Exploring Bubble Tea, The High Street’s Sweetest New Obsession

Two glass jars with bubble tea and straws inside them.

Bubble Tea, Boba Tea, Pearl Milk Tea, Tapioca Tea…there’s so many names for it, but what the hell actually is it?

To put it quite simply, it is a sweet drink originating from Taiwan in the 1980s consisting of Milk, Creamer, Brewed Tea, Sugar, Flavourings, and its most important ingredient Tapioca, which are chewy balls that sit at the bottom of the drink and give it its je ne sais quoi

It hasn’t really taken off in the UK until the last couple of years. But now it’s exploded all over the country, and we guarantee you’ll be able to find at least one on your local high street. It’s appeal comes from its unique taste and the freedom of how you can have it: either hot or cold with typical sweet flavourings, or even niche flavourings including cheese…which is interesting to say the least. Furthermore, it’s the perfect drink to buy and consume in a social surrounding, hence why it’s very common amongst students hanging out between or after classes.

So, now you know the background, do you wanna delve into this tea-rific (we’re so sorry) world yourself? Well look no further, as below we’ve listed 10 Bubble Tea places in London (+ beyond, depending on whether it’s a franchise) that you can go to to check out the craze for yourself.

Bubbleology

London & Greater London Stores

Soho, Angel, Notting Hill, South Kensington, Westfield Stratford, Westfield Shepherds Bush, Kingston & Bloomsbury

Other UK Stores

Essex, Kent, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Oxford, Manchester, Milton Keynes & Edinburgh

About (From their Website)

“Bubbleology is a leading Bubble Tea brand, crafting made to order tea-based beverages with delicious freshly cooked tapioca. We strive to make a better bubble tea, brewing our bases with organic jasmine & black tea, and offering a variety of milk alternatives, as well as light versions of our drinks.”

Click here to view Bubbleology’s whole menu.

MooBoo

London & Greater London Stores

Soho, Angel, Notting Hill, South Kensington, Westfield Stratford, Westfield Shepherds Bush, Kingston, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Goodge Street, Knightsbridge, Camden, Bayswater, Kensington, Holloway, Clapham Junction, Bow, Hammersmith, Putney, Blackwall, Canning Town, Greenwich, Wood Green, Walthamstow, Hendon, Wimbledon, Green Street, Ilford, Harrow, Barnet, Kingston, Romford, Uxbridge & Watford

Other UK Stores

Borehamwood, Bexleyheath, Epsom, Walton-on-Thames, Dartford, Addlestone, St. Albans, Windsor, Hemel Hempstead, Woking, Basildon, High Wycombe, Luton, Farnborough, Horsham, Maidstone, Reading & Brighton (yeah – this one is absolutely everywhere)

About (From their Website)

“In everything we do, we are always dedicated to our mission: to inspire and create the ‘epic’ and ‘magic’ bubble tea – one drink, one passion, and one community at a time.”

Click here to view MooBoo’s whole menu.

Biju

London & Greater London Stores

Soho, Westfield Shepherds Bush & South Kensington

About (From their Website)

“Right from the outset, we wanted to do things a little different. Powdered creamer? Never! We’d only ever use fresh, organic milk. We’d also only freshly brew each tea to order, and never as a batch. Today, we brew hundreds of cups of tea every day in each store, individually, cup by cup. This results in a tea that is lighter, fresher, and healthier.”

Click here to view Biju’s whole menu.

T4

London & Greater London Stores

Westfield Stratford, Westfield Shepherds Bush, Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Croydon, Wembley, Kingston, Portobello, Ealing, Paddington, Camden, Royal Wharf, Sutton & Warren Street

Other UK Stores

Glasgow, Guildford, Nottingham, Coventry, Bournemouth, Bristol, York, Birmingham, Colchester, Brighton, Liverpool & Cambridge

About (From their Website)

“Our mission is to bring happiness to customers and their friends, in the UK and worldwide. We achieve this through our delicious cups of the finest quality Taiwanese bubble tea. […] T4 represents quality, sharing and happiness.”

Click here to view T4’s whole menu.

Teddy Bear Bubble Tea

London & Greater London Stores

Hillingdon, Worcester Park, Hendon, Hammersmith, Uxbridge & Watford

About (From their Website)

“Teddy shines brightly over the shop, instilling heartfelt joy in pet owners and bubble tea drinkers alike; together with the sweeping pink aesthetic, they create a sense of entering wonderland. Teddy Bear Bubble Tea has become a place of hope and positivity. With a cup of delicious Bubble Tea in hand, it imparts strength, joy and love all through the day, every day.”

Yi Fang

London & Greater London Stores

Liverpool Street, Chinatown, Bond Street, Mile End, Canary Wharf, Bloomsbury, Westfield Stratford, Romford & Royal Wharf

Other UK Stores

Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle, Brighton, Cambridge, Bracknell & Nottingham

About (From their Website)

“With every sip, we strive to bring you the warmth and nostalgia of early-Taiwanese hospitality. We infuse each cup of tea with seasonal fruits and local ingredients, never using concentrated juice or artificial flavours. This way, we capture the same taste and experience that Yi Fang created all those years ago.”

Click here to view Yi Fang’s whole menu.

Chatime

London & Greater London Stores

Soho, Piccadilly, Canary Wharf, Chinatown, Brunswick, Tower Hill, Angel, Hammersmith, Waterloo & Richmond

Other UK Stores

Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Southhampton, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford, Leicester, Norwich, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Leeds, Lancaster, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Bristol, York, Belfast & Cardiff

About (From their Facebook)

“Quintessentially traditional Taiwanese bubble tea; lovingly, and vigorously hand-shaken in 20 different stores across the UK. […] At Chatime, we like to believe that there is a bubble tea to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether you are a new customer or a returning customer, please feel free to ask our helpful staff for a recommendation to suit your tastes.”

Click here to view Chatime’s whole menu.

Happy Lemon

London & Greater London Stores

Chinatown

Other UK Stores

Southampton, Coventry, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester & Birmingham

About (From their Website)

“We only use the best quality tea and combine it with naturally fresh lemon to make every single cup of our product the yummiest drinks in the world. […] We warmly welcome everyone to come visit us and taste our award winning tea drinks!”

Click here to view Happy Lemon’s whole menu.

Kissaten

London & Greater London Stores

Soho

About (From their Website)

We want to make things of quality. We are a big believer in handmade, tactile, crafted pieces. We want to keep that tradition alive.”

Woo Tea

London & Greater London Stores

Chinatown

Description (From the Chinatown Website)

“Woo Tea is at your service for the ultimate pick-me-up when you are shopping in Chinatown. Get your hands on an Artisan Bubble Tea, and choose from a whole array of traditional, tasty flavours. Whether it’s Purple Potato, Golden Lime Plum, or Strawberry Milk with Cherry Pearls – you’re in for a treat.”

A person drinking bubble tea.

So, you’ve been to all these great stores and want to recreate the iconic taste for yourself. Or, maybe you don’t have time to travel to get your fix. Or, you’re too broke for it ATM. Well, fear not, as there are also plenty of kits you can buy to try and create your own Bubble Tea. A few websites to get these kits which we’d recommend are:

The Bubble Panda

Description (From the Website)

“Our bubble tea kits include everything to make the perfect bubble tea at home. All you need is ice, a mixing bowl or shaker and a glass. It’s so easy, so delicious and a fun activity for all!”

Click here to check out and buy The Bubble Panda’s Boba-making kits.

Manhua Cha

Description (From the Website)

“We are a bubble tea company, serving refreshing and delicious bubble tea! […] While traveling the UK serving our bubble tea, we were saddened to hear that many of our customers couldn’t get bubble tea in their home town. We immediately made it our mission to make bubble tea more accessible, and created ‘make at home’ bubble tea kits!”

Click here to check out and buy Manhua Cha’s Boba-making kits.

Boba Life

Description (From the Website)

“Here at Bobalife we are passionate about Bubble Tea and have many years of experience in creating amazing recipes, sourcing high quality ingredients and coming up with the most creative ideas. In the same way as coffee lovers have their Barrista’s we hope to recruit you all to become our Bubblista’s, skilled in the arts of Bubble Tea making and spreading the word to all you know!”

Click here to check out and buy Boba Life’s Boba-making kits.

Bubble tea resting on a coster between a computer and a notebook.

Hopefully you’ve now got everything you need to become a connoisseur of Bubble Tea. However you consume it, whether it’s at home or in one of our recommended London Picnic Spots with your beau, we hope you become obsessed with the Taiwanese delicacy like we have.

Which of the places or kits suggested was your favourite? Do you have anymore to recommend us? If so, you can comment below; as always, we’d love to hear from you.

Stay Bubbly!

Love Team Nonchalant x

Becca Young
Becca Young

Becca lives in London and is working on her dream of getting a career in writing. Loves good music, good food, good times and her occasionally good cat.

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