppacha – United Kingdom
If you’ve been to London, you may have tried the city’s scrumptious Avocado toast and bagel but, if you’re ever coming back, don’t miss out on Cuppacha’s bubble tea as well! With its affordable prices and tons of cool tea flavours, you might just come back for more! At Cuppacha, only the finest Taiwanese tea leaves are used to freshly brew its bubble tea and that sounds Tea-rrific! Did we mention that all the drinks at Cuppacha are fully customisable too? You can create your own personal drink from your funky topping right down to your sugar and ice levels! The locals usually come here for their signature bubble tea but we suggest that you try one of the house blends: the Matcha Red Bean Bubble Tea.
7. Heytea – China
Started in 2012, this beverage store has more to offer than just classic milk tea. Famous for its cheese tea, it only uses premium Oolong tea leaves that have been specially harvested for Heytea! Talk about exclusivity! Heytea is particular in choosing the ingredients used in its beverages to maintain the ardour towards Chinese tea culture. If you’re not a fan of cheese tea, fret not, because Heytea has tons of other beverages that you should try such as Grapefruit Boom Tea, Jasmine Green Tea and more! If you’re lucky to even get a seat inside, take the opportunity to enjoy the ambience since the store focuses on minimalism and Zen!