Out-of-this-world bubble teas from Taiwan that should come to Singapore

13 new bubble tea flavours from Taiwan, "the OG land of bubble teas," that need to get here stat. 

The bubble tea revival in Singapore is real. With so many flavours, what more could we want?
The bubble tea revival in Singapore is real. With so many flavours, what more could we want?
18 Jul 2018

The bubble tea revival in Singapore is real. With so many flavours, what more could we want?

With the rise of numerous Taiwanese bubble tea chains launching in Singapore nowadays, offering a wide range of snapshot favourites from vibrantly “layered” drinks and fresh fruit teas to colourful handmade pearls, it would seem as though our bubble tea scene is crowded enough.

And yet our thirst for new, tasty and Instagrammable drinks just can’t be quenched.

Here, we’ve rounded up 13 incredible bubble tea concoctions from Taiwan that we think should come to Singapore, along with our recommendations for the next best flavours available here.

1. Gradient strawberry milk bubble tea
1. Gradient strawberry milk bubble tea
17 Jul 2018

1. Gradient strawberry milk bubble tea

Who here used to drink strawberry milk when they were kids? Yeah, we couldn't help loving that artificial tasting stuff too. But here's something different and better: Strawberry Fresh Milk Bubble Tea (NT$60, approx S$2.70), which includes strawberry puree – pulp and seeds included.

For an even more atas drink, you can opt for whole, juicy strawberries as an add-on. With fat, springy pearls on the bottom and plump strawberries bobbing along up top, this tea's an instant hit. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: If you're into strawberry flavours, Gong Cha's Strawberry Popcorn Fresh Milk Tea ($4.90 for regular, $5.90 for large) has got you covered – with bonus popcorn bits to boot. Alternatively, you could go for Teafolia's Strawberry Serenade ($5.50), a fresh strawberry smoothie without any artificial flavouring powder. 

Frog Nice Drink is located at No 158, Zhongshan Road, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700. 
Gong Cha is located at various outlets in Singapore, including SingPost Centre and Takashimaya Department Store.
Teafolia is located at Tampines MRT Station, Northpoint City and Bedok Mall. 

Photo: Instagram/@cynthiaeat_720

2. Rainbow pearl fresh fruit smoothies
2. Rainbow pearl fresh fruit smoothies
17 Jul 2018

2. Rainbow pearl fresh fruit smoothies

How mesmerising and other-wordly do these rainbow pearls look? Ten One Tea Room serves their refreshing smoothies with the prettiest psychedelic pearls we’ve ever seen. Pictured are their smoothies in rose yoghurt (NT$65, approx S$3), fresh mango (NT$70, approx S$3.20), and lemon flavours (NT$65). The latter is aptly named "Sweet and Sour Taste of First Love."

The next best thing available in Singapore: PlayMade by One Zo (a franchise of the Taiwanese One Zo brand) offers pearls of different flavours and colours including Pink Cactus, Purple Sweet Potato, Black Sesame, and Burnt Caramel. 

Yuan Cha's bubble tea with QQ rainbow pearls are made from yam, sweet potato and matcha for their natural hues sans food colouring. Feel free to bring your own bottle to any of their outlets. Thanks to their BYOB option, you can enjoy your tea and feel good about being eco-friendly.

Tea One Tea Room is located at No 1, Dongqu Dong Ning Road, East District, Tainan City, Taiwan 701. 
PlayMade by One Zo is located at Tampines One
Yuan Cha is located at various outlets in Singapore including NEX Mall and Jurong Point Shopping Centre.

Photo: Instagram/@hanyu_912

3. The most amazing grapefruit tea
3. The most amazing grapefruit tea
17 Jul 2018

3. The most amazing grapefruit tea

If nothing else, the next time you visit Taiwan, head to Perfect Life Teashop. Their Grapefruit Green Tea is life-changing. Grapefruit tea isn't groundbreaking or rare by any means and is available in many teashops, but none of them come close to this iteration. The incredibly fresh, sweet taste of red grapefruit sings in a base of high quality, aromatic iced green tea. Other than a thick slice of grapefruit, you're also rewarded with plump grapefruit pulp with each sip. Even those who dislike grapefruit would probably be converted. 

At Perfect Life, the drinks' quality speaks for itself. The owner's elderly mother is a tea connoisseur. One day in an intimate mother-and-son conversation, the son was so moved by her life's passion and knowledge that he decided to open up a teashop in her honour. Perfect Life celebrates quality tea in its pure form -- with tealeaves sourced by a true tea expert: the owner's own mother. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Try ParTea’s Tea with Grapefruit ($5.70). Teafolia’s Grapefruit Gravity ($5.50) with fresh grapefruit bits in premium green tea is another tastebud-pleasing choice. 

Perfect Life Teashop is located at No 110, Section 1, Meicun Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403. 
ParTea is located at various outlets in Singapore including Suntec City and Wisma Atria. 
Teafolia is located at Tampines MRT Station, Northpoint City and Bedok Mall. 

Photo: Instagram/@tong_intw

4. Dragon fruit bubble tea
4. Dragon fruit bubble tea
17 Jul 2018

4. Dragon fruit bubble tea

Dragon fruit is the "it" ingredient that's caught on like wild fire across bubble tea shops in Taiwan -- and the trend is still going strong. Think eye-catching gradient milk tea with a shock of magenta from bright dragon fruit-infused pearls – which, to be honest, taste similar to regular pearls but are a whole lot more Instagrammable. 

Try Good Day Good Time Tea's Fresh Milk Tea with Dragon Fruit Pearls (NT$60, approx S$2.70) or, for a healthier option, order their tropical Orange and Dragon Fruit smoothie (NT$70, approx S$3.20). Another knock-out smoothie combination is a thick blend of fresh Dragon Fruit, Pineapple and Guava (NT$65, approx S$3) from Aboa Lemon. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Teafolia's Dance of the Dragon ($4.80) gets its gorgeous magenta colour from smashed red dragon fruit (zero food colouring) mixed with Oolong tea. Zoe Tay tried and enjoyed their Lych-A-Dream ($4.90) featuring dragon fruit, lychee and jasmine green tea.

Good Day Good Time Tea is located at No. 21-6, Lane 51, Section 1, Da'an Road, Da'an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106. 
Aboa Lemon is located at Top City Department Store, Level 12, Food Republic Food Court, No. 251, Section 3, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407. 
Teafolia is located at Tampines MRT Station, Northpoint City and Bedok Mall. 

Photo: Instagram/@shinee386

5. Frog eggs and aiyu
5. Frog eggs and aiyu "old-school" bubble tea
17 Jul 2018

5. Frog eggs and aiyu "old-school" bubble tea

Check out this five-layer bubble tea from Yi Hu Chun ice shop at Zhong Yuan Night Market featuring chewy pearls, slurp-able tapioca noodles, soft yam balls, jiggly golden ai yu jelly, and silky smooth "frog eggs."

...No, not real frog eggs. These "frog eggs" are made from basil seeds that resemble real frog eggs once soaked in liquid. Popular in Taiwan long before the bubble tea craze, frog eggs (and aiyu jelly) are toppings commonly used in traditional local beverages, and more recently have become a trendy bubble tea add-on. 

For the base, opt for winter melon tea (NT$45, approx S$2.10) or, for a more dimensional taste, brown sugar tea with lemon (NT$45) for a refreshing citrus kick.

The next best thing available in Singapore: Try Gong Cha's Lemon Winter Melon Tea with Basil Seeds ($3.30 for medium, $4.50 for large) with aiyu jelly and white pearls add-on's. 

Yi Hu Chun Ice Shop is located at Zhong Yuan Night Market, No. 98, Rixin Road, Zhongli District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 320. 
Gong Cha is located at various outlets in Singapore, including SingPost Centre and Takashimaya Department Store.

Photo: Instagram/@hanyu_912

6. Upside down ice cream cone bubble tea
6. Upside down ice cream cone bubble tea
17 Jul 2018

6. Upside down ice cream cone bubble tea

Satisfy both your milkshake and bubble tea craving in one go with an upside down ice cream cone bubble tea featuring gelato imported from Italy.

Pictured here are the Boba Beauty Milkshake (NT$80, approx  S$3.60) and Purple Beauty Milkshake with pearls (NT$90, approx S$4.10) from IC Ruby in Taipei. The latter gets its pretty violet hue from a thick blueberry smoothie made from imported blueberries. For the base, choose either tangy frozen yoghurt or rich, milky gelato, and enjoy that crispy waffle cone to the fullest. Just beware of the impending sugar crash. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Order Koi's Ice Cream Milk Tea ($3.70 for medium, $5.50 for large) with pearls add-on at no extra charge. This tasty combination is for those who prefer their drinks creamier and on the sweeter side. There's no waffle cone, but as far as dessert teas go, it won't disappoint. 

IC Ruby is located at 1-9 counters, No. 201, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106. 
Koi is located at various outlets in Singapore including NEX Mall, City Square Mall, and Bugis+.

Photo: Instagram/@yen_food_life

7. Taro sago with fresh milk
7. Taro sago with fresh milk
17 Jul 2018

7. Taro sago with fresh milk

Taro sago drinks are another old-school beverage in Taiwan, but now it's getting a hip gradient upgrade, à la Lag Milk Tea's photogenic version. Featuring sugar-free mashed taro so thick, muddy and wholesome that you can taste the taro granules, this all natural creation puts artificial taro drinks to shame. The small, velvety soft sago pearls on the bottom add even more texture. Stir well with the straw before drinking to mix the top layer of fresh milk with the mashed taro for a smoother consistency. Opt for half sugar. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Share Tea's Handmade Taro Fresh Milk is among our favourite taro drinks as it comes pretty close to the real deal, using yam paste and fresh milk instead of taro milk powder. Pearls come free with this drink, which is only available at Share Tea’s Jurong Point and Parkway Parade outlets.  

Lag Milk Tea is located at No. 2, Section 1, Zhongyang West Road, Zhongli District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 320. 
Share Tea is located at various outlets in Singapore, including Jurong Point and Parkway Parade.

Photo: Instagram/@yen_food_life

8. Dirty matcha fresh milk
8. Dirty matcha fresh milk
17 Jul 2018

8. Dirty matcha fresh milk

Following in the footsteps of the Brown Sugar Fresh Milk craze and perhaps taking inspiration from the "messy buns" (zhang zhang bao) fad, Good Day Good Time Tea's Dirty Matcha Fresh Milk (NT$60, approx S$2.70) is quite self explanatory. Brown sugar pearls and sauce are replaced by matcha pearls and an overflowing cap of quality matcha powder from Uji. A must-try for all matcha die-hards. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Hand-whisked on the spot, Bobii Frutti's Uni Snow (S$6.50) features foamy and deliciously rich matcha tea with an authentic level of bitterness. 

Good Day Good Time Tea is located at No. 21-6, Lane 51, Section 1, Da'an Road, Da'an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106. 
Bobii Frutti is located at various outlets in Singapore including Suntec City and The Clementi Mall. 

Photo: Instagram/@taiwanfoodeat

9. Oatmeal Milk Tea Latte
9. Oatmeal Milk Tea Latte
17 Jul 2018

9. Oatmeal Milk Tea Latte

To give a bit of background, oatmeal milk beverages are popular in Taiwan and can be found in convenience stores such as 7-11. Touted for their health benefits, Taiwan's oatmeal milk has a similar thick, gooey consistency to Singapore's barley water; instead of pearl barley, they contain chewy oats. It was a smart move from 50 Lan's Tainan branch to bring the comforting taste of oatmeal to the world of bubble tea. Available at select outlets, their homey and filling black or green tea latte with oats would make a nice breakfast beverage. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Koi is known for their macchiato and latte series. The Green/Black Tea Latte ($3.50 for medium, $4.90 for large) and Green/Black Tea Macchiato ($2.80 for medium, $3.90 for large), which offer a delectable blend of tea and creamy, frothy milk, deserve a shoutout even though they are missing the oats. We recommend 50 percent sugar or 75 percent at most. 

50 Lan is located at various outlets across Taiwan, including No. 48-4, Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108.
Koi is located at various outlets in Singapore including NEX Mall, City Square Mall, and Bugis+.

Photo: Instagram/@amos0716

10. Matcha soft serve with white jade pearls
10. Matcha soft serve with white jade pearls
17 Jul 2018

10. Matcha soft serve with white jade pearls

Is this something you would order purely #forthegram? Probably. But if you relish in the sensation of smooth, creamy matcha soft serve sliding down your throat, and you like chewy bubbles, you might be in for a treat. In the matcha soft serve with white "jade" pearls (NT$45, approx S$2.10) from Shuan Xi Cha Hui Shan Hua Shop, the sweet and bitter matcha flavour comes through. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Pearl Milk Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream ($3.60) from TP Tea, a Taiwanese franchise with big shot parent company, Chun Shui Tang, which is arguably the originator of bubble tea. We tried and tested their Pearl Milk Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream and felt it was more "hype" than "hit" as the tea flavour wasn't strong enough, but feel free to judge for yourself. 

Shuan Xi Cha Hui Shan Hua Shop is lcoated at No. 511, Zhongzheng Road, Shanhui District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700. 
TP Tea Singapore is located at Changi Airport, Terminal 2, Departure Hall

Photos: Instagram/@bonyu_9292

11. Strawberry cheese smoothie with brownies
11. Strawberry cheese smoothie with brownies
17 Jul 2018

11. Strawberry cheese smoothie with brownies

If strawberry cheesecake were in smoothie form, this might come close. Junkies Sparkling offers up a berrylicious layered smoothie, starting with a bottom base of strawberries and raspberries blanketed by cheese foam, topped with fresh strawberry chunks, raspberry morsels and dark chocolate brownie bits. Sound like overkill? The chocolate and berries pairing might actually be on point. You'll get it if you favour chocolate-covered strawberries or strawberry dark chocolate bars. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Cheese Strawberry ($6.90) from U-Cha also comes with a cheese topping and fresh strawberry morsels, but without any brownies

Junkies Sparkling is located at No. 12, Lane 4, Kunshan Street, Yongkang District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700.
U-Cha is located at 313@Somerset

Photo: Instagram/@rose.eat_tainan

12. Brown sugar fresh milk with
12. Brown sugar fresh milk with "fen jiao"
17 Jul 2018

12. Brown sugar fresh milk with "fen jiao"

Zan Zuan is a Taiwanese ice dessert shop that uses traditional Chinese dessert ingredients such as mung beans, red beans, barley, and red glutinous rice. They opened a bubble tea shop called Hey! Sugar Shop, where they sell adorably packaged drinks in twine carriers from a wooden cart (all in line with their old-school gu zao brand image). Not only do their Brown Sugar Fresh Milk come with deliciously springy boba, it also includes fen jiao, which are gummy tapioca cubes akin to boba but with more of a bite. Happy chewing! 

The next best thing available in Singapore: LiHo's popular Brown Sugar Pearl Fresh Milk ($3.60 for medium, $4.60 for large) also offers chewy pearls cooked in brown sugar. The combination of warm "QQ" pearls followed by a flush of cold milk is highly satisfying, but perhaps they could experiment with adding addictive fen jiao as well. Someone's got to introduce those delicious toppings to Singapore's bubble tea scene. 

Zan Zuan is located at No. 148, Section 1, Minsheng Road, Zhongxi District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700. 
LiHo is located at various outlets in Singapore including NEX Mall, Junction 8 Shopping Centre, and Paragon Shopping Centre. 

Photo: Instagram/@cynthiaeat_720

13. Mung bean pearl slushie
13. Mung bean pearl slushie
17 Jul 2018

13. Mung bean pearl slushie

Red azuki beans as a bubble tea add-on isn't a new development. Typically the beans play a supporting role to the drink; they're definitely not the main focus. 

This gu zao (ancient-style) mung bean pearl slushie from Yi-Sin Ice Cream Shop is another story, in which the mung beans are the star player. It's insanely thirst-quenching and thoroughly infused with the refreshing taste and "sandy" texture of sweet mung beans. With some QQ pearls in the mix, this cooling drink will help you beat the summer heat. 

The next best thing available in Singapore: Gong Cha offers red bean add-on's but as mentioned above, unlike Taiwan's mung bean slushie, the beans aren't the main feature here. You're probably better off heading to an ice dessert shop that sells green bean soup -- though even that is a far cry from the ice-blended mung bean pearl drink we're talking about. Any bubble teashop in Singapore want to take this on? We'd queue up. 

Yi-sin Ice Cream Shop is located at No. 15, Heping Street, Zhongli District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 330. 
Gong Cha is located at various outlets in Singapore, including SingPost Centre and Takashimaya Department Store.

Photo: Instagram/@nini_food0822

Related:
What your favourite bubble tea says about you

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