It’s no secret that Melburnians love their bubble tea. With a new spot popping up almost weekly, you may never get to visit them all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Gotcha Fresh Tea
We’ve got your next tea-time stop at Gotcha Fresh Tea. More of a concept store than a grab and go type place, Gotcha’s tea leaves are farmed and picked from their very own plantation in Taiwan. Their unique flavours follow a modern approach with bamboo charcoal, aloe vera collagen and durian cheese foam finding their place among classic black sugar syrups and fruit infused green tea. You can even get reusable bottles, for an eco-friendly bubble tea.
A full service tea stop, Top Tea offers cheese tea, fruit tea, milk tea and a range of top tea toppings (say that ten times quickly). Go for a sweet/savoury watermelon cheese tea loaded with grass jelly, or branch out with a brûlée topped tea. That’s right, for an extra 80 cents they’ll blow torch the top of your tea for an intensely sweet layer of caramelised sugar. They also double as a sweet little bakery, with novelty cakes including a pepper pig pinwheel and creamy mochi snacks.
Goldie Asian Canteen
Ramen toasties and breakfast bao might be the name of the game at Goldie Asian Canteen, but you’d be foolish to ignore their good tea tidings. Try the ‘coffee cup’ featuring cold brew coffee, kahlua vodka and tonic tapioca pearls. Or choose your own adventure from six types of tea and four different types of ‘bubbles’. The menu is split evenly between alcoholic and non-alcoholic so your tea needs will be met from morning to night.
Another export from the tea masters in Taiwan is BlackBall, a cute corner shop hidden in Chinatown’s 206 Bourke complex. Most of their ingredients, including the perfectly uniform ‘boba’ pearls, are meticulously prepared at the BlackBall factory in Taiwan. Multi-layered fruity teas like cranberry lemon are perfect for balmy days, or indulge in social media’s favourite combo with a creamy brown sugar milk tea. Almost crème brûlée-like in its colouring, the mixture of bitter-sweet milky tea and decadent caramelised sugar syrup is a treat too good to skip.
The Little Collins Street outpost of Fitzroy’s original Industry Beans cafe and roastery is a contemporary design dream come true. The coffee is pretty dreamy too, including their ground breaking Bubble Cup combo of cold drip, coffee tapioca pearls and vanilla ‘consoy’ (sweetened condensed and soy milks). Choose from the original, strawberry or coconut and kaffir lime.
A Melburnian’s love for bubble tea is only outmatched by their love of laneways, and newcomers Ghislaine combine the two perfectly. Perched on Causeway Lane with Eiffel Tower motifs and cursive branding, this little shop could be mistaken for something straight out of France. Head inside though and the sweet smell of sugar syrup tells you all you need to know – their specialty is tea. Flavour themes include rose petals, watermelon, caramelised syrup and rockmelon (cantaloupe).
Refreshment is just a short walk from Flinders Street Station at Happy Lemon. Opt for one of the signature milk teas, a dessert tea with oreo trifle or creamed purple yam, or something more refreshing and zesty.
Marche Board Game Cafe
People have been marching to this brick front on A’Beckett Street for years to play board games and indulge their geeky side. But did you know Marche Board Game Cafe also serves up some of the top Taiwanese tea in town? Go out of this world with their layered ‘Blue Sky’ – creamy brown sugar milk topped with butterfly pea tea. Authentic iced matcha green tea from Kyoto is also on the menu, served in a grammable glass handled mason jar.
HWKR‘s permanent bar Manymore lives up their name when it comes to bubble tea, offering up so much more of the stuff that they’ve had to serve it in a tower. That’s right – in a Melbourne first you and up to four of your mates (or just you if you’re thirsty!) can sip bubble tea on tap from a seemingly endless tea tower. Feel good while you pop those pearls too, because 100% of Manymore’s profits go to local community programs.
Bubble tea with a twist
If you can’t face the long lines during the day then Melbourne’s bars have after dark bubble cup delights covered. Like vodka black tea with rainbow coconut pearls from GG EZ Bar or lavender gin with mulberry soda from Double Happiness. Served in the classic vacuum sealed style, you’ll be surprised how sophisticated you feel sipping a bubble tea cocktail on a night out.