Bubble tea shops have been popping up all around Tokyo as of late. They're stylish, trendy on social media, and even quite filling as a dessert, so they're great places to take a break in between sightseeing. Here are 5 of the city's best bubble tea shops on offer!
1. SAN CHA ISSEI
Foam milk tea with tapioca pearls is extremely popular even in L.A., and at San Cha Issei, you'll be able to try it for yourself! Foam tea refers to black teas and the like topped with a cheese or milk flavored foam, which has a creamy texture like no other. The recommendation is to order the black milk tea with pearls and cheese foam. An M size drink is 350 JPY (excl. tax), and the first topping is free. With an additional 20 JPY, you can add in tapioca pearls. The slightly salty, creamy flavor of the cheese matches perfectly with the pearls!
2. PEARL LADY CHA BAR Shinjuku East Gate Branch
You can get bubble tea drinks in other countries, but you'll want to try it while you're in Japan, too! At PEARL LADY CHA BAR Shinjuku East Gate Branch, you'll be able to enjoy tapioca pearls in lattes made with Japanese teas like "hojicha". "Hojicha" refers to roasted green tea, and it has a really fragrant taste that works very well for milk tea. Try it with some brown sugar tapioca - it's free! The rich sweetness of the pearls matches beautifully with the fragrance of the Hojicha Latte (370 JPY (incl. tax))!
The shop is located right by the East Gate of Shinjuku Station, so it's great to stop by for a break from shopping.
3. comma tea Ebisu Branch
This bubble tea shop was established around a concept of taking a break from your busy, everyday life with a cup of tea, which is something akin to inserting a small comma into your life. The tapioca pearls used here are additive-free and are all served within 3 hours after they are made, so they aren't too firm in texture, and are nice and chewy!
The recommended drink is the Bruleed Brown Sugar Latte (650 JPY (excl. tax)). You can enjoy a fresh new sensation with the bruleed milk foam on top! It's made with a generous amount of pure brown sugar from Okinawa, and has a delicious, creme brulee-like fragrance.
4. THE ALLEY TOKYO SKY TREE TOWN Solamachi Branch
THE ALLEY, a bubble tea chain with a stylish deer symbol, has expanded worldwide with branches even in Paris! Their Japan-exclusive drinks look so good, you'll want to post them up on social media!
The Bonsai Tapioca Milk Tea (M 600 JPY) is topped with crushed chocolate chip cookies and garnished with mint leaves to create the appearance of a bonsai pot! It's a fun, imaginative drink with the crushed chocolate cookies representing soil and the mint portraying a small sprout. The flavors of the chocolate and mint with the rich Assam milk tea result in a refreshing, not-too-sweet flavor. Take a picture of both TOKYO SKYTREE and your bonsai drink at the TOKYO SKY TREE TOWN Solamachi Branch!
5. TP TEA NEWoMan Shinjuku Branch
TP TEA is a takeout brand that was opened by the Taiwanese bubble milk tea shop Chun Shui Tang. Although it's a takeout shop, the NEWoMan Shinjuku Branch has an eat-in area, too.
If you're in Japan, you should definitely try the Tapioca Matcha Latte (550 JPY (excl. tax)), which is only available in stores in Japan. It's lightly sweetened with a mellow flavor, and it comes with plenty of tapioca pearls inside. The pearls are chewy, and one drink will fill you right up.
The store is actually located inside the train station, so make sure to drop by before you exit the station gates!
Each bubble tea has its own unique characteristics, and you'll want to drink all of them! If you're in Tokyo, definitely give these places a try!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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