There are few things more British than tea. It can give you energy, soothe frazzled nerves, and act as a perfect accompaniment to cakes. But do you ever want more from your tea? In the 1980s in Taiwan, chewy balls of tapioca called boba were invented and quickly spread in popularity making its way to Canada and the US. More than twenty years later the bubbles have made their way to London.

It is all very reminiscent of science class at University…

Bubbleology in Soho is decked out in a scientist laboratory decor reminiscent of Camden’s Chin Chin Laboratorists. Greeted by two bubbleologists in white lab coats, my gaze was directed to a chalkboard list of flavours and tea types. Beakers and test tubes line the counters with ingredients. It is all very reminiscent of science class at University and I found myself having flash backs to my own days in lab coats. Bleh.

The bubbleologists start at the flavour machine, and measure out the exact amount of syrup for each drink ensuring each has the same sweetness. Next, they add the tea and put the cup into a spin machine, which shakes the drink and creates pleasant foam on the top. I admit I can be easily entertained and I got a bit excited watching this all happen. After adding in the tapioca bubbles the cup is sealed and handed over with a fat straw.

If lab class had been this tasty I would have paid more attention…

The sensation of drinking a refreshing tea while having chewy bubbles shoot into your mouth is a bit odd at first. I am big on textures of food and the gummy spheres mixing with the liquid was a bit disconcerting. Once I got used to the sensation, though, the drink was delightful. The kumquat flavour was bold and vibrant. The tea was smooth with no bitter after notes. I even missed the boba when the last one popped into my mouth. Overall, a good drink for a warm day.

If you are in the mood for something a bit more substantial, Bubbleology serves a selection of cakes and treats. I opted to try the signature cruffin, a mini open-faced sandwich served on your choice of crumpet or muffin base and topped with your desired toppings. I created a crumpet with strawberry jam and bananas and it was awesome: sweet, healthy, and light, but filling. If lab class had been this tasty I would have paid more attention.

If you opt for a treat, you can also order Monmouth coffee to go with them, which I would do in the future as I got very full from the boba and cruffin.

As far as cafés go, Bubbleology isn’t your normal shop. The great service, funky drinks, quirky décor and delightful treats make it a novelty. I won’t be replacing my local coffee stop, but for the occasional change, it’s a great option.

Bubbleology, 49 Rupert St, W1D 7PF

See their site here.

4 1/2 Stars

Images courtesy of Bubbleology

 

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One Response

  1. Rosa Lia | Culture Editor

    I’ve been looking for a place that does bubble tea without having to buy a meal for so long! (ever since I tasted it in the US when I was 16) Thank you!

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