Today I visit Chatime in London’s China for some amazing bubble tea. You can check out the youtube video below to watch my visit.
Chinatown sits in the heart of London between Soho and Leicester Square. In the 1950s Gerard Street was still a regular street and one by one Chinese restaurants and stores began to open. By the late 1960s the area had become home to many Chinese restaurants and also the community with retailers opening to support them. Finally in the 1980s the Chinese contribution to the area is recognised by giving it Pedestrianised streets and a make over. Also included in the make over are Chinese style gates and street furniture which still take pride of place today.
Bubble tea originates from Taiwan, first invented in the 1980’s. Taiwanese bubble tea is also called pearl milk tea, boba milk tea or even just boba. Bubble tea is a tea based drink, tea infused milk or fruit juice, hot or cold and with the addition of tapioca “bubbles” or “pearls” and a choice of fruit jellies.
The tea flavour is very subtle. Milk drinks are closer to westerners’ idea of a milkshake than tea. Fruit drinks closer to American Ice tea than a cup of PG tips builders tea in a mug. The options and additions available are immense and make an incredibly bespoke drink.
At Chatime you have an incredible amount of choice available. And an incredible amount of decisions to make. So first do you want a hot or cold drink? Large or regular? Milk Tea, fruit tea, coffee or regular Asian tea? Then regular or large?
Also Each choice of tea has around 10 different flavour options to choose from. You can specify your sugar option – 0%, 30%, 50%, 80%, Normal (100% dose) and even extra.
Cold drinks have an ice option – no ice, less ice, normal ice and extra ice. Then toppings which mostly sink to the bottom and require sucking out with the huge diameter straws provided. Toppings include pearl which are the tapioca beads and have the texture of jelly sweets. Also the following jellies – Grass, coconut, rainbow, red bean and aloe vera.
Delicious or disgusting?
Once your bespoke drink is made it is sealed in its cup which gives it a mass produced look. So with the amount a bespoke options you should have a delicious drink to suit your exact tastes. If it tastes disgusting you have only yourself to blame because you concocted the drink.
For the latest additions to the menu and opening times – chatimeuk.com
Also you can checkout our full visit to London’s Chinatown here