Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is the best milk tea I've ever had in my life and I found it in Hong Kong. Well it is the best until I try something better. For now it's number 1 in my list. For a long time the best hot milk tea for me was at Cafe de Coral. Now I found an even better one.
The first time I tried it was when I went to Golden Shopping Centre in Sham Shui Po for my usual gadget and computer accessories shopping spree. The small stall was just across the street. It's a good thing they have an English menu.
Gong Cha is a chain from Taiwan with branches in Hong Kong, Singapore and China. There are several Taiwanese tea stores popping all over Hong Kong and a lot of them don't have an English menu.
My first order was milk green tea with bubbles or pearl jelly as they call it. I loved the strong brewed tea but not the sago. The sago was unsweetened and it just made me too full.
Gong Cha milk green tea with pearl jelly $14
The second time I ordered the same thing without the bubbles. They only had one size of drink and that huge glass is 500ml or 17 ounces. It served as my lunch.
Gong Cha milk green tea HK$12 of US$1.50
I was so enamored with their milk tea I looked for a branch nearer to where I lived. I found it in the newly renovated Star House which is right beside Star Ferry and Harbour City.
Gong Cha was tucked away in a small corner on the 3rd floor. Despite their hidden location they were doing brisk business.
Different kinds brewed tea were stored in stainless jugs.
Why is it so good? When you order milk tea they do not shake or stir it.
There are instructions on the lid on how to enjoy the milk tea. These are my own words based on the translation that Google gave me. There was also some matcha green tea powder sprinkled on top.
1. Open the lid and drink, letting the tea pass through the foamy layer.
2. Insert the straw and enjoy the flavor of the tea.
3. Use the straw to stir and enjoy the combined flavor of the tea and milk.
I did all three steps and this is what I discovered. The top layer that floated on the tea wasn't just milk. It was cream! No wonder it was sooooo good. The funny thing was the cream tasted a little salty. Next I drank the tea using the straw. The tea was really strong sweetened brewed green tea and not made with artificial flavoring. When both cream and tea were mixed, the saltiness of the cream balanced the sweet strong tea perfectly creating the best milk tea ever. It was creamy yet the green tea flavor was very evident. This was better than any cold coffee concoction.
I hope someone brings this franchise over to the Philippines. It will surely knock out all the milk tea/bubble tea stores in Manila. The price was also cheaper than the ones in Manila. 500 ml for Hk$12 or only P67. With bubbles or sago it costs P78. The bubble tea I had yesterday was much smaller and cost P125 and the taste was simply inferior to this.
Gong Cha's menu
They had so many other kinds of tea mixtures as well as juice and tea combinations. Next time I go to Hong Kong I will try the milk Alisan tea which is a famous tea in Taiwan.
I haven't been to Star House in a long time and I'm glad I went because I found my favorite bargain store there. This is Japan's Daiso store also called Saizen in Manila.
The store was small but packed to the rafters with all sorts of good buys from houseware to personal effects and lots of things you didn't know you needed.
The new Star City is also now connected to Harbour City. The passage way is right beside Gong Cha on the 3rd floor.
Shop 316A,3/F,Star House, No.3 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
ShopC2, 153-155 Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po
For other branches in Hong Kong click here.
Gong Cha in Manila!