SINGAPORE - It seems like everything comes in a bubble tea flavour recently. In fact, there are endless possibilities of bubble tea (in a tart, in ice cream, via a subscription or even an experiential exhibition) for you to live your dream as a crazy bubble tea fanatic, as long as you dare to try.
To give some history, bubble tea which originated in Taichung, Taiwan was first introduced to Singapore in 1992. However, it was only in 2001 that bubble tea became phenomenally popular. Due to intense competition and price wars, bubble tea lost its popularity by 2003 and many shops folded. Koi and Gong Cha brought on a second wave of bubble tea in 2010. Singapore is well into the beginnings of a third wave of bubble tea as we see popular brands like Tiger Sugar and The Alley entering the market and fuelling the craze in 2018 and 2019.
Here are the hottest bubble tea inspired foods and drinks that have been on our radar lately.
Just as a warning, try at your own risk!
Bring home a 5-litre bottle of bubble tea from The Alley
If you are a bubble tea fan, the chances are, you have tried this popular Taiwanese brand, represented by an iconic large-antlered deer.
The chain prides itself on its Deerioca tapioca pearls, which are made “from scratch”, according to its website. The Alley believes this “creates better texture and aroma for the tapioca”.
The next time you take a day trip to JB or visit Malaysia, stop by any The Alley outlet. They are selling a five-litre bottle of bubble tea at RM79 (S$26). The five-litre bottle is equivalent to 8 cups of bubble tea.
According to The Alley Malaysia, they decided to offer it because they noticed that customers often buy their bubble tea in bulk.
Bubble tea is just better when you drink it from a gigantic bottle.
Limited-edition boba pizza to make your Taiwan trip memorable
As if it is not enough, Taiwan took it even further with their boba pizza! That’s right – a pizza filled with mozzarella cheese and brown sugar pearls. What’s more, this unique flavour was launched by not just one pizza chain, but two! They are none other than Pizza Hut and Domino’s.
While both are limited-edition boba pizzas, if you are in Taiwan during the school holidays, do give Pizza Hut’s (available from now till 30 December) and Domino’s (available from now till 24 November) a try.
KFC Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tart
Fast food joints are also jumping onto the bandwagon with KFC launching the Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tart earlier in October.
As you bite into the buttery flaky pastry, you can taste the milk tea infused egg custard. But we want to put it across that you may be quite disappointed to find out that it is actually chewy jelly and not real boba on top.
The Brown Sugar Boba Tea Tart is available at $1.80 each and if you buy 5 pieces at $9 you get 1 tart free! It is a limited-time offer so you might want to try it before KFC stops selling it.
Brown sugar milk boba tea ice cream from Taiwan available to ship to SG
Comprising chewy tapioca pearls that are encased in fresh milk and lashings of brown sugar syrup, this decadent dessert has kicked up a real storm in Taiwan.
Singapore’s Happy Ice Pte Ltd is the distributor of Taiwan’s brown sugar milk boba ice cream. However, sometimes they may close their pre-orders due to overwhelming response so you need to check their page. However, you may drop by their office at Blk 2021, Bukit Batok St 23, #01-198 to purchase on the spot from Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm.
Preorder form: https://form.jotform.me/kentzo/bobaicecream6
Limited-edition durian yoghurt bubble tea for Singapore
Durian + bubble tea, anyone? A combination of two favourite Singaporean foods.
Yanmi Yogurt, a bubble tea chain hailing from China and Australia, has created a limited edition durian yoghurt drink ($5.50), which will be available from for their first Singapore outlet at Funan Mall.
Yanmi is known for their purple rice yogurt drink, touted as a healthier alternative to conventional bubble tea with pearls.
If you find durian and bubble tea in one drink too jelat, you can also try out their all-time signature drinks such as their Purple Rice Yogurt, Chewy Oats Yogurt and Strawberry Yogurt.
Yanmi Yoghurt is located at Funan Mall, #02-03, 107 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179105
Open daily, 10:30am-10pm
Singapore's first bubble tea immersive experience
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard about the bubble tea factory. Highly Instagrammable, bubble tea fans can frolic in a pool of 100,000 plastic purple pearls, take photos on a bubble tea IV drip, and swing on a giant wrecking ball at a new exhibit in Singapore.
Exhibit organiser Tan Weiting said people get "really passionate" about the drink.
"When I was in the office, people sitting behind me, they're always discussing about bubble tea, what's their favourite flavour, which store has the best pearls... they even start fighting over which one's the best one," said Tan.
Tickets cost $24 for weekdays and $28 for weekends.
When: 19 Oct - 18 Dec
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 4pm - 10pm; Sat, Sun, PH, eve of PH: 10am - 10pm
Where: *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link, Singapore 237978
Get your tickets at https://www.thebubbleteafactory.co/tickets
Dip your meats in bubble tea hotpot
The Bubble Tea Hotpot launched earlier in the year, much to the distress of bubble tea fans nationwide.
This Bubble Tea Hotpot ($32.90) place at Clarke Quay consists of a sweet “soup” base that’s served alongside their usual mala hotpot.
Imagine eating mala hotpot and dipping raw beef slices in a bubble tea-flavoured soup base.
The Bubble Tea Hotpot has a layer of milk foam atop the underlying Assam milk tea broth. This unique hotpot also contains mango popping pearls, with coffee powder and Oreo cookies as toppings.
Yay or nay?
Spice World Hot Pot is located at 3B River Valley Rd, #01-06 to 07 Block B, Singapore 179021
Open daily, 10:30am-4pm
Grab's bubble tea subscription
For a bubble-tea crazy nation like Singapore, the introduction of a subscription plan seems fit for the market. Grab has launched a Bubble Tea Club, that allows fans to sign up for Singapore’s first bubble tea subscription plan.
For now, the participating merchants are too few, as there are only four participating merchants, LiHo, Gong Cha, iTea and Woobbee. According to Grab, they will be expanding the list of partner merchants.
The vouchers are also limited in number, so you will have to act fast.
What it is: A set of $3 discount vouchers redeemable at Gong Cha, LiHO, Woobee and iTea.
Price: First month promo price of $9 for five S$3 discount vouchers ($5 for new GrabPay users)
When: From Oct 18
Download Grab app through the App Store or Google play Store.
Each time we thought we were already very advanced in our bubble tea game, there is something newly inspired by bubble tea. It looks like the bubble tea obsession is not going to faze out soon, despite the government’s efforts to warn citizens that the popular drink is unhealthy due to its high sugar levels.