Bubble Tea Fever Hits London!

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea is officially* the “it” thing this summer in London! Not one, but two dedicated bubble tea outlets have opened in the last two months. I started thinking about bubble tea when Ute went to Boba Jam back in January (there are also plenty of places in Chinatown that serve it and I’ve also had it in Ping Pong before) and a few weeks ago my interest was renewed when I found Bubbleology on twitter.

Bubbe tea was originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s where it’s as popular as soda in North America. I read somewhere that there are 8,000 bubble tea cafes in Taiwan! I used to live in Seattle and it’s a common to find it there too.

Bubble Tea

Chaboba is in Camden Lock Market and opened two months ago. I am in love with this place. I was wandering around the market for about 40 minutes trying to find it but the crush bubble tea I had in the end was well worth it.

I ordered a mango crush bubble tea (a cross between a slushee and a smoothie) with the “bobas” or pearls at the bottom. I chose to have the strawberry “popping” bobbas on top (for an extra 50p). They are so awesome. They’re made from natural seaweed extract and are filled with fruit juice. I think the popping bobas give Chaboba a bit of an edge over the competition. I am already hooked and will be back.

Bubble Tea

Bubbleology opened a few days ago in Soho. The shop is larger and a tad more intriguing.
Bubble Tea

The fun part about Bubbleology is their “Cruffins”! English muffins or crumpets with your choice of topping. I of course had a crumpet with cream cheese and m&m’s. I’ll be back for another Cruffin.

Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
I had a passion fruit bubble tea.
Bubble Tea
A bubble tea will set you back about the same price as a frappacino so I thought, I’ve seen the stuff in china town how hard would it be to make my own? I bought some supplies for £5 and made 3 different kinds.

First step is to prepare the tapioca pearls according to the pack. A whole bag cost me £1.70. They come in black or rainbow. Only make as much as you need for the day. They don’t keep well.

Bubble Tea
The pearls need to be boiled for 5-25 minutes and then rested for the same amount of time. You can boil the pearls in tea to give them more flavor and add some sugar or honey to them after as well.
Bubble Tea
Simple Bubble Tea
Powdered or already prepared iced tea
3-4 tbs pearls
Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
1. Make the ice tea and pour it into a glass and drop the pearls in. Enjoy!
Lavender Bubble Tea
1 pot brewed Ceylon tea
1 cup sugar
1/2 water
2 tbs dried lavender
3-4 tbs pearls
1. Brew the Ceylon tea and place it in the fridge to get cold.
2. Make a lavender simple syrup by boiling the water, sugar and lavender in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a suitable container and place in the fridge to cool (I used a french press so I could separate the lavender later).
Bubble Tea
3. Once everything is cool pour a small amount of sugar syrup in a glass and top up with tea and pearls. The sugar syrup can be kept in the fridge for awhile.
Bubble Tea
Raspberry Green Bubble Tea
Iced green tea
Raspberry Coulis
3-4 tbs Pearls
Bubble Tea
1. Make the green tea according to box or brew some green tea fresh and refrigerate.
Bubble Tea
2. Once chilled pour the tea into a glass with a few tablespoons of the coulis, stir and top with the pearls.
Bubble Tea
I think my home attempt was successful and I will continue to make it inbetween trips to the various outlets! Has anyone else been for bubble tea this summer or tried to make it themselves?

*By officially I mean I made it up

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  1. JadeHeartz

    Haha I love bubble tea!! It's really popular here in San Francisco. We have so many here that it is hard to count. My favorite at the moment is avocado smoothie boba.

    I've attempted to make it with the brand you have in taro flavor. So delicious and quick. But i prefer to get it at the boba shop instead. =]

  2. LittleAsianGirl BigAppetite

    about time!!!!!!!!!!! i loveeeee bubble tea..so good

  3. Caiden L.

    wow..it's really weird to see boba tea being saled outside Taiwan.

    it's good coz next time i head for UK, i can get one still 😀

  4. yummmyyy!

  5. Made With Pink

    Chaboba contacted me to tell me they've opened in London as well – I had no idea as I don't get to Camden much, but I'll definitely have to check it out. I'd visited their website before I saw your post and really wanted to try their bubble tea, but after seeing your post now I definitely must go! There's also a crazy cool ice cream place that uses Nitrogen or something to make their ice cream. Must go try it as well!

  6. Cupcake Kelly

    Andrea I don't go to Camden much either since I'm not cool enough! They sent me a message on twitter so i went down and I'm glad I did (it was so busy in the market though)!

    I hit up chin chin labs on the same day since they're so close (definietly a must go to place). My post for that is coming soon.

  7. Stephanie

    Where's the bubble tea cupcake??

  8. Michelle

    LOVE LOVE LOVe the DIY versions!!!

  9. Cruffins?? Awesome name!

  10. I can't get enough of Bubble Tea! had it the first time in Japan and the only place i've been to (and still go to regularly) that is as good as the one in JP is Boba Jam! Don't bother getting a stamp card from them though – you have to spend £5 for a stamp, and their drinks cost from £3.60 upwards, and I only ever buy one at a time! :(

    I've yet to see the place in Camden..weird, considering I work there! Might have to go and grab one after work tomorrow!

    Thanks for this post^^

  11. Sassyscissorhands

    omg! i can't begin to tell you how excited i am about this coming over to the UK! I had this in Australia and i used to have one everyday!

    I usually just brew a normal cuppa, pour over ice and then top up with ice cold milk!! So refreshing, but now i know there is one similar in Camden i will be there every chance i get!!!

  12. jordy_girl

    I had bubble tea at a Korean Street Festaval two summers ago in Chicago. I enjoyed the fruit puree part (I had mango!) but once the slimy bubbles hit my mouth I was done. I kept running to garbage cans to spit the bubbles out. It was a culinary adventure to say the least which I love doing.
    If people really enjoy "real" tea check out http://www.teavana.com!

  13. How To Be Perfect

    I can't wait to come to London and try bubble tea and a Cruffin (too cool), I think it is brilliant that you made your own too. Bubble Tea looks awesome. x

  14. Cupcake Crazy Gem

    Hmm mango crush sounds really good but those bobs things sound a bit scary!do they actually taste good? And I love the idea of a 'cruffin' with m&ms on! Genius! Thanks for your comments about my dessert bar, I understand how you feel, I missed my family tons when I was away and have so loved our get togethers since I've been back! Plus it gives me an excuse to share the calories around, not just between my husband and I for once!!! I don't know what the fuss is with twitter…why would you recommend it? I'm not being funny, I just don't know that much about it I guess.

  15. Cupcake Kelly

    Hi Gem, I like the pearls but I'll eat just about anything! They're soft and squishy (you can always order a drink without them too).

    I wasn't fussed about twitter either! I joined for cupcake camp stuff so I could stay up to date and I ended up liking it. It's a nice way to "meet" other bloggers and stay on top of cupcake "news" both US and UK. Also definietly good for getting your page "out there". It's how I got asked to write those 2 posts for Cupcakes Take the Cake. Anyway, it was just a friendly suggestion and it's not everyones cup of tea.

    • terri mangan

      We also sell Bubble Tea we have a shop in London and we sell a variety of Bubble Flavours

      Bubble Tea Flavours:
      Milk Teas: (Hot/Cold) Taro; Almond, Papaya, Strawberry, Vanilla, Honeydrew, Coconut, Macha Green, Green Tea, Plain Assam.
      Fruit Teas: (Hot/Cold) Kiwi, Green Apple, Strawberry, Passion, Lychee, Honey Peach
      £3.50 per cup
      And also you can add some jelly in your tea,

      Opening Hours:
      Monday to Saturday; From 10.30am to 10:30pm
      Sunday: From 11.00 to 22:00
      Tel: 02076228752 Email: yourhealth2009@hotmail.com
      Mob: 07533105469 & 07824531248

      20 Clapham south side road
      SW4 7AB
      Our shop is very close to Clapham Common Underground Station 30 seconds walk