Recently, the Taiwanese bubble tea craze came back again to Singapore, with the entrance of two new players, KOI Cafe (50嵐) and Gong Cha (贡茶). Prices are around upwards of $2 per cup at each outlet, but allow more flavour customisations like the degree of sweetness and the type of pearl or jelly to go into your drinks.
Which of these two Taiwanese bubble tea chains is better?
Rachel and I got hooked to Gong Cha when we first tried it in Hong Kong. We drank it everyday during our 6 days there recently.
When we discovered that Gong Cha was also available in Singapore, we were elated. The very next day, we headed down to City Square Mall to try out the Gong Cha in Singapore.
Alas, it was disappointing compared to it’s Hong Kong counterpart. Just look at the size of the cup, for approximately the same price, we get a smaller cup than in Hong Kong. The tea fragrance tastes weaker too and the mixing was not done evenly.
However, for Gong Cha (in Singapore and in Hong Kong), each cup comes with instructional stickers on how best to sample the tea as well as some general background about the tea type. For the presentation perspective, it is definitely better than KOI Cafe.
Disappointed with the less than ideal Gong Cha tea quality though, we decided to try out the currently more popular brand in Singapore the next day – KOI Cafe.
We bought our tea from the Ang Mo Kio branch. There was a long queue, but the tea was definitely better than at Gong Cha (in Singapore).The cup was also larger and sturdier.
Our conclusion is that KOI Cafe is better in Singapore, but we have the nagging impression that Hong Kong’s chains are better and the original chains in Taiwan must be the best… Singaporeans seem to be always short-changed for quality.
Have you tried both KOI Cafe and Gong Cha too? Which do you prefer?
Here are the listings of their outlets:
KOI Cafe (50嵐) – 7 Outlets
Koi Cafe Ang Mo Kio
Blk 704 Ang Mo Kio Central #01-2545
Tel: +65 6459 1518
Koi Cafe Bishan
513 Bishan street 13 #01-503
Tel: +6258 1729
Koi Cafe Clementi
Blk 442 Clementi Ave 3 #01-101
Koi Cafe Illuma
201 Victoria Street #01-15 Iluma At Bugis
Tel: +6884 6817
Koi Cafe People’s Park
1 Park Road #01-16 People’s Park Complex
Tel: +65 6536 8330
Koi Cafe Marine Parade
Blk 83 Marine Parade Central #01-562
Tel: +65 6440 4869
Koi Cafe Toa Payoh
190A Toa Payoh Central #01-562
Tel: +65 6256 1169
Gong Cha (贡茶) – 3 outlets
Gong Cha City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road #B2-k3/k4
City Square Mall Singapore
Tel: +65 6509 3803
Gong Cha Novena Square
10 Sinaran Drive #01-172
Novena Square 2 Singapore
Tel: +65 6397 6816
Gong Cha VivoCity
1 HarbourFront Walk #01-111
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