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The Battle of the Bubble Teas

Which will reign supreme in the realms of cheese foam, brown sugary-ness, fruitiness, flavoured pearls and milkiness? Read on to find out!

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There was once a time when we used to huddle outside makeshift stores in sweaty school uniforms, jostling to order a $1.50 “Blueberry snowshake please”. Bubble tea has been a thing since 2005, when it first hit Singapore. You remember it don’t you? That moment when the cold sugary concoction slid up the fat straw and first touched your tongue, and the almost rude invasion of pearls puffing your cheeks up. We were all hooked — ahhhh, sweet, sweet goodness.  

While we’ve all grown up, thankfully, so has Bubble Tea. As if having outgrown their awkward pubescent stage of flimsy plastic exteriors and alarmingly neon syrup-based sludge, they’ve come back into our lives as stylish, sturdy cups boasting hip logos, topped with fancy foams and filled with all sorts of....fillings. Once again, how can we resist?

But with this drastic transformation comes a problem we’re all too familiar with — there are just too many options for each of these new flavours, foams and fillings. Which cheese foam is the cheesiest? Which brown sugar milk tea is the most brown-sugary? Which will give you a heart disease faster? Which fruit tea has real fruit? Which cup do I like to hold more? Which pearl is chewier??? So, here’s a breakdown we hope you’ll find useful for your BBT journey.

✔️ Category: Cheese Foam

Contenders: R&B Tea Cheese Brulee vs HEYTEA King Fone Cheezo Fone

R&B: Topped with a  toasty, fragrant layer of torched cheese — more gao, satisfies that cheesy need.
HEYTEA: lighter, some might find it easier to finish 

Overall Taste 
R&B: “The sweetness of the brown sugar complemented the milk — it was surprisingly well balanced.” - Burppler Calida Aurelia Soh 👅.
HEYTEA:  "...the roasted notes from the tea pairs really well with the slightly savoury and smooth cheese foam."

R&B: $6.50 for Large
HEYTEA: $5.50 for Regular (similar to R&B’s large)

R&B: “Is it a Frog or a Bear?” - Burppler Brian Xavier
HEYTEA: Hands-down best branding. - Everyone

R&B: “As someone who isn’t a fan of pearls at all, I must say these were amazingly soft and chewy.” - Burppler Calida Aurelia Soh 👅
HEYTEA: There are no pearls with King Fone. [cue collective gasp]

Winner: R&B Tea Cheese Brulee

✔️ Category: Brown Sugar Fresh Milk

Contenders: Jenjudan Brown Sugar Boba Milk vs The Alley Brown Sugar Deerioca Fresh Milk w Pearls 

Burnt Caramel Taste 
Jenjudan: “The brown sugar was pure aromatic decadence, plus, the sugar level can be adjusted” - Burppler Evan Mua
The Alley: “The brown sugar flavour here is more subtle compared to others I've tried” - Burppler Jonathan Lim

Freshness of Milk
Jenjudan: “...chilled fresh milk” - Burppler Vanessa Kou
The Alley: “Strong milk taste, suitable for milk lovers!” - Burppler Yiwen Chia

Overall Taste
Jenjudan: “Warm, fragrant and not overly sweet, the signature concoction was on the lighter side and nicely balanced in my opinion.” - Burppler Vanessa Kou
The Alley: “Enjoyable and you don’t feel very jelak after finishing the drink.” - Burppler Jonathan Lim

Jenjudan: $5.20 for Medium, $6.50 for Large
The Alley: $5.30 for Small/Medium

Jenjudan: meh
The Alley: meh but plus points for the cute curved bottom and an antlered deer logo 

Jenjudan: “...brown sugar bobas were also more soft than chewy” - Burppler Vanessa Kou
The Alley: “...the tapioca pearls were each fully coated with brown sugar. It was super chewy and one of the chewiest pearls I’ve tried!!! Will be back 😍😍” - Burppler D & N

Winner: it's a tie!!!

✔️ Category: Fruit Tea

Contenders: Nayuki Supreme Cheese Strawberry Tea vs MuYoo Cloud Strawberry and Banana Fruit Tea

Nayuki: “Fresh blended strawberry” - Burppler Jasmine Lim
MuYoo: Made with naturally derived milk powder from New Zealand, pure cheese powder from Holland and real sea salt from Bolivia with real bits of fruits! 

Overall Taste: 
Nayuki: “The natural sweetness of the strawberries and touch of sourness blended well with the slightly salty cheese, and enhanced by the fragrance of the good quality tea.” - Burppler Jonathan Lim
MuYoo: “Tastes like a more natural and refreshing version of the Qoo drink, and less sweet as well, while the cheese foam provides a salty-savoury balance to the drink.” - Burppler Brian Xavier

Nayuki: $8.30 for Large
MuYoo: $4.90 for Large (Get 1-for-1 with Burpple Beyond!)

Nayuki: Standard transparent cup with a stopper on the top.
MuYoo: Colourful cup holders. “Not gonna lie, their pretty packaging is what attracted me first.” - Burppler Su A.

Winner: MuYoo Cloud Strawberry and Banana Fruit Tea

✔️ Category: Flavoured Pearls

Contenders: HOLLIN vs Playmade  

Hollin: Daily rotation. Mon: Coffee, Tues: Matcha, Wed: Peanut, Thur: Sesame, Fri: Rock Salt, Sat: Cocoa, Sun: Strawberry.
Playmade: Four flavours available everyday — Pink Cactus, Black Sesame, Burnt Caramel and White Pearls

Hollin: “Honey pearls impressed me with their soft yet chewy texture and deep honey taste.”
Playmade: “Super love the chrysanthemum pearls with real petals within” Burppler Emma Fangs

Sorry, really couldn’t choose one.

Hollin: $4.40 for an Earl Grey Milk Tea (Psst. There’s #BurppleBeyond 1-for-1 here too!)
Playmade: $2.90 for an Earl Grey Milk Tea + $0.80 (for pearls)

Hollin: Minimalistic, adorned by colourful pearls.
Playmade: Made pretty by pinks pearls but otherwise looks like your average BBT cup.

Winner: HOLLIN

✔️ Category: Milk Tea

Contenders: Chicha SanChen Dong Ding Oolong Milk Tea vs Partea Misty Milk Pu'er

Tea quality: 

Chicha SanChen: “Brewed to order with Qingxin oolong tea leaves handpicked from the Lishan mountains in Taiwan.” - Burppler Ariane Le

Partea: “Not sure if the tea actually comes sweetened here for the tea aroma isn’t particularly strong for this one…” - Burppler Xing Wei Chua

Overall taste:
Chicha SanChen: “Aromatic cuppa where the fresh milk does not overwhelm the woody fragrance of the tea.” - Burppler Ariane Le
Partea: “Milky and sweet. Not overly sweet too. It's thin and light.”  - Burppler Owner & Ketto

Chicha SanChen: $4.70 for Regular 
Partea: $3.90 for Large

Chicha Sanchen: Super cute cup with twine and a cardboard holder — a traditional-chic look.
Partea: A regular bubble tea cup.

Winner: Chicha SanChen Ding Dong Oolong Milk Tea

So there you have it, a handbook for future BBT expeditions. Tbh, it’ll probably change really quickly though, with new stalls opening every other week! Till then — happy drinking, Burpplers!