News broke out earlier this week that Taiwanese milk tea Chun Cui He is being pulled from the shelves as it contains L-theanine, a non-permitted food additive. It would be months before the addictive gets approved by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority in Singapore. So while we wait for good news *crosses all fingers*, we’ve sourced out 10 alternatives for you to get your milk tea fix.
MATCHAYA’S MATCHA LATTE
While they are known for their Hojicha soft serve, Matchaya actually began as a pop-up selling milk teas! Those who’ve tried their matcha latte say the tea is concentrated and smooth, and the matcha flavour authentic.
Where to buy: #01-72 Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street
CAFE PAL’S CHA YEN
Thanks to its location in Middle Road, this small cafe is usually brimming with students from the nearby art schools. The Cha Yen (Thai milk tea) is a sweet, milky blend that comes with the option of including add-ons like pearls, grass jelly, sago or aloe vera—just like at bubble tea shops!
Where to buy: #01-00, 43 Middle Rd
SOI 55’S THAI GREEN MILK TEA
Miss the slim and stylish Chun Cui He bottles? Soi 55’s Thai milk teas are placed in bottles that are just as lean and chic! The Thai Green Milk Tea is creamy and not too sweet, and there’s a slight bitter tea aftertaste to make the drink not too jelat (an expression to mean feeling overly satiated).
Where to buy: Level 5, The Cathay
BUBBS’ MILK TEA
You might not get a Eureka moment from drinking milk tea through a light bulb-shaped vessel, but hey, at least you get Instagram-worthy pictures. Bubbs’ milk tea range is decent, and you get to select your sugar levels and toppings just like at other bubble tea shops.
Where to buy: #01-06, the Commerze, 1 Irving Place
WOOBBEE’S MILK TEA
If you want to taste the tea in your milk tea, then Woobbee’s version is it. The tea fragrance is strong here (their tea leaves are said to be from Taiwan). Their flavoured milk teas such as Honey and Hazelnut are popular choices too.
Where to buy: #01-18, 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza
HILMI SARABAT STALL’S TEH TARIK
Hilmi Sarabat’s teh tarik is otherwise known as the president’s teh tarik. Legend has it that one of our presidents used to take this frothy milk tea. If it has garnered the approval of the leading man in our country, it has to be good right?
Price: 80 cents
Where to buy: #01-146, Marine Parade Food Centre, 84 Marine Parade Central
NANYANG OLD COFFEE’S TEH C
Creamy milk teas from Taiwan may be all the rage now, but it’s always good to remember your roots. And the old school Teh C from Nanyang Old Coffee lets you do just that. The brew from its Chinatown branch is smooth, aromatic and gives us just the right dose of nostalgia.
Where to buy: 268 South Bridge Road
CHONG WEN GE CAFÉ’S TEH C SPECIAL
This indulgent milk tea version features a Peranakan twist on Teh C Peng (iced milk tea). The secret ingredient? Gula melaka (palm sugar)! Now gula melaka is great with almost anything you add it to, but in this, it’s elevates the humble drink to a modern, complex brew that you can’t stop drinking.
Where to buy: 168 Telok Ayer Street
DAZZLING CAFE PINK’S BRULEE MILK TEA
Toast is usually what this Taiwanese cafe chain is known for, but their brews are pretty special too. They’ve recently opened another branch at Orchard Gateway to add to their Capitol Piazza outlet. Dazzling Cafe Pink has a range of milk teas not served in their original store. The Brulee Milk Tea is a pudding-flavoured fusion milk tea that uses Darjeeling tea as a base and then infused with fresh milk and brulee syrup. Sweet and oh-so-dazzling.
Where to buy: #01-12/13/14 277, Orchard Gateway
KIRIN AFTERNOON MILK TEA
If you’ve been paying attention to the bottled milk tea hype, you would know about Kirin Afternoon Milk Tea, which is often cited as a good alternative to Chun Cui He. This Japanese milk tea is sweet and rich in flavour, although believed to be less creamy than its Taiwanese counterpart.
Where to buy: Isetan supermarkets