For bubble tea
If you are just starting out in the bubble tea scene, there are some important things you should know. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink that has tea, milk and sugar and is usually served cold with a straw. Various toppings can be added such as fruit jelly, grass jelly, pudding and chewy tapioca balls. Tapioca balls, often called pearls, are the black or white floating balls that give bubble tea its signature look.
It’s common to add sugar to the drink, so as a general recommendation you should get a quarter serving of sugar to begin and then you can always add more next time. Watch out for drinks that are already sweet like taro and honeydew, you may not need additional sweeteners.
For your first bubble tea, try a classic pearl milk tea.
Gong Cha was one of the first bubble tea outlets to set up in Brisbane, bringing new flavours and mixes from Taiwan. Conveniently located on Elizabeth Street, Gong Cha has a large menu of treats to choose from including milk foam tea, milk tea, smoothies and creative mixes. This is a popular bubble tea cafe so expect a line up in the afternoons.
Just down the road from Student One Adelaide and Wharf Street residences, Mimo Tea has been rated as one of the top bubble tea providers in Brisbane. They are popular for the trendy cheese milk foam teas but there are plenty of other options on the menu if you want to try something more traditional.
If you are looking for fruit tea, Coco Tea has plenty of fruity mixes to choose from and indoor seating so you can escape the heat. Find this cafe on Elizabeth Street and be ready to snap an #instaworthy pic.
ComeBuy in the Myer Centre does bubble tea well and recently added eggettes to the menu. Eggettes are hot egg waffles that are popular along the streets of Hong Kong and Macau. For the full experience, try one of their signature oolong teas with a side of a matcha eggette.
B.Lucky & Sons
If you are looking for something a little bit naughty, B.Lucky & Sons has spiked their bubble teas with assorted spirits. Don’t worry, they have non-alcoholic options too. They are located on Brunswick Street, which means it’s a great option if you are looking for a cure to your bubble tea cravings late at night or want to combine bubble tea with arcade games.
Matcha is a finely ground power of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It can be enjoyed in many ways and is popular in hot drinks and desserts such as matcha lattes and soft serve ice cream. If you’ve never tried matcha before, it is an earthy, nutty taste but you’ll have to try it for yourself to find out.
Matcha Honpo is conveniently located downstairs from Student One Wharf Street and serves a splendid menu of matcha drinks and desserts. Their matcha frappes are a popular choice on a hot day but the matcha tiramisu parfait is decadently topped with cream, cornflakes, soft serve and a matcha cookie. If you are looking for something on the go, ask for one of their matcha soft serves in a cone.
Bonsai Botanika is a cozy cafe on Elizabeth Street serving the finest matcha powders. Their Japanese matcha green tea lattes and matcha mud cakes are extremely popular plus they rotate assorted matcha treats and baked goods in their specials cabinet.
B+C Lab Cafe
If you are studying at QUT, this convenient cafe in Kelvin Grove is a great place to grab a matcha espresso and enjoy an afternoon treat or two. Try the matcha crepe cake for layers of delicious matcha all the way from Kyoto in Japan. B+C Lab Cafe has a relaxing atmosphere with extra seating upstairs so you can host a group project meeting or catch up with friends.
Nominom on Elizabeth Street has you sorted for matcha and green tea froyo, bingsu and other fun treats. Like most frozen yogurt stores, you can serve yourself and then weigh and pay at the counter. If you are game to try something more traditional, bingsu is a Korean shaved ice dessert that comes in a signature matcha flavour.
Another one at QUT Kelvin Grove, Cafe Artease has both bubble tea and matcha on the menu. Their dirty matcha float and matcha espresso are our top pics from this location. The service here is great and the staff always want to make sure you have a drink you will enjoy. This is especially good if it’s your first time trying bubble tea or matcha.