“Chatime” is a glowbal teahouse brand, originating from Taiwan. They are well known for their shaken, churned, and blended bubble tea and tea related drinks. And in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, this franchise has made a boom. Like with “Starbucks”, you can pretty much find one location in every major area. And like the coffee mongrel, these shops have devoted fans flocking to them as soon as they open at 11am daily, staying till when they close around 11pm.
They are popular because all of the teas that they use are brewed fresh in store, and of a fine quality. That and the ability to customize any of their drinks just the way you like. With each beverage you can select how much sugar or cream goes into your cup. You can even nitpick on the quantity of ice that is used to chill it.
I had recently downloaded their rewards-based app, which gifted me a complimentary drink. So today, I was eager to redeem those points. I trekked down to the nearest “Chatime” location, by my workplace. Their trademark purple marked the spot.
I checked online and approached the cafe, reading that they were open at 11am. I had scheduled my break around this time to ensure the shortest wait, when they first opened for the day. I was planning on ordering six beverages and didn’t want to hold anyone up. All this, to find out that their doors were still locked. This is despite the sign in the window reading “open: 11am”. And the fact that I called the night before to confirm their start time. A poster outside invited customers to order over the phone. I heeded its suggestion and called in twice, and both times it went straight to voice mail.
By 11:10am there were two of us waiting outside, by 11:15am six individuals, and by 11:20am eight people across five different groups/pairings/solos. I guess purple needed their shaken drink fix first thing before lunch.
So there we were, we stood silently waiting for the man with the turned baseball cap to acknowledge us. He continued to work feverishly to prep his day, as he met our furrowed brows. He eventually did let us in, explaining that their company policy was to not open up for business until there were two employees staffed to handle the workload. It looked like his colleague was late. His explanation made me sympathetic, we have all been there. From here everyone was willing to wait. They understood that he was on his own, and would need to take and process each drink order before making it.
I always find bubble tea menus overwhelming and “Chatime’s” was no difference. Their store front and counter side bombarded you with options and choices. How is one to choose? And is trying something new or different worth the gamble if you didn’t like the first sip.
Given that they have an upcoming promotion in November, I decided to order from their mousse/tea-latte series to take advantage of it. They had six different types of sweet drinks to pair with their savoury mousse topping. I was going to make my six, one of each flavour. But they only had enough of the premade mousse for three cups, so I had to narrow my choice down to three. I simply went for their most popular three: black tea, matcha, and chocolate. The mousse and its hint of salt highlighted the sweetened flavours of the above. It is best when you stir the mousse thoroughly in, this way you get an even blend and sip.
And between November 10-12, 2017, every “Chatime” BC mousse drink purchase benefits the “Movember Foundation”. Where the first 100 customers to post a mousse moustache selfie during this time, gets another one for free. A good way to treat a friend, or try a flavour you otherwise might not have, if you had to pay for it.
For those unfamiliar, “Movember” is the month that brings attention to men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer. For more details and how you can participate, aside from growing a moustache, check out the Movember website: https://ca.movember.com/.
For my other three drinks I went for the very trendy blue drinks made butterfly pea flower tea. Its advertisement attracted my attention walking in. The photo showed a series of bold and opaque sky blue drinks. But what I got was a translucent dark purple liquid, hinging on black. I was disappointed by its appearance, but at least the flavour held up. Butterfly pea flower really doesn’t have a taste, whatever you mix with it, is the flavour you get.
I went for the one with grapefruit, another with mango, and the last with green tea mixed in. The differences in liquids were clear given the blocks of colour visible through the plastic cup.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I find the experience in any “Chatime location” is consistent from one shoppe to the next. They are your staple for bubble tea and other tea and milk based drinks, juices, or slushes. And now there is an even better reason to visit and purchase a mousse latte from
Them between November 10-12, 2017. Don’t deny your cravings.