Bubbles & Dreams (S$15.00) was a lovely accessory to a delightful brunch at the Nassim Hill popup in the premises of KPO Bar. Although not everyone would fancy a cocktail at noon, this mix of Hendrick’s Gin and prosecco also contained some lemon juice, so the citric notes was not solely refreshing but also easy to drink.

The faint bubbly element was noticeable when the drink was served because it was still a little chilled, so it should be consumed before it could reach room temperature.

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A bubble tea shop sprang from Marymount Community Club in early June, providing the new local favourite as well as some bar snacks to the visitors of the building and the students from the nearby schools.

Given such a grand name, I would definitely pay attention to their special-tea items, which included the Oolong Rice Latte and their new creation called the Imperial Autumn (S$4.90 for medium-size cup). Made with home-brew chrysanthemum tea, this tea latte was rich in natural flavours as though I was having those herbal tea from Chinese medical halls, so it really gave me a sense that I am taking time for self-care.

I would also suggest to have the add-on of their home-made golden pearls at only S$0.80, because they were boiled in brown sugar and was very chewy, adding that dimension as though I was having some gummies along with the drinks.

It seemed that the crowds were constantly streaming in despite being a Saturday evening. However, as I was having my me-time at the seating area within the shop, I witnessed how the staff were still getting their footing right, so the waiting time could be a bit long during peak periods.

I was curious with how they served their hot teas, as I saw bowls that went along with teapots. I would think it could be an interesting experience to try the next time I visit this place.

We would all be familiar with the traditional coffee, where local-style roasted coffee was served with a slab of butter to increase the smoothness of the daily cuppa.

And while the beans used by The Coffee Academics was roasted much differently from the local roast, they created Bulletproof (S$6.40) which presumably was their take of this local staple. Made with espresso, water, butter, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil, the coffee promised a nice aroma and a smooth slurp.

In fact, the drink tasted best when consumed immediately, with a cube of brown sugar. So it would make a lot of sense to finish it quickly after a meal or to drink up upon serving, before the coffee could turn sour.

The Nitro Cold Brew at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was steeped for 20 hours before being infused with nitrogen to give that silky smooth finish in every sip.

If you were particular about what went into the coffee blend, they used a special blend of premium Bali Blue Moon and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffees with Chicory, which, according to their official website, would give out flavours of sweet toffee, caramel and brown sugar, amidst the comfortably bitter taste of steeped coffee.

And, if drunk at a regular pace, it was really possible to enjoy ice cold coffee from start to finish.

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Just find a cosy corner in the ambient shop to gather your zen.
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The latest limited-period beverage at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which was Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Blended Drink (S$8.20), was quite an enjoyable one. To me, this beverage tasted like a blended milkshake, but with bits of the cheesecake base crumbs scattered at the top and bottom of the drink to add some texture and layer to it. What I found was interesting was that even though the strawberry syrup linings that were supposedly drawn on the inner walls were lost by the time the blended product was poured in, somehow they “reappeared” when I was nearing the last quarter of the drink.

On the whole, the flavours of “cheesecake” was probably not so apparent, but that could have also meant that the flavours were incorporated quite well without either of the sweet or sour flavour profiles overpowering the other.

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Milksha, or better known as Milk Shop in Taiwan, was officially open yesterday, taking over the previous cheese toast business. And for two full weeks, Milksha would only sell ten types of bubble tea to attract customers to try.

One would probably know that I would definitely order their Fresh Taro Milk (S$5.60) which came as a standard medium size without any additional sugar added. As done like their competitors, Milksha used mashed taro puree in their drink to give that real, non-powdery taste of yam. Though it was unfortunate that they could not import fresh milk from their farms, the substitute Greenfields was said to taste the closest to the milk used in Taiwan.

What I really enjoyed about this drink was that the mashed yam blended well with the milk, making most sips fairly well-mixed without too much yam paste sedimented at the bottom of the cup. Having said that, a 30% ice portion would be perfect to cool the drink without diluting the flavours.

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I considered myself a skeptic towards new milk tea establishments because there was a sudden spike in numbers lately, but Taro Green Tea Latte (S$5.80), I like!

It would be one of the few places that used mashed taro as the base, as seen with the “orh nee” at the bottom. Taking it down with green tea and milk balanced the sweetness really well, though it might be a bit difficult to see the greenish side of green tea in the drink.

However, I later realised that the best way to enjoy the drink was to shake thoroughly before poking in the straw. This was because I spent a long time trying to scoop the remaining yam paste from the cup after the liquids were gone, and much of them had to be wasted because there was no provision of a spoon to scrape the last bits of the ingredients.

Margaritas and Sangria might appear to be popular alcoholic beverage options here, but when El Salvador (S$18.00) was served to me, I was actually taken aback by its fruit punch colours. At the back of my mind, I wondered if I was really given fruit punch with little alcohol content.

Well it might really taste far from potent, but I liked the cocktail for the fact that there was a little sourness coming from the fresh lime juice and grenadine, but the confusing part was contributed by the Frangelico, an Italian hazelnut liquor, hidden behind the bright red colour. And yes, there was rum in this drink too.

While it might be a nice, exotic cocktail, I thought I might just save this for nights that I felt like going for something fancy, and stick to the more mainstream wine or cocktail where dining is concerned.

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S$5.30 for a cup of Tiger Sugar might not have been a very rational decision, but given the crazy weather nowadays, a drink like this would invite snaking queues just to quench off the thirst.

Essentially the drink comprised tapioca pearls with brown sugar syrup lining the wall of the cup, so that it would form “stripes” similar to the fur of the tiger when the milk was poured in. The milk, the syrup and the recommended shakes before consumption would give some smoothness to the drink, and the drink would be best consumed on the spot so the brown sugar syrup would still remain on the cup.

Between the Boba and Pearl series, I would prefer the former actually. The extra large size of the pearls enabled them to soak the brown sugar from the pot more effectively, thus adding even more sweetness to the drink. Nonetheless, it was still fun to stick to the Pearl for more stuff to chew on throughout the sip.

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It seemed that everyone loved to hop on the bandwagon when festive specials were launched, this time the cherry blossom season inspired many to come up with Sakura-themed stuff. But with the Sakura Cold Brew Tea (S$7.50 for Small size), it only proved that not every Sakura was the same.

If you were a CBTL regular, you would know that there is this Cherry Blossom tea in their regular menu. Unlike the green tea, the Sakura Cold Brew Tea originated from black tea, with the addition of a special syrup that tasted like some cherry or berry tea. I would have spent that money on a small bottle of Pokka flavoured tea instead.

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Coffee joints that are open 24 hours daily has earned their popularity in Singapore, I’m sure. And their Bailey’s Coffee Cocktail was quite interesting because our usual coffee houses would not offer a touch of alcohol in their beverages.

And so, for S$13.90, this was what I would call an amateurish coffee cocktail, with that nice mix of coffee and Bailey’s. Though I would have preferred a more pronounced taste of chocolate or some chocolate shavings on top instead of cocoa powder, this one here had perked me up a little on a slouchy Monday afternoon.

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First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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