Bubbleology: the theory of tea-volution

(picture from Bubbleology’s website)

When my friend first suggested to meet to drink bubbletea in Soho, I imagined a drink tasting of marsh mellows or chewing gums.  I admit: I wasn’t feeling too excited about it. As we walked to the shop, we saw a long queue of people waiting outside or meeting in front of the shop. Interesting. The shop didn’t look like a coffee shop or a tea shop at all: rather, like a chemist’s lab. And there we were: right in the middle of Bubbleology! A new theory of Tea-volution!

(picture taken by me in the London Soho shop)

The queue was long, we had to make our order. But what were we supposed to order?? It took me a while to understand how it works, as I read through the ‘lab instructions’ on the wall above the counter. So, first you choose if you want a milky or a fruity tea, then you decide the size, and if you want to add something or mix more than one flavour. Confusing. I went for Coconut Regular Bubbletea. Would it be hot or cold? No idea! Turns out you can have it both ways but if you don’t ask they will make you a cold one. I got my ‘Regular’ that looked much bigger than normal, was given a huge straw and on the bottom of my drink I could see…BUBBLES!

As I drank it, I couldn’t figure out what I thought about it. First reaction: weird! Second reaction: it takes like milkshake but much lighter! Final reaction: WOW!

OK, apparently I’m slow at finding out new trends because apparently a lot of people have tried Bubbletea before in Soho in the Chinese shops or Taiwanese shops. Yet I was still puzzled by the bubbles which I could eat through my straw and were really chewy and some of them would burst releasing fruitjuice! Amazing! I felt like a kid! I was not able to finish my drink as it was way too big and probably too cold. While we were wondering what the bubbles were made of, a young-looking man sitting next to us working on his PC spoke to us and explained that the bubbles were made from potato starch! We were surprised about his knowledge on the subject, and he turned out to be the owner and founder of the shop – Assad Khan – a UK businessman, who was fed up of working for a bank in New York and came up with this great business idea. He’s opened two shops in London so far, one in Soho and the other in Knightsbridge and he’s about to open at least 3 by the end of 2011 (so he told us).

If you want to read more about Bubbleology:



Want to listen to some new music while sipping your bubbletea? Try listening to Luca DG, a friend of mine with whom I tried Bubbletea! He’s an emerging Italian singer living in London – amazing voice! 😉


15 thoughts on “Bubbleology: the theory of tea-volution

  1. “Bubbletea” – sounds kinda bizarre. Also sounds suspiciously like the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee houses throughout the States – a fancy way to make fancy coffee to help separate consumers from their money. 😀
    It does sound intriguing, though. Haven’t heard of this here in the States, but then again, I live so far out in the middle of nowhere, I think radio is considered a cutting-edge technology! (And yes, the auto does not hold sway here, we still have plenty of horses and buggies – though they are the mode of transport for our rather large Amish community.)

    • Apparently bubbletea is everywhere in the U.S. but it is originally from Thailand.
      Maybe they sell it in big cities and not in the ‘middle of nowhere’. I guess you can live without it! 😉

      • You doubt my “middle of nowhere” quote? 🙂 Get a map of the state of Ohio. Draw a line, at about a 70-75 degree angle, east from Columbus. Draw a second line due north from Zanesville, if you can find it. (Yes, as in Zane grey, the US author of Western (cowboy) stories.) Where the lines meet is pretty close to where I’m at. Our town has no businesses, one post office which is 1/3 of an apartment building, and two churches. I’d refer to it as “a one horse town”, but the closest we come is my goat buddy, Blackjack! 😀

  2. When you make tea with milk or cream, do you pour the tea into the milk/cream or the other way round, i.e. pour the cream/milk into the tea? This is the science of making tea. In Malaysia. we have “teh-tarik” which I like it hot, very hot. By the way your website banner shows a picture of the stone steps (tangga batu), the traditional decorated steps to the traditional Malay house in Melaka.

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