Being asian ’n’ all, I’ve always known what bubble tea
is, but I know that there’s not that many places in the UK that sells bubble tea. However, it is slowwwwwwwly making it’s way here.
Bubble tea originates from Taiwan and is very popular in the Far East. It’s still fairly alien to many people across the UK but in the past few years, bubble tea has become the new (ish) craze in London, and of course, thanks to Bubbleology, it has been bought to a wider range of consumer (Yay!).
As great a concept Bubbleology is, there’s just something I don’t trust about it. As cool as their concept and branding is, I much prefer a more authentic introduction to bubble tea with a Far East vibe to it. To me, Bubbleology doesn’t seem authentic and that puts me off slightly. And it’s too sweet, anyway. Sorry, Bubbleology!
Recently I was invited to Biju, an independently run bubble tea cafe on Old Compton Street in Soho, London. We had a bubble tea tasting session and we learned a lot of things about running a business in one of the busiest areas in the country. Nick, the founder of Biju, kept us entertained with anecdotes of running a business in Soho. He wasn’t short of funny stories, that’s for sure!
One thing that makes Biju stand out from all their competitors is that they use freshly brewed teas instead of using artificial powders which are filled with a lot E-numbers, and they only use fresh organic and soy milk too for a healthier and tastier option. The sweetness is a lot more controlled so it’s not as overpowering as most bubble teas.
Now, I know a lot of people in the UK are apprehensive about trying bubble teas. If you can, make experience your first bubble tea in Biju. The Soho-based cafe has got a buzz-y atmosphere to it, the customer service of Starbucks, and the fun, quirky vibe of SNOG. Nothing to be intimidated by!
How To Order
Firstly, you pick the tea and then the type of ‘topping’ such as tapioca pearls, jellies, popping bobas, chia seeds and even caramel pudding (the flan kind, not the sponge type).
They will accommodate to your taste so don’t be afraid to ask the Biji staff to help you create a bubble tea that suits your taste buds, or if you’re a bit more adventurous, pop in and ask for something off-the-menu.
There are actually no ‘bubbles’ in bubble tea. Classically, it’s Assam tea with a topping of black tapioca pearls which are is like a sweet, chewy jelly. Or you can try the new style boba which lightly bursts in your mouth. They contain fruit juices and syrups, and are quite the novelty to begin with! Biju also offer a range of flavoured jellies and even caramel egg custard pudding – it’s so yum!
The classic is Assam which is what I always go for – but only because I get overwhelmed with the menu and out of panic, I end up ordering what I am most familiar with. Which is why I accepting this invite to taste bubble tea because I wanted to learn more and taste different flavours. I met with a group of lovely food bloggers and we had a really good time at Biju. I woke up the next morning craving it, and to be honest, I’ve been craving a Biju bubble tea ever since!
We were given a huge selection of hot and cold drinks to try including coconut water with lychee popping bobas and chia seeds, pistachio tea, honeydew, mango milk, Hong Kong style tea, taro milk, matcha, and black mousse tea which was my FAVE. It was sweet with a slightly savoury taste – very unusual and contains a secret ingredient but if you like flavours such as salted caramel, I recommend the the mousse teas, they’re great!
Have you tried bubble tea yet?
17 thoughts on “What Is Bubble Tea? | Bubble Tea Tasting at Biju”
I love bubble tea!! Look so yummy!
These seem to be so delicious !
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I love boba tea! My favorite is the classic taro milk tea – I'm not such a huge fan of the fruits haha! I've never been to Biju though…
Emily | Lynde Avenue
Oh wow this looks really yummy! Will definitely visit Biju when I go to London 🙂
I've never tried Bubble Tea before but it looks delicious, and I'll make sure I head to Biju for my first ever taste!
Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue
The mousse tea sounds really nice. I usually get bubble tea in Chinatown but I'll have to give Biju a try next time x
Peonies and lilies
This sounds like absolute heaven!! I've only ever had Bubbleology tea, so it would be great to try a new place that is maybe a bit healthier! I've got my eye on that Earl Grey milk tea and the Jasmine tea – mmmmm 🙂
Sounds like you had such a fab time. I just love bubble tea so this looks like the perfect place for me x
I've never tried bubble tea but we have quite a few places that sell it here in Nottingham, I definitely need to check it out!
Bubble tea has been big here for a few years – I think it's actually on the decline now haha. I usually get aloe vera pieces instead of pearls!
Apparently it's called bubble tea because it's supposed to be made in shakers, which incorporate air into the drink as it's shaken! But personally, I can't taste the difference between shaken and stirred. It's so strange to me when people aren't familiar with bubble teas, you can find a handful on every block downtown where I live!
becky ♡ star violet
so jealous, they all look so good
i LOVE bubble tea!! Every winter I go back to Taiwan to visit my relatives, and I insist on having one cup every day. Probably not the best thing for my body, but where else can I get bubble tea this delicious?! Gotta have 'em while I can! Despite my love for bubble tea, I usually stick to the same flavors (rotating between original/black tea, almond, taro, matcha), and I always have tapioca pearls. asfdghjkl going to a bubble tea tasting event is my dream! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's
I had bubble tea for he first time last weekend. I went for a safe, fruity option with popping bobas and now really want to try the tapioca. I'm bookmarking this post so I don't forget to drop in here next time I'm nearby!
I love bubble tea so much and I always go to Mee Cha in Birmingham as they just do it the best!
I went somewhere in Bristol last summer that made amazing green apple bubble tea. ^_^
My favourite has to be green matcha. 🙂
I tried bubble tea for the first time when I was in college and I fell in love!! Outside of college areas, it's pretty hard to find in the US too, but I think there more places that sell bubble tea slowly popping up.
I tried my first bubble tea at Biju and I absolutely loved it! I chose the cold earl grey with tapioca. I quickly went back a few days after because I was craving for it! I'm living in Geneva and I think that there's only one place that sells bubble tea, but I haven't gone yet.