Bubble tea and fruit tea fans have to get ready for not just one, but two big brands arriving to Singapore.
TaiGai 台盖 has opened its first outlet at NEX Serangoon (basement 2 opposite BreadTalk and Toast Box); while Nayuki 奈雪の茶 known for its fresh-fruit blended premium teas and soft-euro bakes café concept will come later in the year.
Established in Shenzhen, TaiGai is a popular tea specialty brand in China with over 60 stores across the country, and is especially appealing to the youths. This is despite a competitive landscape where many international beverage chains are also aiming for a piece of the pie.
This NEX outlet in Singapore is its first overseas store.
I am sure you have noticed the resurgence of bubble and fruit tea shops, and may be wondering, “What’s the difference between TaiGai and the rest?”
TaiGai is the original creator behind the “Fruity Milky Kiss” – fruit-blended milk cheese crowns.
Essentially, they are drinks topped with milk cheese foam that has been blended with fruits, which add that natural sweetness as you take sips especially from the top layer.
So perhaps you can also guess the origin of its name “TaiGai”, in which “Tai 台” pays homage to Taiwan where bubble tea originally came from; and “Gai 盖” which means “cover” refers to its signature milk cheese crowns.
Other than the Fruity Milky Kiss, I need to highlight the “Beary Cute” that comes with an adorable bear-ear lid (and I will have some Instagram tips for you towards the end of the post).
Here are some of the TaiGai 台盖 Singapore recommended drinks:
Pulpy Strawberry Kiss 满满草莓 ($6.80)
The first brand to develop the fruit-blended milk cheese crowns, with a balanced milk-cheese to fruit ratio so that it doesn’t get too jelak (rich).
The “crowns” also differ depending on the drinks offered, to best complement the taste profile.
There are varying ways people take their cheese drinks, but I would recommend first taking a sip from the opening at the top; then pop off a part of the lid and drink from the side of the cup.
This way, you can first taste the blended crown with a touch of fruit-sweetness, and creamy-savouriness from the cheese.
When you drink from the side, you can experience those two layers – the crown followed by the fruit-blended tea.
The most popular “Signature Fruity Milky Kiss” type is the Pulpy Strawberry Kiss, which is both a refreshing and luxurious treat. (Just check out the amount of strawberries that go into the drink.)
Other than a good anti-oxidant boost, I can imagine why people would like this drink, as it had a mix of both fresh sweetness and slight-sourness from the strawberries, along with fragrance of the tea.
Pulpy Pineapple Kiss 满满凤梨 ($6.20)
Also a part of the “Signature Fruity Milky Kiss” series, the Pulpy Pineapple Kiss is probably my favourite of the lot.
Perhaps it was because I first imagined it to have that canned-pineapple taste which might have been overly sweet, but it was anything but that.
In the hot Singapore weather, this felt like a sweet and juicy tropical summertime blend, that is both fresh and zesty.
Pulpy Black Grape Kiss 满满黑葡萄 ($6.20)
This reminded me of a grape smoothie, especially when you mix the crown and blend up towards the end. Vitamin-rich, tasty and tangy.
Milky Kiss Alisan Oolong Tea 芝士阿里山乌龙 ($4.50)
For the tea lovers, Tai Gai offers both the “Pure Tea” versions, and “Pure Tea Milky Kiss” series series topped with milk cheese crown.
What you can expect include Jasmine Green Tea 茉莉绿芽, Sun Moon Lake Black Tea 日月潭红茶 , Alisan Oolong 阿里山乌龙, and Baby Cicada Oolong 小蝉乌龙.
I would generally recommend the Alisan Oolong Tea – known for its outstanding aroma and flavour. The golden-coloured tea was smooth with only subtle bitterness.
The teas make a good everyday-treat after meals.
Fresh Premium Orange Burst 满满特级橙子 ($5.90)
Fruit Teas have gained momentum in Singapore, great as a thirst-quencher with slices of fresh fruits within.
In TaiGai’s “Fresh Fruit Tea” 鲜果茶 category, there are offerings of Fresh Lemon Burst (Black Tea) 鲜果柠檬红茶 （红茶）, Fresh Golden Kumquat Burst 鲜果金桔柠檬, Fresh Premium Orange Burst 满满特级橙子 , Kiwi-Nata de Coco Burst 满满奇异椰果茶 and Fresh Green Lemon Burst (Green Tea) 鲜果绿柠檬 （绿茶）.
The recommended drink is the Fresh Premium Orange Burst, in which the fruits are freshly sliced (via a machine), which helps retain the natural fragrance and sweetness.
The calming orange and cooling tea makes it the delightful drink for the afternoon.
Beary Co Co 可可熊 ($4.90)
This will probably be a favourite with the young, of chocolate sauce lining the cup, added with pearls, fresh milk and cocoa powder for that beloved chocolatey flavour.
Beary Creative 混混熊 (From $4.50)
A milk tea drink with choice of pearls, nata de coco, or red bean.
Instead of the usual black boba pearls, TaiGai offers translucent golden-yellow tapioca pearls with their milk tea. These pearls are somewhat smaller with a springier bite.
A special feature of the drink is the “Beary Cute” cup with the bear-ear lid. Here are 2 instagram tips for you:
Firstly, you can shine the light from the top of the cup, and a face of the bear will be cast on the drink. Order the Beary Co Co, and you would get a lovable brownish bear.
Next, angle the light source and shine on the cup; then move your phone left and right and you would get a dancing bear. Best for your boomerangs.
On launch week, the Beary Cute series will be sold as an Opening Exclusive with 2 flavours (Beary Co Co and Beary Creative), while stocks last.
TaiGai Opening Exclusive – Beary Cute Series for a Beary limited time only
Beary Co Co (Fresh Milk + Chocolate Sauce + Cocoa Powder + Pearls at $4.90)
Beary Creative (Milk Tea + any 1 add-ons (choice of pearls, nata de coco and red bean) at $4.50, add $0.80 per extra add-ons)
Period: From 5 Sep, while stocks lasts (estimated 1 – 2 weeks)
It is understood they have different creative flavours such as Brown Sugar and Mango Coconut for this range in China which Singapore will also consider bringing in subsequently.
TaiGai @ NEX
NEX Serangoon, #B2-34, Singapore 556083 (Opposite BreadTalk)
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with TaiGai Singapore.