Whether the weather is warm or you’re looking for a non-alcoholic beverage to keep you going while out sightseeing, bubble tea is the perfect accompaniment to any situation.
Originating all of the way from Taiwan, bubble tea is an incredibly popular drink that blends tea with milks, fruits and juices. Added into the mix are tapioca pearls – these are little translucent balls made from the cassava root. It sounds a little odd but trust us, and the millions of others who adore the drink, when we say it’s really, really good.
If you’re yet to try bubble tea or you’re on the hunt for somewhere new to try, we’ve rounded up our seven favourite bubble tea hideouts in the capital.
If you’ve stumbled onto ‘BubbleTeaTok’, then chances are you’ve come across Xing Fu Tang. Located on Frith Street, just between Chinatown and Soho, the bubble tea shop has become globally renowned for introducing the world’s first gold leaf series.
Choose your flavour, milk and tapioca of choice and ask to add on a hint of gold leaf to help elevate your drink to a bougie level. But for a social media moment, try the Gold Foil Brown Sugar Milk Tea. You won’t regret it.
Where: 29 Frith Street, W1D 5LG
If you’re usually the person lining up outside Starbucks when they introduce a new flavour to their menu, then you’ll absolutely love The Alley.
The bubble tea shop prides itself on creating one-of-a-kind flavours, including their latest creation: Ube Taro Brown Sugar Deerioca Créme Brûlée. Yep, it’s a drink inspired by the creamy French dessert. This one is exclusively available at their new branch in Mayfair, available from 24th July.
These guys also pride themselves on using the finest ingredients available, from making their own sugar cane syrup and tapioca (deerioca) in house through to carefully selecting the types of tea leaves they use in every cup.
The Alley is also opening a new venue, at 10 Maddox Street, from 24th July.
Where: 272 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EY
Whether you’re after cold or iced, fruity or sparkling, Mooboo has all of your bubble tea answers waiting for you in store. They boast multiple stores across London, including Hammersmith, Knightsbridge and Camden, and serve up some of the most popular flavours around.
Choose something from their best-selling menu, like the passion and mango or the honeydew. Or, try one of their milky numbers. We love the taro flavour, it’s nutty and sweet. Oh and it’s also bright purple, making it perfect for a photo opp.
Where: Various Locations
Hidden inside Broadway Shopping Centre you’ll find Dragon Cat Cafe. Nope, you won’t find any cats lying around but you will find some deliciously, creamy bubble tea served up.
The small cafe, home to hanging plants and smart interiors, serves up an authentic taste of Taiwan. Avoiding fruit syrups, you’ll find them pressing fresh fruits and brewing fresh tea, so create the perfect, refreshing beverage. Choose from fresh teas, milk tea, cream clouds (basically fresh tea with a thick layer of flavoured cream on top) and fresh fruit blends.
Don’t miss your chance to try a wheelcake too. Originally from Japan, these are similar to deep-dish pancakes and they have created over 50 unique recipes, including pumpkin pie, mini Oreo and salted caramel banoffee pie.
Where: 18A Broadway Shopping Centre, Hammersmith, W6 9YD
Forget Build-A-Bear, we’re all about Kissaten’s build-your-own bubble tea.
Kissaten, found on Brewer Street, is a Japanese tea house that is hoping to keep tradition alive, one tea at a time. Expect a wide selection of flavours, choices and toppings, which you can use to build your own unique flavour, or if you’re trying bubble tea for the first time, opt for one of their signature blends.
You’ll find everything from matcha milk teas to roasted oolong, hojicha salted cheese (we’re intrigued by this…) to wheat flake milk tea. All packaged inside one of their signature cups.
Where: 30 Brewer Street, W1F 0SS
Helping to shake up London’s tea industry is Ding Tea, bringing the flavours, tastes and textures of Taiwan to the capital. That’s their main purpose. They want to educate the public about Taiwanese tea culture and they are achieving this on a global scale.
Now with locations in Kingston and New Malden, you’ll find Ding Tea serving up a fresh blend of tea that’s unique in its flavour and style. Find everything from crystal pearl winter melon oolong tea to grape tea milk.
They also have a selection of smoothies, all packed with the tapioca balls that bubble tea drinkers know and love. Order online or visit one of their stores.
Where: Kingston & New MAlden
With such adorable bear branding, how could you resist a trip to Little Newport Street’s Yunique?
Find them serving up summer coolers, including the refreshing lychee juice with boba or for the watermelon lovers, the watermelon tea with added lychee. For a milky hit, their range of milk teas are next level, including the red bean milk tea. We guarantee you’ll find something new, interesting and unique to try on every trip here.
Where: 10 Little Newport Street, WC2H 7JJ
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