I’m a bubble beverage convert!
Last night I tagged along to a friend and fellow writer’s visit to Chew and I was glad did. Chew is a new bubble beverage store which opened just three weeks ago in Soho. It was my first encounter with bubble teas or coffees and I enjoyed every minute of the experience.
There were explosive flavours, and strange combinations of teas and coffees that shouldn’t work together taste wise but strangely do, not to mention the floating chewy tapiocas which is where the brand gets its name.
Chew has an extensive range of bubble teas with soft chewy tapioca balls which sink to the bottom where drinkers can suck them up through a fat straw. The tapioca is obtained from the cassava plant and fashioned into black, white or transparent ‘Pearls’ and prepared on-site, freshly boiled and hand finished to ensure it maintains its fresh chewy texture.
There is also the option of bubble coffee made with fresh espresso beans and served as iced coffee or hot. Customers can choose additional flavours like hazelnut, chocolate, vanilla,and caramel. Fruit pops (fruit juice balls that burst in the mouth), tapioca balls and jellies can then be added as a final finishing touch.
There are currently over 30 fruit and milk-based bubble teas at Chew. They can be ordered with or without tapioca.
The bulk of bubble beverages tend to be a little heavy on the calories and are very filling so beware not to spoil your dinner. There is also a choice of having high sugar, medium sugar and little or no sugar for the calorie conscious.
Chew has this really vibrant and infectious atmosphere you can’t help but love; from the very orange decor and signage which makes it impossible to miss the store at its busy Soho location to the owners, a young dynamic couple – Karim Hemsi and Sara Hamou-Hemsi who are very enthusiastic about their brand and concept. They travelled to Taiwan where the concept of bubble teas originate to learn the art form.
While bubble teas are very popular in Asia and taken root in places like New York, it is finally catching on in London. I sampled the very filling mocha bubble coffee, jasmine & cocoa and my current favourite, green tea & ginger which I strongly recommend.
(Photographs by Jack Oughton / tastingbritain.co.uk)
Bubble teas are available in two sizes: 500ml for £3.45 and 700ml for £3.75
Bubble coffees are also available in two sizes: 500ml for £3.55 and 700ml for £3.85
Chew, 58 Dean Street, Soho. W1D 6AL