Bubble tea has been a local favourite for over a decade.
This delicious milky – or milkless (we see you lactose intolerant crew) – tea comes with “pearls” which are essentially little chewy black orbs made from tapioca.
As it was tragically reported in May this year, Gong Cha, one of the largest bubble tea chains in Singapore pulled out of the country, and was replaced with the new local brand LiHo.
Many Singaporeans still pine for the return of Gong Cha and the company did not disappoint. They announced that they will eventually be returning to Singapore later this year.
The Prodigal Son Isn’t Back Yet, Can We Take Your Order?
Since Gong Cha hasn’t given us a specific date of return, here are some other good Taiwanese bubble tea shop alternatives that you can try!
1. Yuan Cha
Yuan Cha is a newcomer to the local bubble tea scene but reviews have been generally good.
Yuan Cha is known for their lower sugar levels and stronger tea flavour, which appeals to avid tea lovers who love to savour the taste of the tea instead of the sugar and milk.
Their QQ Rainbow “pearls” are made fresh daily, using matcha, yam, and sweet potatoes so they don’t include any food colouring or artificial flavouring.
We love that Yuan Cha is genuinely trying to place the tea in the spotlight and we highly recommend that you give them a try! Who knows, you might be a convert.
Sharetea was established in 1992 and now has franchises in more than 18 countries worldwide.
Sharetea is known for their variety of drinks for people of all ages. Some of the local favourites include the Whole Lemon Green Tea, Wintermelon Tea, and the QQ Happy Family Milk Tea which has multiple toppings such as pearls, pudding, herbal jelly and lychee jelly.
Sharetea stays true to their name, sharing a variety of drinks with people of all generations. We love that the kampung spirit lives in their brand. Keep doing what you do, Sharetea!
3. I Love Taimei
I Love Taimei was founded by 2 Taiwanese sisters and a local SHATEC graduate chef. What’s cute about I Love Taimei is that they serve Taiwanese fried chicken cutlets which are named after Taiwanese celebrities such as Jolin Tsai and the members of S.H.E.
They also serve a variety of bubble tea drinks with seasonal flavours such as Double Yam Milk Tea and Bubble Milk Tea Smoothie.
Chatime operates 1002 outlets in 30 countries and is the only public-listed bubble tea in Taiwan. They offer healthier options such as Japanese Sakura Sencha and Brown Rice Green Tea along with the staple Pearl Milk Tea.
Nowadays, we are all about that #fitspo life, but we still want to indulge in a bit of Taiwanese bubble tea action once in awhile. So if you’re looking for healthier options, you can’t go wrong with Chatime!
Here’s another honourable mention. Woobbee isn’t technically from Taiwan. However, they do import their tea leaves from Taiwan, and that is true commitment to bringing Singaporeans quali-tea.
What’s unique about Woobbee is that they use superior natural raw sugar that is untainted by chemical processing. One of their unique flavours is the Herbal Mint Pei Pa Kao Milk Tea With Grass Jelly which we absolutely love because Pei Pa Kao is a classic sweet cough syrup many of us loved as kids.
The Taiwanese bubble tea trend is here to stay and we are loving the multiple options popping up all over the country. Variety is the spice of life, and this is honestly everything we never knew we needed in Singapore.
There is still a while to go before Gong Cha lands on our shores again, but in the meantime, you’ll be more than well taken care of at these bubble tea shops!
(Header Image Source: Gong Cha Facebook)