20 June 2011

Bubbleology, London – Review

I'm a relative newcomer to the delights of bubble tea, having only first tasted it last year. However, I love the stuff and I've certainly been making up for lost time. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980's and is essentially tea that contains large tapioca pearls. The sweet tea is served with a wide straw that allows you to suck up the moreish gelatinous pearls – a sort of drink/snack hybrid. Typically bubble tea is served cold, but you can also have it hot too.

Bubbleology is the brainchild of Assad Khan, an ex-banker, who on returning to London from New York wanted to recreate the bubble tea experience he had sampled over there. Khan quit the day job and opened Bubbleology in London's Soho in April 2011. The small café is playfully designed to look like some sort of laboratory, with staff wearing lab coats and large glass flasks containing brightly coloured liquids bubbling away by the window.
The combinations of teas on offer at Bubbleology are chalked up on a blackboard and seem almost endless. You choose from either eight milk tea or seven fruit tea bases, to which either taro or strawberry tapioca pearls are added. You can then customise the drink further by adding from eight different flavoured jellies.
I went for the original classic bubble tea of sweetened Assam tea, milk, and taro tapioca pearls (regular: £3.25, large: £3.75). I pierced the lid with the fat straw and took a taste. I challenge anyone to drink bubble tea without smiling – it's just so much fun! Sweet milky tea and chewy gooey tapioca pearls – an odd, but addictive combination.
I have no idea whether this was a good example of bubble tea or not as I don't have much experience with the drink, but it certainly seemed authentic enough. I can say, though, that what I was served was delicious – bubbleicious in fact – and I'll definitely come back to try and work my way through more of the myriad of flavours they have on offer.

49 Rupert Street
London W1D 7PF
+44 (0)20 7494 4231
Bubbleology on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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