Like your teas on the bubbly side? You’re in the right place. Here are five of the best places in the Golden City to sip and slurp on the bonkers drink-dessert hybrid – and to get your teeth around those chewy tapioca pearls…
Tea-geeks can get their leaf-fix at Yuan Cha, which serves around 40 different drinks starring specialist teas such as lishan, chai shao oolong, red oolong and ziya shan. More common teas – green, black, tieguanyin, pu’er and oolong – also grace the menu. Designed to appeal to all ages, Yuan Cha riffs on fermentation themes, offering a fruit vinegar series that combines tea and fruit-infused vinegar: pick from lime, plum, or apple.
Three words: cheese foam tea. Liho, on the Bay Level of Marina Sands, dishes up madcap flavour combos that taste less a lot less odd than they sound (the ‘cheese’, for example, is more like a heavy-duty cream – albeit admittedly with undertones of Gouda). For something a little safer, opt for a sweet ‘n’ creamy brown sugar milk, a black sesame or taro milk tea, or an Ovaltine milk – and add avocado if you’re feeling fruity.
Claiming to be the healthy choice when it comes to bubble tea – which we thought was already pretty healthy, but hey ho – Bobbi Frutti scorns artificial colourings and makes its colour-pop creations with all natural ingredients, such as butterfly-pea extract and fresh milk and fruit juice. Premium cane-sugar syrup rather than plain old brown sugar or high-fructose corn syrup hits the sweet spot (which can be adapted to your sweet-tooth preferences) and the addictive bobii are freshly produced for your enjoyment.
Like bubble tea itself, iconic Koi hails from Taiwan – but it has a multitude of mega-popular Singapore outposts. Koi takes its tea seriously, priding itself on high-quality leaves, a meticulous brewing process and friendly service. Popular choices include golden bubble tea featuring golden oolong (and the crowd-pleasing golden bubbles), milk with grass-tea jelly, and hazelnut and caramel milk tea. Customise your drink to your preferred sugar levels and pick from an array of optional toppings.
If you’re a glutton for tapioca pearls, head to Hollin, which prepares new flavours daily. Hollin means ‘Good to drink’ in Hokkien (a Southern Min Chinese dialect) and this temple to tea earns its name via delicious flavours such as strawberry green tea with white-honey pearls, rock-salt macchiato with rock-salt pearls (yes, really), cocoa-strawberry combos and more.