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Bubble Tea Day on April 30th

Bubble Tea Day is taking place on April 30th this year. Bubble Tea has become a staple treat in Chinatown London, popular with regulars, students & teens and a must-try for visitors! Available in a number of variations and flavours, you can enjoy anytime for any mood, but how did this versatile drink come to be?

What is Bubble Tea?

Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea) is a Taiwanese recipe made by blending tea with milk, fruit, and fruit juices, then adding tasty tapioca pearls and shaking vigorously to form a bubbly foam on top.

Bubble tea is best enjoyed drinking through an oversized straw to slurp up the tea and chew the starchy tapioca. Popular flavours include classic milk tea, brown sugar milk tea, milk foam green tea and fruit tea with jelly.

The popularity of the beverage has surged, as ESEA cuisine and snacks have grabbed global attention!

Where does it originate from?

Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Taiwanese immigrants brought it to the US in the 1990s, but the drink has also spread to other countries where there is a large East Asian population.

Milk tea was already well-known in Taiwan, as tea drinking was a robust practice in East Asia. Both shaved ice and tapioca balls were considered common desserts at the time and one day someone had the idea to combine the three into one!

How is Bubble Tea served?

Typically, the tapioca pearls will sit at the bottom of the cup, followed by a layer of shaved ice, and milk tea is then poured in to fill to the top.

The tapioca pearls themselves are made with a collection of starches, brown sugar, and water. The ingredients are rolled together into small balls, which are boiled in water until they turn dark, chewy, and glossy.

Topping choices have expanded beyond tapioca balls to include elements like grass jelly, almond jelly, egg pudding, and red beans.

Where to enjoy Bubble Tea in Chinatown?

Candy Cafe

3 Macclesfield St, London W1D 6AU

Just as its name indicates, Candy Café is a sweet spot hidden on Macclesfield Street. Once through a narrow red door, and up some stairs to the first floor you’ll be transported to a sugar-worshipping emporium which presents cheery, summer-ready Asian desserts and bubble tea in over 30 varieties.


4 Gerrard St, London W1D 5AP 

One of the world’s biggest tea blend dispensaries, Chatime has over one thousand stores across the Far East, USA and UK and has sold over 100 million drinks to date. A must-try is their creamy Mousse – iced tea topped with a generous splodge of white, lightly whipped mousse. Indulgently sweet and satisfying.


23 Newport Ct, London WC2H 7JS 

Cuppacha was the first bubble tea shop to open in Chinatown London. Visitor favourites include the signature Pearl Milk Tea, brewed on-site using the finest Taiwanese tea leaves, and the neon glowing ‘Ombre’ tea series, which comes in 10 rainbow-coloured variations.

Happy Lemon

24A Newport Ct, London WC2H 7JS 

Quirky teas are Happy Lemon’s thing, serving up plenty of customisable and wonderful blends, from a healthy Red Bean with Matcha Latte Smoothie to a zingy Fresh Lemon Honey Green Tea.


108 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5EH

Guaranteeing 100% natural, fresh, and healthy dishes, Héfaure are serving up an array of delicious Japanese style soufflé pancakes, bubble tea and fruit smoothies.


Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS

Kova is a leading Japanese fusion patisserie. Expect to find fresh fruit teas, including their famous ‘cheezo tea’ (a layer of salted cream cheese foam on top of a fruit tea), as well as mille crepes, roll cake, and other sweet treats.

Meet Fresh

Shaftesbury Ave, West End, London W1D 5EE

As the name suggests, Meet Fresh pride themselves on their Taiwanese desserts made fresh in store daily. Choose from a selection of milk teas including Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Jin Xuan Tea or fruit teas made with sweet mango and passionfruit. And if you’re a coffee lover, opt for the boba latte!


20 Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS

Taiyakiya is a Japanese dessert shop offering seriously Instagrammable Japanese sweet treats as well as a variety of milk and fruit teas. Go for classic boba or switch it up with red bean, fruit jelly or taro balls.


Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS

Mad about matcha? Tsujiri is a tea house with a pedigree but thoroughly modern outlook. Sip on delicious matcha and Houjicha bubble teas, served with sweet and chewy boba.


Celebrate Bubble Tea Day in Chinatown! Follow us on Instagram and TikTok for more inspiration.

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