BUBBLE TEA ANATOMY 101

I've been drinking 'bubble tea' pretty much since I discovered the first Easyway store in Sydney, close to five or six years ago. Along with purikura, they were my teenager indulgences - wandering with a large group of friends down George St was always enhanced by a cup of pearl milk tea or peach black tea. Movies, too
Nowadays, it has become more of an occasional indulgence and I prefer Chatime for its larger variety of flavours. If you're new to the world of bubble tea, it can be intimidating to make custom orders, or to think outside the 'top selling' menu.
Here's my guide to bubble tea toppings (mostly found in the Chatime menu) and some of my favourite orders~ (note: this is a guide formed from personal experience)

  • Pearls: Chewy tapioca balls of awesomeness. Apparently it's an aquired taste? To me, they have their own faintly coffee-like flavour, but they usually take on the taste of whatever drink you ordered. They go with everything (milk and fruit tea) and make your drink last twice as long because you're spending time chewing.

I get pearls with just about everything, but you don't have to

  • Rainbow jelly: Sweet and chewy jelly. Goes well with fruit teas. You will always finish your drink before you finish this jelly.

If you're like me and you need to finish all the toppings in your drink, do not get these if you're about to watch a movie (or wait strategically for the action movie explosions to make those embarrassing slurping sounds as you try to suck the jelly through your straw)

  • Coffee jelly: Often overlooked. Get these with a milk-based tea and watch it change your life
  • Grass jelly: This is an acquired taste. The texture is a little like blocks of slightly firm custard. They have a refreshing, almost 'roasted' taste - not as herbal as you may think. They're great with milk tea, especially roasted milk tea
  • Ice: Normal ice takes up a large portion of your drink, so I usually save it for really hot days. If you're a cheap 'value for money' person like me, I'd recommend 'less ice' - you still get a cool drink, but the ice doesn't take up 1/5 of your cup. Or, if you're truly aiming for max value, ask for no ice. The drink's usually still cool enough!
  • Sugar: I prefer less sugar for all my teas. Chatime people can give you the option of 75% or 50% or 25% sugar, which I appreciate.

PERSONAL CHATIME RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Brown Rice Green Milk Tea with pearls and coffee jelly
  • Grapefruit QQ (QQ = lychee jelly & pearls)
  • Roasted Milk Tea with grass/herbal jelly (& pearls)
  • Jasmine Green Milk Tea with pearls and herbal jelly
  • Matcha Red Bean Milk Tea with pearls

If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!