On one Sunday afternoon after buying an iPad Mini (I know... I dislike the iPhone but not the tablet!!) I decided to go to China Town to get some dried orange peel for my parents to eat (since I couldn't find any in the local Asian stores... they were all sold out).
Afterwards I was determined to buy a bubble tea in Chatime even if there was going to be a queue! This company is originally from Taiwan where bubble tea first started, and they've ended opening branches around the world. 日出茶太 (Canto: yat cheut cha taai; Mando: ri chu cha tai) literally means "sunrise tea too". Huh you say? Yeah, that was what I was thinking... Well, if we dissect the meaning 日出 ri chu means "sunrise"; 茶太 cha tai means "tea too", but I think they are using the phonetics hear to make it sound like cha-time. Understandable? I think it makes sense now!
I could see from the menu why this place was so popular! Their range of bubble teas on the menu was long and so it was harder for me to decide on what I wanted...
I think I spent at least 10 minutes or maybe longer standing in the queue... As I was queuing more and more people lined up at this place too. Boy, I have never seen a long queue for bubble tea except for Boba Jam and Cuppacha. And because Chatime is bang right smack in the middle of China Town (plus it's a worldwide brand), people are determined to go there. The locations of Cuppacha and Boba Jam is easily accessible but you don't see extremely long lines of people.
|Chatime in China Town, London|
Well I ordered in English rather than Mandarin (my Mandarin is still not up to scratch yet). I chose the Roasted Tea mousse and I didn't realise I needed to choose a tea with it, so I chose black tea which was on top of the menu list. You get a receipt with your order number on it. And it took another few minutes for it to be made and served...
|Busy, busy, busy|
And then I happily took pictures in the shop. Didn't really care if people were watching me. ^_^
|Finally got my bubble tea!|
|Top of the seal|
|Mousse on top with black tea and ice|
|Mixing the mousse with the tea|
The black tea was nice. I had normal sugar and normal ice. You can actually choose how much ice and sugar you want.
I couldn't taste the mousse until the very end. It tasted very good, but disappointing that I had to wait until the end to drink the mousse! The tapioca balls were chewy but not as chewy as the one I had tasted in Cuppacha.
Service was ok. They just need to smile a bit more (I know it's hard when the queues never end!). I've worked in fast food before during my uni days so I know what it's like. Chatime is a nice big store, but I think I will be heading back to the other bubble tea stores where there is less of a queue, less choice and more time to shop elsewhere!
Prices: £3.25 (small); £3.75 (large)