We are a lucky bunch to have so many bubble tea brands in Singapore. So many bubble chains have popped up especially in the last year, and as bubble tea lovers, we have tried almost all of them. Here we have picked the top ten brands of our choice and what we recommend for first-timers. (Not in any particular order)
1. Chi Cha San Chen (吃茶三千)
This popular Taiwanese brand entered Singapore only about a year ago but already has over 10 outlets in Singapore. We love the exquisite taste of their teas as they use an exclusive technology and brewing technique to bring out the teas’ best flavours as well as their natural scent.
We also need to give them credit for their unique packaging and carrier which helps to save plastic. However, do note that unlike other bubble tea brands, you are unable to adjust the amount of toppings to your liking, which we feel is a pity.
What we recommend: High Mountain Pouchong tea with Mango
One of the first brands of premium bubble tea to make their way into Singapore, we remember always having to queue for their drinks whenever we want to get our fix of bubble tea. Now they remain as one of the most popular brands across our island with multiple outlets.
We have to say that they sure know how to keep their customers loyal by having a membership system with lots of benefits! Earn points every time you top up your card to exchange rewards such as a 1 for 1, free upsize, and more. On your birthday month, you get 2 free medium-sized drinks!
What we recommend: Green Milk Tea, Black Tea Macchiato
3. Gong Cha (贡茶)
Also hailing from Taiwan, Gong Cha used to be KOI’s main competitor in Singapore. They serve a very wide range of drinks and toppings and often launch seasonal drinks to encourage consumers to come back for more. Many were sad when it was taken over by Liho a few years back but now they are back and still as popular. We think their Earl Grey Milk Tea is one of the best in Singapore, which is also one of their bestsellers.
What we recommend: Earl Grey Milk Tea with 3J, Milk Foam Winter Melon
4. Playmade (丸作)
While majority of the bubble tea chains out there mainly serve brown sugar tapioca pearls, Playmade is unique because of their homemade pearls which come in special flavours such as black sesame, pink cactus and burnt caramel. They even had seasonal ones like wasabi and mala pearls!
We love the pink cactus pearls for its slightly sweet and floral taste which goes well with most bubble tea flavours.
What we recommend: Chrysanthemum Milk Tea, Grapefruit Yakult Green Tea
We are proud to have BoberTea on this list not just because of its fragrant teas and interesting flavours, but also because it has proved itself as a successful local bubble tea brand with 5 outlets. They are also continuing to expand with new outlets in the works.
Their menu is interesting with many categories of drinks such as the tea series, fruit series and even seasonal ones. You’ll need some time to digest their menu to pick something. Did we mention that their drinks are very insta-worthy too?
They also offer bubble tea in the form of a soft serve; milk tea flavoured soft serve topped with tapioca pearls. Make sure you give it a try as it is not something you can find at most bubble tea shops!
What we recommend: Hokkaido Chizu Mango, Ruby Grapefruit Green Tea, Milk Cha Boba Soft Twist
6. The Alley (鹿角巷)
The Alley was a big hype and well-known even before it entered Singapore. They are wildly popular for their homemade brown sugar syrup hand-made pearls which they call “Deerioca”.
Here in Singapore we have the privilege of enjoying our bubble with delicious European pastries at their Cineleisure outlet, known as The Alley Luxe, which is the first of its kind in the world. Hang out with your friends for your next afternoon tea at this outlet to experience this premium lifestyle cafe concept.
Do check out their Aurora Series as well. They are so pretty we couldn’t bear to drink them!
What we recommend: Brown Sugar Deerioca Fresh Milk, Snow Velvet Peach Ooling Tea
7. HeyTea (喜茶)
HeyTea is wildly popular in China for its cheese tea. The queue is always crazy and it is reported that someone has queued a record 7 hours to get a cup! They use only premium and natural ingredients, which is why their prices are on the higher side.
Like BoberTea, they also offer ice cream but what is even more interesting is that they have alcoholic options!
What we recommend: Very Grape Cheezo, Peach Cheezo, Taro Blast Sundae
8. Da Boba (黑熊堂)
This bubble tea brand has only one outlet in Singapore currently and has a smaller selection of drinks compared to most of its other competitors but in terms of quality they are definitely not losing out. Their drinks also come with a bear cover which we adore as it adds Instagram points!
What we recommend: Roasted Brown Sugar Pearl Fresh Milk, Honey Golden Pearl Green Milk Tea, Mango Frappe
9. Milksha (迷夏客)
Voted No. 1 Taiwanese university students, Milksha is one of the leading bubble tea brands in Taiwan with over 230 outlets. In Singapore, we currently have 2 outlets and if you are unaware, the one at Paya Lebar Quarter serves an exclusive drink, Brown Sugar Lemonade, which is a refreshing drink perfect for summer.
We love this brand because it uses 100% natural milk and ingredients for their beverages – no colouring or preservatives! If you are on a diet but happen to have a serious craving for bubble tea, we recommend Milksha.
What we recommend: Fresh Taro Milk, Refreshing Orange Green Tea, Brown Sugar Lemonade
10. Xin Fu Tang (幸福堂)
Xin Fu Tang is another Taiwanese bubble tea chain known for its brown sugar tapioca pearls, which are freshly made in the stall with strict requirements. Their drinks are yummy and instagrammable, especially the Mango Smoothie and Rabbit Panna Cotta which is one of the cutest beverages around.
What we recommend: Damascus Rose Tea with Lemons, Mango Smoothie and Rabbit Panna Cotta