Earlier this week, I was invited to visit a brand new bubble tea shop in Shoreditch, quite literally a stone’s throw from my office. I’ve been known to go well out of my way for bubble tea and up until now, had been walking 15 minutes to Boxpark to get my fix. But luckily Chatime have come to my rescue!
Tim joined me for this tea tasting session but as much as we both enjoy bubble tea, our experience of it had been mostly limited to fruit teas with tapioca – I was keen to learn more about what this new place had to offer.
We were very lucky to have Allen Du from Chatime spent over half an hour with the two of us, talking us through the various types of teas available and putting some together for us to try.
There are five different types of tea to choose from (in three sizes) – Milk Tea, Fruit Tea, Fresh Tea, Mousse and Tea Latte. Each of these can be customised with toppings, sugar level and ice level – I hadn’t been offered a sugar level option before and I think it’s a great touch, especially for those who are looking for a nice drink but are on a diet or aren’t allowed much sugar.
There are a wide range of toppings available, at 50p each, and all are made fresh each morning on site: pearl, grass jelly, pudding, red bean, coconut jelly, rainbow jelly and coffee jelly.
The drinks are shaken by hand rather than a machine and their unique recipes are followed to the tee (excuse the pun!) to ensure the best possible quality.
Tim started off with the Lychee Black Tea with coconut and rainbow jelly – this was delicious and very sweet, right up Tim’s street!
I chose the Jasmine Green Tea Mousse with grass jelly and really enjoyed it. The combination of the ice cold jasmine tea with the sweetness and thickness of the cream was unusual but really refreshing – it’s something I would definitely have again.
We also tried a few others, including the Sakura Sencha, the Gyokuro Genmaicha and the Brown Rice Green Tea. The latter was very interesting – the rice is brewed in the tea sachet, so it gives the tea a distinctive taste, unlike anything I’ve ever tried before.
This is the 5th Chatime to open in London, although it was the first one I’d visited. It was particularly interesting to hear how the business works from a franchise perspective. The Shoreditch branch is the first one to adopt a very different style from its usual branding – their distinctive colours are purple and white, but the Shoreditch venue is very fitting with the area – bare brick walls and beautiful wood furniture. The local branches adapt to fit with the area they’re located in, including what products they offer, depending on the local customers’ preferences.
Something that I think is important to get across, is that many of these drinks are incredibly healthy! When I was doing my wedding diet and quite literally counting every calorie, I was shocked at how bad my morning coffee was for me. Bubble tea offers a great alternative when you’re on the way to work, or popping out for a meeting – switch that coffee for a tea! They’re looking into offering a stamp card style loyalty scheme, but either way, I’ll be going back pronto!
The Chatime Shoreditch shop is at 65A Rivington Street, more information can be found on their website.
I was invited to try out Chatime’s Bubble Tea by Samphire Communications and Chatime but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.