Tea with a twist came to Chinatown on Thursday 21 May when bubble tea franchise Chatime opened a store in Manchester.
A franchise it may be but there was no corporate feel from owners Nicholas and Eric who were very warm and accommodating despite being run off their feet on a busy first day.
The first store ‘up North’, the official address is 93 Princess Street but the queues from the back entrance that spilled out into the heart of Chinatown suggest this will be the door that will be mostly used.
As well as the sweet jelly ‘toppings’ (they sink to the bottom of the drink) providing a new taste sensation, a visit to Chatime is also an education as we learned the term ‘bubble tea’ isn’t a reference to the tapioca balls but actually to the bubbles that form when the drink is manually shaken during the minute it takes to make.
Chatime isn’t the first bubble tea store in Manchester but it is the only one from Taiwan – where the drink originated – and so they pride themselves on tasting exactly like those produced in the country.
So until a holiday to Taiwan is on the cards, Chatime is shaping up to be a brilliant substitute for authentic Taiwanese bubble tea.