Recently, bubble tea seems to be trending in Copenhagen as we see more of these Taiwanese inspired drink vendors popping up around the city, and folks lining up for a sip of this special drink.
Originated from Taiwan during the 80s, bubble teas have gained its popularity in other parts of the world, especially South East Asia. I remember it was such a huge sensation in the 90s in Hong Kong and now it is part of the native street food culture there.
Almost 20 years later, bubble tea has finally pinned itself on the Copenhagen map.
To make bubble tea, the tea is shaken with ice to form a foamy layer of bubbles (like in a cocktail shaker, but of course nowadays everyone uses a machine). The drink is then typically topped with tapioca ‘pearls’. The quintessentially classic would be milk-tea with tapioca toppings, whose namesake (The literal translation of the most typical bubble tea is Pearl-Milk Tea) is synonym for all bubble teas. Other popular options would be a combination of fruit flavors such as apple, peach, lemon etc, with different types of tea, eg green, oolong, black tea, white tea, topped with different sizes of tapioca pearls.
In Taiwan, you can choose how sweet, and how much ice, and how large the ice cubes, as well as the size of the toppings your bubble tea is or has.
In Denmark, many vendors have localized the taste, adding more locally accepted varieties. For instance, secondary toppings such as coconut jelly, aloe vera, fruit bubbles, konjac are taking central stage in the menu and display. In some locations, vegan options are also available for the health-conscious Scandinavians.
Here is a guide for sampling 5 bubble tea places in Copenhagen
1. Taste of Taiwan
Established in 2012, the bubble tea establishment has 3 shops around Copenhagen. Taste of Taiwan’s menu is to me the closest to what you’d find in Taiwan for you can choose the sugar level by a range of percentage. They have all the classics such as the Milk Tea, as well as a range of specialty teas such as Taiwan Assam Black Tea and Roasted Oolong Tea. For those looking for an authentic sip of Taiwan, this is the place to be.
Løngangstræde 19, 1468 København K, Danmark
Nørrebrogade 38, 2200 København N, Danmark
Vesterbrogade 100, 1620 København, Danmark
2. The Mad Hatter Bubble Tea Emporium
Like the Taste of Taiwan, The Mad Hatter is also an early bubble tea settler in Copenhagen, serving delicious cocktail-like teas in Nørrebro since 2012. Nested by hipster cafes and boutiques, the small bubble tea joint offers a selection of popular flavors, with several seasonal or trending options, such as the Brown Sugar Milk Tea. There, you can only choose 2 level of sweetness, original or halved. However, just like in Hong Kong or Taiwan, you can even get the drinks delivered to you via Just Eat. Grab a cup of coolness in Mad Hatter, and stroll around the street of Elmegade or by the lake like a pro.
Sankt Hans Torv 3, 2200 København N, Danmark
3. Tea:licious Café
With 2 branches in Copenhagen, Tea:licious is a feast to the eyes with their colorful blends. I wouldn’t call their menu conventionally Taiwanese, as they put quite some weight on Frappuccino types such as Dreamy Coffee, Cookies N’Cream and other latte mixes, occasionally topped with cream. A sweet and satisfying cup of tea-licious drink won’t hurt in the Danish summer.
Studiestræde 21, kld., 1455 København K, Danmark
Amagerbrogade 140, 2300 København, Danmark
4. Bubbles CPH
Located on the Enghave end of Istedgade, Bubbles CPH is the latest addition to the bubble tea boom in the city. With buddha statues and Vietnamese straw hats as décor, the place feels more South East Asian than Taiwanese, and is reflected in its menu. Sample Coconut Milk Tea, Thai Cha Yen for some far east flavors, or lychee or pineapple tea topped with jelly or sago for a sip of tropical taste.
Istedgade 136, 1650 København, Danmark
5. Tea Time Bubble Tea
Unlike other a-hole-in-the-wall bubble tea places, Tea Time is a fairly spacious tea house where you can sip and relax, and chit chat with friends. The menu has a limited selection of Taiwanese classics, plus fruit smoothies and latte mix for those who prefer a more international taste.
Fiolstræde 27, kld tv, 1171, 1171 København, Danmark