10 Foamy Milk Tea & Macchiato Drinks In Singapore, That Make You Go “Jin Ho”
With the exit of Gong Cha from the Singapore market, and the entry of home-grown brand LiHo with its cheese toppings, foamed milk tea appears to be the next big thing for beverages.
Foamed drinks, also known as “macchiato” or 奶盖 (nai gai) in many bubble tea shops, have been around for years, but become more trendy of late.
From milk tea, coffee, to even Thai milk tea, the smooth and fluffy foamed topping may add more creamy texture, joy and of course calories to the existing drinks.
Here are 10 Foamed Milk Tea that make you go “Calories!” and “Jin Ho” – that means “very good”
“Goodbye Gong Cha, hello LiHO”, Singaporean’s worst nightmare when they woke up in shock one day, realising that all 80 outlets islandwide had disappeared overnight. The main papers were publishing a LiHo / Gong Cha news or video almost every day, we would have thought something catastrophic happened.
Oh well, instead of Gong Cha’s “nai-gai” series, what we get is the Cheese Tea, said to contain Dutch gouda cheese, with a touch of saltiness and creaminess.
You can choose to first sip a mouthful of the cheese then have a sip of the drink, or mix it all up.
Some welcomed the change, many thought it was just short-lived hype.
KOI Thé Singapore
Blk 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh HDB Hub #01-23 Singapore 310490
Tel: +65 6256 1169
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (till sold out)
Known as 50嵐 in Taiwan and re-branded as KOI when it expanded to other countries, Koi Thé Singapore has remained as bubble tea market leader here.
The recent launch of the Matcha drink series, with Matcha Macchiato and Matcha Latte ($4.10 Medium/ $5.70 Large) made from matcha powder specially imported from Japan, turned fans in Toa Payoh into a frenzy for a couple of days.
This adds to their current series of Macchiato drinks such as: Black Tea/ Green Tea Macchiato ($2.80 Medium/ $3.90 Large), Peach and Ovaltine Macchiato ($4.10 Medium/ $5.70 Large).
While the service crew highly recommended 70% as the ideal sugar level, I felt that 25% could have been a better choice with less sweetness, and more distinct green tea notes.
Cha Tra Mue
120 Maxwell Road, Tanjong Pagar Xchange, #B1-35
Opening Hours: 8.15am – 6.30pm (Mon-Fri), 11am – 4pm (Sat), Closed Sun
What? Even Thai Milk Teas have foam?
Exclusive to Cha Tra Mue’s Tanjong Pagar branch, Cha Tra Mue (formerly known as Number One brand) is the original Thai Tea in Thailand since 1945 with their iconic white cup and red bottle cap.
Milk Foam is available at an additional $1 for their cold drinks such as Original Thai Tea ($3), Thai Milk Tea Extra Gold ($3.20) and Thai Milk Green Tea ($3).
The milk foam was smooth and fluffy, with a hint of sea salt flavour, and would suit those who prefer a milkier and creamier Cha Yen.
(For those who want to take some ‘instagrammable’ shots, take note that the cup is not transparent, so doesn’t matter if there is foam inside or not.)
Yuzu foam?! Looks like foam drinks have gone international, from local cheese milk tea to Taiwanese milk tea, Thai milk tea and now, Japanese whisked matcha.
Hvala Singapore previously known for their Waffles and Puffle “Egglets”, have revamped their menu to include several matcha items such as Soft serve ($5.20 Cup/ $5.70 Cone), Latte ($5.20-5.50), Ice Blend ($5.20-5.60) and Creama aka foamed drinks ($5.30-6.30).
The Yuzu foam is available at an additional $0.50, with 3 different drinks to choose from: Uji Matcha, Nishio Matcha or Yuzu.
Oishii! The Nishio Matcha was my personal favourite, more intense, more umami-ness with tinge of seaweed in it.
The Centrepoint #01-01/06 and #01-102/103, 176 Orchard Road, Singapore 238843
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 10pm (Mon-Sun)
Fans of the Korean series Descendants Of The Sun should be familiar with the dal.komm coffee chain, where the D.O.T.S characters were seen trashing their hearts out in the café during iconic scenes.
The newest addition of Cream Kiss series ($8.50) left a layer of white stuff (I mean the foam) on the lips while I attempted to drink it.
What you get include Matcha milk or chocolate milk with strawberry foam; latte with caramel foam. Not sure if Captain Yoo would approve.
Yuan Cha 源茶
Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, #01-39
Opening Hours: 11am – 9.30pm (Mon-Sun)
Fans of Gong Cha may find that Yuan Cha 源茶 with distinct tea taste is here to save the day, as this brand uses higher quality tea leaves in their brew.
Believing in the pursuit of quality from “farm to cup” by sourcing from the best tea plantations in Asia and the brewing method, Yuan Cha offers hot Premium Tea ($5.00 – $7.50), Basic Tea ($2.20 – $2.50 Medium/ $3.20 – $3.60 Large), Osmanthus Series ($3.60-3.90 Medium/ $4.80 – 5.10 Large).
For the toppings (sorry no pearls here), “Snow” aka milk foam ($1), Yam balls ($0.80), Herbal/ Coconut Jelly ($0.60), AiYu and Konjac ($0.60) are available.
51 Hougang Avenue 9, #01-03, Ci Yuan Community Centre, 538776
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Wed-Mon), Closed Tue
Bubble tea in a cafe? The outlet at Ci Yuan Community Centre for SOD Cafe offers a glass of refreshing Double Froth Rosey (5.50) that comes with rose-flavoured soda with strawberry pearls that burst in the mouth.
When the frothed milk mixed with the rose soda, this reminded me of a glass of fizzy Bandung.
[Closed] Cocorica Plus
Tanjong Pagar Centre, 7 Wallich Street #B2-24 Singapore 078884 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 9171 1114
The first things you would notice about Cocorica Plus’s drinks are its larger-than-usual cup sizes, and cardboard holder with a handle.
The reason is to reduce thermal convection, so as to keep the drinks cool. There would also be more ice cubes to maintain that temperate, thus the big cups.
Can’t decide between chocolate and coffee? Get the Cocorica signature drink ($2.80, $3.80) which is a blend of Dark Cocoa and Liberica Coffee, topped with a thick layer of milk.
[Updated: Opps, Cocorica just ended operations in Singapore a few days ago!]
Dhoby Ghaut MRT #B2-06 (right next to entrance/exit to Plaza Singapura)
Tel: +65 68359891
A-Gan Tea from Taiwan uses specially selected tea leaves from the high mountains of Alishan, to brew its wide range of green teas, fruit teas and herbal teas.
When I asked the server what happened to the other branches, he mentioned only the Dhoby Ghaut outlet was left.
Their Milk Lid Green Tea ($2.70, $3.80) and Milk Lid Matcha Tea ($3.80, $5.10) are one of my favourite versions, because the tea fragrance happened to be one of the strongest (after drinking so many cups).
I would personally recommend very low or zero percent sugar as the foam would have some sweetness to it.
[email protected] Square #01-07, 238 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307683
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Chatime (日出茶太) is a Taiwanese global franchise teahouse chain based in Taiwan. Quite popular elsewhere, though there seems to be only 2 branches – Novena Square and Downtown East in Singapore.
They have introduced “Creamy Vanilla Mousse” series, with offerings of Matcha Mousse, Black Tea Mousse, Green Tea Mousse, Chocolate Mousse, Peach Mousse ($2.90 – $3.90 for regular, $4.00 – $5.00 for large).
I personally found the cup slightly too sweet, even though I requested for “no sugar”, perhaps due to the addition of rich, creamy vanilla foam.
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