Where To Get Your Bubble Tea Fix In London
Sometimes the only thing that can improve a tough day, or your existence generally, is watching a scoop of fresh brown sugar tapioca be plopped—yes, plopped—into a cup. Pair that with some freshly brewed tea, fruit boba, and the anticipation of that first sugary sip, and there’s nothing quite like it. From warming milk teas, and crème brûlée syrup, to refreshing ice teas, and cheesy toppings, here are eight of our favourite places when we desperately need some bubble tea in our system.
Firstly, this King’s Cross cafe is adorable. Secondly, Bao makes some very tasty bubble tea. In the classic bubble milk tea you’ll find a generous scoop of chewy tapioca at the bottom of a sundae glass filled with milk tea, topped with some milk foam so perfectly shaped it looks like it’s out of a cartoon.
This popular Taiwanese tea chain has got everything in terms of flavours, from iced matcha dalgona coffee, to watermelon fruit yoghurt tea. But the reason you should come to The Alley's Holborn spot is for the brown sugar deerioca crème brûlée milk. Yes, you heard that right. Crème brûlée in liquid form, a.k.a a sugar fiend’s dream come true. The milk tea is light and goes perfectly well with the toasted caramel-like crème brûlée syrup. It’s got high ‘warm cup of milk before bed’ energy, and we’re very into it. There are some tables inside where you can sip on your milk tea, and there’ll be a queue snaking out the door on most days.
photo credit: Koray Firat
If you walk past this small takeaway tea and juice spot on Dean Street and don’t see a queue of at least seven people down the road, then Coco is either closed, or you’re just an extremely lucky person. Because we’ve never got bubble tea here without queuing for at least a few minutes. The important thing you need to know is that it’s always worth that wait. The tea is brewed to order, and they have flavour mixes like passion fruit green tea with coconut jelly and pearls, as well as Japanese red bean matcha. We love the taste of the fresh tea so we like to keep it simple with our go-to order of warm pearl milk tea, or the mango green tea with tapioca.
Ding Tea is a bubble tea franchise with locations across four different continents. Although we can’t speak for all of them, we can speak for this spacious New Malden spot when we say that it’s serious about bubble tea. They don’t faff about with any fruit boba. Instead they focus on tapioca, golden pearls, and a selection of other toppings like red beans and grass jelly. The intensity of the tea can be quite strong with some of the oolong and black tea bases, so if you want a lighter tea, go with mango green tea or the brown sugar pearl milk. Pop in for a catch-up or a solo bubble tea—and if you manage to nab the sofas by the window, know you’re in the best seats for people-watching.
Before we get into this, we need to have a moment of silence for the closure of the Oxford Circus Topshop. It’s where we, and countless others we’re sure, first tried Bubbleology. But it’s OK, because their Soho spot is still up and running. They’ve got milk teas, fruit teas, and specials including a peachberry that we drank more than water at one point in our lives. You can mix any fruit flavours, and as well as the aforementioned peachberry (white peach and raspberry), our go-to order is a mango and passion fruit fruit tea with tapioca and lychee boba. They also sell jars of fruit boba. There are some tables inside, but it’s a little dark and dungeon-y, so we’d recommend getting your tea to go.
How does cheesy strawberry sound? Not that great. Unless you’re at this little cafe on Newport Court. Min Tea serves freshly brewed tea with classic flavours like passion fruit green tea, and brown sugar milk tea, as well as a selection of cheesy milk teas which you can’t find everywhere. The cheesy drinks are tea, topped with a foamy layer of milk and cream cheese sprinkled with salt, and Min Tea does it well. The cheesy milk tea with Oreo bits is our drink of choice, but if you’re still not on board with cheese in your drink, then the brown sugar milk tea is also a great option. There are a handful of tables inside, so it’s an ideal spot to spend half an hour in while you chew on fresh tapioca.
The same way people say it’s important to have friends in high places, we think it’s important to have bubble tea in all places. And this is where we like to go when we’re around Ealing. Bubble Magik, a cupboard-sized takeaway spot on Ealing Broadway, doesn’t use basic human hands to shake their drinks. No. Instead they put them in a ‘shaker’ machine for ultimate bubbliness. And you know what? The tea tastes great, so we’re OK with it. We prefer the fruit teas, so if you’re unsure of what to order, go with a mango or a peach, or a fun mix like lychee and passion fruit.
photo credit: Koray Firat
Yunique Tea, a tiny takeaway bubble tea spot on Little Newport Street, is the best place to get an Oreo milk tea in the area. Trust us, we’ve tried all six million of them. With its lengthy lists of milk and fruit teas, there’s something here for everyone. We’re very into their passion fruit tea and watermelon tea with lychee, and if you’re laying off the caffeine, their brown sugar bubble fresh milk is the one to go for. Don’t forget to get a loyalty card. You’ll be back.