Friday, 25 February 2011

Food News: Bubble Tea

From Whoopie pies to frozen yoghurt, us fickle Londoners are a sucker for fleeting food trends.
The latest to arrive on the scene is that of Bubble Tea.

Originating from Taiwan and commonly found on the streets of Xi'an, tiny shops in Shanghai and many a booth in Beijing, Bubble Tea is a cold drink made from black tea and plenty of frothed milk (hence 'bubble' tea). The exciting bit- balls of tapioca that float in the bottom of each glass, often referred to as pearls.
In America, it is referred to as Boba tea. 'Boba' originating from the Taiwanese for 'big breasts'. Naturally.

The milk tea is often mixed with fruit or fruit syrup, but my personal favourite is peanut bubble tea. Honestly- peanut milkshake- it's amazing.

I had heard rumours of bubble tea's arrival on the food fashion horizon, but this was cemented when I spotted a new little cafe in the West End selling exclusively bubble tea and oriental snacks.

For a more genuine experience, try the Jen Cafe in the heart of China Town (4-8 Newport Place). With the air scented with authentic Chinese food served up on plastic plates, the Bubble Tea menu is extensive and authentic. They also sell my favourite- peanut tea!
Alternatively you could try Baoxi Inn, within spitting distance (Aptly, for China Town...) of Jen Cafe.
Candy Cafe (3, Macclesfield Street) is another new bubble tea shop ("Live the bubbly life!); bright, breezy, student friendly and cheap.
HK Diner on Wardour Street is irresistible- it's popularity amongst ex pats is reassuring and its sesame pearl tea is tempting. If that wasn't enough to lure you into one of my favourite food districts, it also does alcoholic pearl teas.

I for one now have a massive craving for Bubble tea... so check back soon- there may well be photos and reviews !



  1. bubble tea is great! but you know... it's been around for absolutely aaaagggeesss! my fave is the purple yam flavour.

  2. Oh yeah, totally aware of that. I used to get it when I was out in China and Hong Kong years back... But to have cafes serving exclusively bubble tea popping up in London... thats a new phenomenon.
    Never had purple yam!! Now I really want to try it... thankyou ! xx