Chatime is a fantastic little place that has recently opened in Old Compton Street, London. Amid the buzz and spark of the capital and in particular Chinatown, comes a part of Taiwan, offering a delicious and vast menu of over 70, yes 7-0 options of bubble tea.
The name Chatime literally translates to ‘tea time’. Very appropriate, especially in the English capital city where we are so well known for our love of tea :-).
Being a fairly new brand to Asia, Chatime had grown significantly since it’s founding in 2008. In this short space of time, the brand has over 700 stores through it’s franchised growth which looks set to continue at a phenomenal rate. Fans of the tea will be pleased to see that the latest branch in Soho, London provides the healthy menu that has been a large part of it’s success and can be recognised in parts of Thailand, Malaysia, Canada and of course Taiwan.
Oh, this also happens to be the first store to open in Europe. Naturally, my traveller instinct took me there. A part of Asian culture in Europe and better still in Chinatown… why not?
After speaking with the co-owner of the store, Peter Wong, his passion for the business and its success quickly became evident. Being London based, the owners appreciate the culture of the city and respect that with so many different people and cultures, there will obviously be a language barrier at times. Not to worry, Chatime have a solution – every detail has been taken care of. From the staff (most of whom are fluent in at least one other language beyond English), to the training and quality of the product had been carefully planned. Every customer is guaranteed to leave the store happy. If not, well, let them know. The management’s open approach is certain to be a winning trait of loyalty.
Anyway, on to the main factor, the tea!
With a massive selection on offer, you would be forgiven for expecting a rigorous and time consuming wait. Well, it is definitely attentive but with very little wait. Every single ingredient is freshly prepared; depending upon the tea, the water is boiled at different temperatures to respect the vitamins. This ensures that you receive great tasting tea with all the health aspects maintained.
During my visit to the store with a friend, we sampled the Yoghurt flavoured Green Tea with coconut pieces and Passionfruit smoothie. Both were tasty, refreshing and fulfilling at the same time.
As you are able to choose from a range of toppings, we tried the Aloe Vera. This is typically chosen to compliment fruit teas.
We were also lucky enough to sample the Grass Jelly which helps digestion. This had a uniquely delicate flavour but is a very dark shade of green – don’t worry this is how it should be. Personally, we preferred this one but there are so many options that you won’t be stuck for choice.
Out of interest, I enquired about the most popular tea – Pearl Milk tea – which was out of stock… a reflection of its popularity. Peter was able to recommend the Genmaicha fresh tea which could be a hit with busy city-workers. With its stress relieving benefits it makes a welcome alternative to the usual coffee!
Overall, we both decided that we would love to return to Chatime. With so many tastes and combinations available it is inevitable that you will want to try as many variations as possible. Enjoy 🙂
Have you been to Chatime either in the UK or abroad?