I’ve been travelling around Asia now for a good 6 weeks. From Singapore to Hong Kong to Beijing (where I’m currently based), I’ve certainly had a lot of milk tea on my trip. But one particular incident stands out in my mind…
On the way home from a Beijing club late one night (or is it early?), I found myself craving the creamy beverage. Thank God for 24 hour McDonalds and their Sino-fied menu. One McMilk Tea, please!
….two weeks on from this incident, I still wonder if the woman working the midnight shift hates me for what appeared in place of my order was a cup of cloudy water amongst which floated some sludgy rocks. This terrible brew had the power to simultaneously cause me to gag and choke.
As I gasped for air, my life didn’t flash before my eyes. Rather, I thought about how much I missed Australia. More specifically, I thought about how much I missed Chatime.
Chatime’s Westfield Sydney store
Milk tea (or bubble tea as I’ve sometimes referred to it since my tweeny bopper days) can be found all over Sydney but making it well takes real skill and care, especially at a store like Chatime, where there seems to be an infinite amount of customisation possibilities.
Chatime teas. L-R: Brown Rice, Jasmine, Roast Tea, Oolong, Assam Black Tea, Premium Black tea. Assam, brown rice and premium have the strongest flavours, whereas jasmine and oolong go well with the fruitier flavours.
With each variation in topping, tea type and the amount of ice or sugar, the brewers must know how to adjust the rest of the drink for premium taste- and they get quizzed on it!
..and all the toppings! L-R Red bean, fig jelly, coffee jelly, sago, lychee jelly, egg pudding, grape jelly, pearl, rainbow jelly, grass jelly,, aloe vera.
Chatime uses real tea, real milk and real fruit juices, reflected on first sip when what’s been described is what’s been delivered. Not too stiff and not too squidgy, the tapioca pearls on each visit have always been perfectly chewy and soft. Brewed and set in a procedure that takes 4 hours, a lot of effort seems to go into such a small cup!
Shaken, not stirred
Expanding beyond milk tea, Chatime has a great variety of green and black teas as well as some fruity Summer blends and a warm Winter range- I’m particularly excited to watch how the espresso tea line, which uses extraction process much like that of espresso coffee, will progress.
Chatime is not just milk tea!
Dessert drink: Roasted milk tea with red bean, sago and egg pudding
Refreshing summer brew: Passionfruit jasmine tea with lemon jelly and aloe vera
Afternoon pick me up: Cherry Blossom from the espresso tea line
Sweet treat: Matcha Latte
Coffee addict: Coffee smoothie with coffee jelly
Worth mentioning: Green apple green tea with fig jelly
Chatime stores (pronounced Char-time) can be found across Australia and internationally. For more information, visit www.chatime.com.au. Much thanks to the team at Horizon Communication Group for organising my visit.