Enter the latest craze to hit town, a variety of flavoured tea complemented by delectable black sago pearls. Championed by two Taiwanese milk tea chains, “ChaTime” and “Gong Cha”, the sudden rise in bubble tea cravings have taken the entire Klang Valley by storm!
As if almost overnight, people are queuing up in lines that stretch across two storefronts just to purchase a cup of iced tea. Sounds ridiculous? Perhaps some are first-timers whereas the rest are the milk tea fans, but in any case, the Taiwanese bubble milk tea has speedily gained its reputation as a drink for any occasion.
It all started with “ChaTime”, which entered the Malaysian market barely a year ago with its first flagship outlet in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur. Back in Taiwan, “ChaTime” has been around since 2003. As of today, the world renowned bubble tea franchise has already spread it wings to 12 countries, boasting an impressive 450 stores worldwide.
Soon after, “Gong Cha” opened its doors to Malaysians. Also originating from Taiwan since 2006, “Gong Cha” has multiple chains in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, and Singapore, with a large fan base to boot.
Essentially, bubble tea is bubble tea. So what makes these so different this time around?
Championing the dawn of health food and drinks, both bubble tea market players have implemented options into their respective menus where consumers can now choose what goes into their drinks. This includes levels of sweetness (slight, less, or none) and toppings. Best of all, “ChaTime” and “Gong Cha” teas are made from freshly brewed teas. Unlike the bubble tea that one would usually find in “pasar malams”, nothing from the two is made from artificial powder or flavoured syrups.
Ideal for those who are cautious about their diet, watching their weight, or on a mission to reduce their sugar intake. Especially for women, dare we say.
Would you wait more than 20 minutes for just a cup of tea? What if it’s a cup of really delicious milk tea? What if it’s a cup of really delicious milk tea, with lots of ice, and chewy “pearls” or grass jelly? A cup of really delicious, less sweet and almost healthy milk tea, made refreshing with lots of ice, and chewy “pearls” or grass jelly?
Well, why not?