2019 is coming to an end, and dominating the top food trends of this year is definitely bubble tea.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen a phenomenal surge of interesting bubble tea creations. From new drinks to mind-boggling concepts, it seems like the bubble tea craze isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s actually growing stronger.
We decided that it was time we share our deepest bubble tea secrets with all you devo-teas out there. Fun and mostly unconventional, they’re perfect for trying once you’ve gotten your Grab Bubble Tea Club subscription.
More about that later but, for now, here’re 8 unique bubble tea concoctions and hacks you should definitely try!
If you’re an adventurous foodie, this zesty concoction is definitely worth a try.
Zhng your Brown Sugar Ginger Milk Tea (S$3.60/medium) by adding some Red Bean (S$0.70/medium) to it.
The ginger milk tea leaves a tingling sensation in your throat while soothing it, but that’s not all. The best part of the drink is the added red beans.
Crunchy and warm, they will make you feel like you’re having a comforting bowl of red bean soup.
For something a little fruity and not overly sweet, try Gong Cha’s Longan Honey Drink With Pudding Jelly (S$2.40+S$0.70/medium).
On its own, Gong Cha’s Longan Honey Drink already has a slightly acidic taste.
However, adding Pudding Jelly brings about a good amount of sweetness. Light and palatable, the unusual combination turned out to be surprisingly good.
If you’re a fan of Dee Kosh, you might know this one already.
In a YouTube video, the Singaporean radio DJ recently revealed his new go-to bubble tea order: Milk Tea With Grass Jelly (S$3.20/medium, +S$0.50 for grass jelly).
Yes, we know it sounds absurd. However, this combination intrigued us so much that we just had to try it for ourselves.
As it turned out, replacing bubble tea pearls with chin chow might not be such a terrible idea after all. I liked that I didn’t have to chew as much on the grass jelly, compared to the pearls.
So if you ever get sick of pearls, try switching them out for chin chow for a change. I promise it’s a gamechanger.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I absolutely love pi pa gao, also known to most of us as Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. It’s my go-to remedy for a cough or sore and dry throat.
Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when Woobbee made a drink with it—the Herbalmint Milk Tea (S$4.40/medium).
The drink had a minty aftertaste from the pi pa gao which was very refreshing on the palate. It was also delightfully throat-soothing, perfect for the hot weather in Singapore.
I definitely recommend adding Black Pearls (S$0.30/medium) to the drink. After all, a bubble tea experience isn’t complete without some toppings, right?
If you’re a millennial, chances are you probably know everything about the superfood that avocados are.
Fortunately, the folks at LiHO have incorporated the superfood into one of their drinks, the Brown Sugar Pearl Avocado Fresh Milk (S$6.60).
The combination of decadent brown sugar and buttery avocados was a rather unique one. I appreciated how I could taste the distinct buttery notes of avocado although the brown sugar was quite overpowering.
The drink itself came with LiHO’s signature brown sugar pearls. However, why not take it to the next level by adding some White Pearls (S$0.70)?
The slight textural difference between both pearls made every sip a little surprise. That said, this combination of brown sugar and white pearls might just be my new go-to from now on.
Matcha with Milo sounds like an unlikely combination, but never say never until you’ve tried it for yourself.
iTea has a drink that fuses Japanese green tea with Singaporean’s all-time favourite Milo—the Matcha Milo (S$3.80/medium).
As someone who appreciates the bitterness of matcha, I loved how prominently bitter this matcha was. It complemented the maltiness of the Milo rather well.
Adding good ol’ Oreo (S$0.80) simply made the drink even more nostalgic. There was a soft crunch in every sip, making for a good alternative to the usual chewy bubble tea pearls.
A cup of bubble tea can be quite filling, so a Yakult Green Tea (S$3.30/medium) definitely helps with digestion.
One of iTea’s best-selling drinks, the Yakult Green Tea had a refreshing sour twang. There was also a floral aroma and sweetness to every sip, which I reckon was from the jasmine green tea.
To complete the drink, add some Red Beans (S$0.80) as toppings. I found that a little crunch helps to cut through the overall milkiness of the drink.
We know how frustrating it gets whenever you have leftover toppings but no more tea. The constant fiddling with the straw and slurping to get the remaining pearls is quite a chore.
That said, here are some techniques you can try to help overcome that problem.
Receiving your bubble tea at the counter is pretty exciting—we’ve all been there. But just before you poke your straw into it, give your drink a good shake.
This helps to loosen the pearls in your drink which may be stuck together at the bottom of the cup. With that, your straw will be able to pick them up more easily!
Another common no-go technique is anchoring the tip of the straw at the cup base. This way, you’ll finish the drink way faster than the pearls, and that’s not what we want to achieve.
As such, try varying the height of your straw with every sip you take. You’ll get significantly more pearls with this method.
The folks over at Grab recently introduced the first-ever Bubble Tea Club in Singapore!
This Bubble Tea Club is a monthly GrabPay subscription plan that lets you purchase bubble tea vouchers. You can use these vouchers at any participating bubble tea merchant outlets—LiHo, Gong Cha, Woobbee, iTea, Hi Tea and Hey Long Cha.
For the first month, you can purchase five S$3 discount vouchers for only S$5 if you’re a new GrabPay user. Meanwhile, existing GrabPay users can purchase the same set of vouchers for S$9.
That said, for each subsequent month, the price for five S$3 discount vouchers will be S$12 for all users. Don’t worry, you still save S$3, which is pretty much the price of one cup!
To subscribe, simply open up your Grab app and purchase the plan under ‘Subscriptions’ using GrabPay.
The vouchers will then be credited to the ‘My Rewards’ section of your Grab app.
With so many teas, drinks and toppings, the possible bubble tea concoctions are endless. You can’t say that you have a favourite until you’ve tried them all.
So if you’re all about that boba life, make sure you join Grab’s bubble tea loyal-tea programme. Because if you’re going to be trying all these fun mixes and getting your regular fixes, why not earn some savings while you’re at it?
That said, if you know of any other life-changing bubble tea concoctions or hacks, let us in on them so we can all share the bubble tea love!
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Grab.