I am no longer as enthusiastic over bubble tea, as I was in my youth; when I found the drink that you eat most appealing. Blame it on my widening food repertoire, my aging, or my inability to retain liquids without multiple trips to the washroom; but sitting and sipping on a cup of cold tea and gnawing at its chewy bits just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I don’t think I even really like just drinking it without the tapioca. But it is just one of those things you end up doing cause others want to, and sometimes you just need a cheap place to hang out at. Today it was out of the need to change the taste in my mouth. They make a decent option if you are on the look out for something quick and easy, and better than any fountain drink. Also, they may be more convenient, as they are just as many bubble tea places popping up across the lower mainland, and most are open later at night.
So given the saturated landscape for this Taiwanese classic, most cafes need a defining signature to standout, and here it is a certain facial feature. Their moustache theme went as far as branding. Its name to match its logo: a top hat paired with glasses and a moustache. The same logo finding its way on everything. The awning, the sandwich board, on the backdrop to their menus, and even the stamp that was used to collect tokens to get your 10th drink for free. The latter was a nice way to create customer loyalty to their shop.
The narrow room, had their tea counter on the left and a lengthy chalkboard menu to the immediate right. A slim walkway led to a back room and more seats. The former didn’t look like a very comfortable arrangement. Although, neither was the cluster of tightly packed chairs under the small flat screen. Or the tall stools looking out into the bright lights of the cars driving through the wet of the city. All fairly disappointing, considering the feature of such places is to sit and chat for an extended period of time.
As for decoration, it was basically a practical photo parade of their drinks. The same hand with a sparrow tattoo on its wrist, holding all different cups of their bubble tea. Under the black frame, a moustache shaped label spelled out what could be had above.
Without the experience and the need to sift through so many options I simply ordered the first thing on their menu. Their regular milk tea off their “fresh” menu. It was bitter and bland. But the pearls were at least really fresh, although they didn’t really offer anything to the drink. No flavour, just something to chew on.
My guest got the the taro ice cream slush. It was essentially a vanilla milkshake, dyed purple. Tasty enough, but not as intended nor was it anything new.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I didn’t find this bubble tea incarnation any different from any of the other places offering like things. I wouldn’t think to drive all the way out here for it, but if in the area and hankering for a palette cleanser this was a nice enough of a place to grab a drink at. Don’t deny your cravings.