QUICK READ: Two types of bubble tea: milk tea and fruit-flavoured teas, locations include Share Tea, Easy Way, Gong Cha, Cha Time, Comebuy Bubble Milk Tea, Tea Shop Express and Queen of Spades.
Originating from Taiwan, this sweet drink is a ubiquitous dessert around high Asian demographic areas in Australia and there is no surprise since the star of the beverage is tapioca balls or, as I've always called them, pearls. The sealed lids, prominent dark coloured balls at the bottom of the drink and colourful liquid all collectively make the drink visually noticeable and well known. There are two distinctive types of bubble tea: milk teas or fruit-flavoured teas. The most popular flavours are green tea and taro but, there are countless variations of milk or fruit tea for your customisation. The contents of a typical bubble milk tea drink include:
Sharetea drinks are made from natural and healthy ingredients with no preservatives or artificial flavouring/colouring added, 'each cup is filled with vitamins and all natural antioxidants that are 100% authentic and healthy' (Sharetea). Quality tea leaves are freshly brewed and their fruits are squeezed to make their beverages. For six consecutive years, their milk tea drink has been recognised as the number one Taiwan classic pearl tea, voted by the media.
Locations: Sharetea Sky View Sydney (George St), 631 George St, Chatswood, Paramatta; for more information, click here.
2. Easy Way
Left to right: Pearl Milk Tea and Pearls, Milk Tea and Pearls, Lychee Green Tea and Lychee jelly, Passionfruit Blac Tea and Rainbow Jelly, Mango Frappe and Pearls, Strawberry Shake, Chocolate Chiller and Mango Pash Smoothie (Bubble Tea credit to Easyway, edited by author)
Like any other bubble tea store, Easy Way has an extensive range of beverages and toppings. Their best sellers include Taro Milk Tea Pearls (I've tried this once, this drink tastes of quality taro), Pearl Milk Tea and Pearls, Milk Tea and Pearls, Lychee Green Tea and Lychee jelly, Passionfruit Blac Tea and Rainbow Jelly, Mango Frappe and Pearls, Strawberry Shake, Chocolate Chiller and Mango Pash Smoothie.
Locations: 653 George St, Ashfield, Auburn, Bankstown, Broadway Shopping Centre, Campsie, Carlingford Court, DFO Homebush, Eastgardens, Fairfield, Haymarket, Hurstville, Macquarie Centre, Market City, North Sydney, Rhodes, Strathfield Plaza, Sydney University, Wynyard; check their individual store's contacts here.
3. Gong Cha
Gong Cha (Image credit to DanielFoodDiary)
Gong Cha aims to provide top quality tea to its customers and believe in providing 'natural, healthy and freshly brewed tea and beverages with a refreshing taste'; their teas are brewed daily. Gong Cha offers more variety with milk foamed teas, brewed teas, health teas, milk teas, fruit teas, smoothies and yoghurts. Options for toppings can be found here.
Locations: Sydney CBD, Market City, Ashfield, Cabramatta, Sydney Central Station, Kingsford, Town Hall Station, Eastwood, Liverpool, Bankstown, Burwood, The Galleries (Sydney), Chatswood, Auburn, Hornsby, Macquarie and Rhodes; follow this link for their address.
Just like many other bubble tea shops, the teas are made right in front of your eyes. This is the one I often visit; I don't particularly like pearls, so I usually opt for a fruit-flavoured tea. A friend introduced me to bubble tea and she recommended the lychee black tea with lychee toppings. I was immediately hooked and will purchase this whenever I need to quench my thirst. Chatime uses 'a range of high quality teas that are brewed every 4 hours' (Chatime), ensuring the very freshest beverages for patrons.
Locations: 580 George Street, Bondi Junction, Burwood, Cabramatta, Castle Tower, Central Park, Central Plaza, Central Station, Chatswood Chase, Chatswood Interchange, Eastwood, George Street Cinema, Hornsby, Hurstville Central, Inmark Tower, Kingsford, Macquarie Centre, Market City, Merrylands, QVB, Rhodes, Strathfield Plaza, Sussex Centre (Chinatown), Westfield - Burwood, Chatswood, Hurstville, Paramatta, Sydney, Wetherill Park, World Square, Wynyard. Check opening times for individual shop here.
With many stores brewing artifically flavoured teas, the two owners of Comebuy Bubble Milk Tea strive to use only natural ingredients. Winning awards internationally, this is a well known store and continues to be a favourite among the community. Unlike the brightly coloured beverages other outlets offer, Comebuy focuses on providing authentic ingredients to brew cleaner and healthier drinks.
This store is one of the community's favoured bubble tea stores in Sydney because of its 'Buy 1 Get 1 Free' offers that are frequently promoted. Like many other outlets, customisation allows you to choose the amount of sugar. The store also freshly brew their teas. If you're searching for a quality bubble tea store for a reasonable price, I'd suggest trying Tea Shop Express first.
Location: 586 George St, Sydney 2000
7. Queen of Spades
Image Credit: Groupon
Queen of Spades is an authentic Asian dessert bar that sells various types of bubble teas. I've noticed that they offer other teas, like their 'Toffee Black Tea' or 'Wen Shan Green Tea'. Customisation also includes choosing Ice Level (Normal Ice, 3/4 Ice, 1/4 Ice, No Ice) and Sugar Level (Normal sugar, 3/4 sugar, 1/2 sugar, 1/4 sugar and no sugar).
Location: 605 Goulburn St, Warwick Farm, 2170
ALTERNATIVES: For an afforable meal and good bubble tea, check out Sunflower Taiwanese Gourmet (147 Broadway, Sydney NSW 2007)
TIPS: When inserting the straw in the bubble tea, make sure to forcefully and quickly thrust it in; poking the straw in slowly won't do anything besides creating a mess.
To avoid fumbling when opening the plastic of the straw, point the sharp end of the straw up and push down the plastic, the sharp end will cut through the plastic.
These bubble tea shops usually have a hot or cold option for your beverage's temperature so it's great to drink all year round.
Membership cards are available at Easyway, Chatime and Share Tea; the rewards vary.
List your favourite bubble tea drink and store in the comments.