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21 Places You Must Drink Bubble Tea Before You Die

Sweet, delicious bubble tea.

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1. Biju Bubble Tea

Facebook: bijububbletea

Not all bubble tea was created equal: Some is made with fresh milk, others...not so much (*cough* powdered milk *cough*). With Biju, it's always the former, not the latter. Nicholas Phan, the man behind Biju, opened it with the express purpose of bringing high-quality bubble tea to the UK, made with delicious, organic, fresh British milk. The results are a beautifully creamy bubble tea that's worth every penny.

Location: London

2. Bubble Base

Facebook: BubblebaseUK

The first place to bring bubble tea to Wales, and still the best. My favourite thing about this place is the "specials": uniquely flavoured teas (guava tea! pear tea! papaya tea!) and uniquely flavoured pearls (yogurt boba! kiwi boba! cherry boba!) that change on a regular basis.

Location: Cardiff

3. Happy Lemon

In my esteemed opinion, the best bubble tea in the UK will always be found in a Chinatown. It's where I, a mere Londoner, sipped my first sip of the frothy nectar as a teenager (shoutout to Cafe TPT and Old Town 97, two other great Chinatown bubble tea spots).

Happy Lemon is a newcomer to the Chinatown scene, but have already made their mark. They've got appropriately wacky flavours on the menu (the rock salted cheese is surprisingly delicious), the packaging is adorable, and most importantly, the tea is actually brilliant.

Location: Birmingham and London


4. Tealith

Facebook: tealith

One of two bubble tea shops in Bournemouth, I think this one is the better of the two. The prices are good, the tapioca pearls suitably squidgy, and I like that they let you decide how sweet you want your drink, as well as how much ice you want in it.

Location: Bournemouth

5. Formosan Tea Bar

Instagram: @guacaamollyy

I feel like this is a very ~Oxford~ bubble tea spot. The packaging is subtle, almost elegant. The focus is on fresh ingredients, and making a healthier drink – bubble tea, I love you, but I'm under no illusions that my addiction to bright purple taro-flavoured tea will help me into an early grave. And the menu is small and refined: It's about quality, not quantity.

Formosan is basically the quiet, bespectacled university professor of the bubble tea world, and I'm into it.

Location: Oxford and London

6. Bubbleology

Facebook: bubbleology

The most famous of all the bubble tea chains in London, Bubbleology is now on pretty much every street corner in the city. These guys are definitely what helped turn bubble tea into a mainstream drink choice here in the UK.

If you're new to bubble tea, it's an excellent gateway drug: The stores are bright and stylish, and the menu fun and easy to get to grips with.

Location: London, Leeds, and Sheffield

7. Milk Tea & Pearl

Facebook: milkteapearluk

According to these guys they're the best bubble tea in London. I can't say that for definite, but they're definitely up there. The flavours are extensive (there's 30 on the menu, I think), the staff friendly, and the tea high quality.

Location: London


9. Brew Box

Facebook: brewboxbubbletea

Go for the cool Shoreditch surrounds, stay for the delicious bubble tea – matcha and vanilla peach would be my recommendations.

Plus, there's a half sugar and no sugar option: I'm over 25 now. Death looms ever closer. Probably time to at least attempt to cut back on my sugar intake, right?

Location: London

10. Ooshi

Instagram: @cerencevik

Or fuck it, you can just go to Ooshi, order a delicious bubble tea, and consume a number of the cupcakes they have on offer while you wait. "She died as she lived: on a sugar high" is what they'll write on my tombstone.

Location: Cambridge

11. Amanzi Tea

Facebook: amanzitealondon

If you are a tea lover in general, as well as a bubble tea lover, Amanzi is where you must go. Their bubble tea is great, but they also have EVERY FORM OF TEA YOU CAN IMAGINE. Regular tea, iced tea, tea cocktails. It's a tea lover's paradise.

Location: London


12. Chatime

Instagram: @chatimeuk

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan, which is also where Chatime hails from. A Taiwanese bubble tea franchise, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's probably the closest to the original Taiwanese drink you'll find over here. I AM NOT AN EXPERT, I COULD BE WRONG. But either way, their bubble tea is very good, which is rare for a chain as big as this.

Location: Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Brighton, Nottingham, Birmingham, Oxford, and Cambridge

14. Candy Cafe

Instagram: @7

An internet cafe specialising in Asian desserts. Come here for deliciously sweet desserts, and vibrantly unusual bubble tea flavours.

Location: London

15. Boba Jam

Instagram: @styleslicker

From the makers of Candy Cafe – it's the same gig really, lots of delicious Asian desserts and bubble tea, but with karaoke booths replacing the internet cafe bit.

Location: London


16. Bubble T Break

Instagram: @becca_turnerxx

Three words: Nutella milk tea. Get in my mouth now. Special shout-outs also go to the caramel milk pudding flavour and the rose oolong flavour. Bubble T Break, you the real flavour MVP.

Location: Newcastle

17. Flavalanche

Instagram: @flavalanche

These guys also do great frozen yogurt too. Icy cold froyo and icy cold bubble tea – what more can you ask for?

Location: Bristol

18. ICFT

Instagram: @yoannacai

The name stands for "I Come From Taiwan", a nod to the origins of bubble tea. The brown sugar milk tea here is a lovely thing.

Location: Manchester and Leeds

19. Bubble Cha

Instagram: @nataliecday

Located in Newcastle's Chinatown. You should also try one of their Hong Kong egg waffles alongside your bubble tea if you're feeling peckish.

Location: Newcastle

20. Tempo Tea Bar

Facebook: TempoTeaBar

I really like how the menu is set out at this place. You choose your size, your flavour and type (milk or fruit), your tea "bassline" (assam, redbush, chamomile, etc), whether you want it hot, cold, or "twisted", and then choose your toppings. You can also choose multiple flavours to create a blend, i.e. watermelon and vanilla, strawberry and coconut...etc.

Location: Glasgow and Edinburgh

21. Mee Cha

Instagram: @jessicarowney

Another bubble tea and frozen yogurt joint – this is a combo I wasn't aware of until now, but I'm willing to go with it, especially when it means I get to add boba to my froyo. Frozen yogurt aside, the bubble tea here is great, and I'm a big fan of the panda packaging (I'm a shallow creature at heart, give me cute packaging and I"m sold).

Location: Birmingham