BUBBLE tea is the latest trend sweeping from across Asia– and when a new cafe opened up in Windsor, I just had to see what all the fuss was about.
Paeonia Bubble Tea Room invited me on Thursday night to try some of their beautifully crafted drinks.
Trying a bubble tea was all new to me. I’d never caught on with the Asian beverage phenomenon, nor did the sound of drinking small starchy balls ever appeal to me.
But I was proven wrong. Bubble Tea may now be one of my new favourite things.
What is bubble tea?
Bubble tea is a Taiwanese recipe made by blending tea with milk, fruit and fruit juices with tasty tapioca pearls to finish it off.
In its most basic form, the drink consists of black tea, milk, ice and the chewy balls- all shaken together and served with a chunky straw so you can slurp up the marbles of tapioca at the bottom of the cup.
Tapioca pearls are made from tapioca starch which is boiled away and steamed in a sugary syrup until it turns into black, springy and sweet balls.
They add a strange but addictive texture to the drink, which is why it has become so popular in Asia and now over in the UK too, (oh and I’m a fan).
Paeonia has so much choice on their menu that if you’re a newbie to bubble tea, it can feel a little overwhelming.
You’ve got classic milk tea, fluffy cheese tea and fruit teas with dozens of flavours to choose from.
I opted for the Fluffy Creme Brulee (£6.70) despite the word cheese making me feel a bit nervous about trying it.
Rest assured because there was no cheddar in this drink. In fact, it’s meant to be replicate a cheesecake, with the drink having a deliciously indulgent layer of thick cream on top which you sip out of the lid.
So much work goes into one cup, from selecting which tapioca to have to combining all of the syrups, milk powder and tea together.
They even torched the sugar on top like you would with a creme brulee – I was impressed with the attention to detail but expected no less considering how beautiful the decor was inside.
The first sip went down a treat with the milky tea and cream working seamlessly. It was rather sweet but the milk balances it out.
My partner went for the lychee king oolong (£6.20 large) tea with mango tapioca pearls. He was pleasantly surprised too, enjoying the refreshing but sweet taste.
When you order a bubble tea you can choose the sweetness level from none to ‘extra 130 per cent’ and how much ice you want.
I went for the standard sweetness option but if I’d gone any higher my arteries would have probably started clogging.
Then you get to choose your toppings, priced at 70p each. You can get coffee cubes, pearls, grass jelly,pudding and cream cheese.
Bubble flavours include passion fruit, peach, lychee, strawberry, mango and green apple.
You can also get speciality milk and fruit teas.
I would definitely recommend visiting Paeonia when you’re next in Windsor– it’s gorgeous inside and the drinks are very tasty.