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Gong Cha Bubble Tea

April 19, 2013

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So I’m sure a lot of you have tried Bubble Tea before and you probably have some mixed reviews. I know a lot of my friends enjoy the taste of the tea itself but can’t stand the tapioca pearls. It’s the texture that throws them off, says it reminds them of snot. Well, I disagree with you on that one, but I will say that if you go to a not so hot bubble tea store, they might have overcooked their tapioca pearls causing them to feel slimy in your mouth. Gong Cha is NOT that place.

Out of all the places I have tried, Gong Cha is the first bubble tea shop that blew my mind. BWEEEPP BWEEP BWEEEEEE! I feel like they are the Starbucks of bubble tea, and I can say that because I worked at Starbucks. Like Starbucks and brewed coffee, Gong Cha is dedicated to brewing fresh tea for their drinks, writing notes on their vats of delicious tea regarding when they were brewed and if they need to be changed. They allow your to personalize your drink and very importantly, they have a kick ass assembly line that smoothly gets your drink ordered without any mistakes. No matter what Gong Cha I go to, the quality remains the same. Oh, so Starbucksy! :D

We talked briefly in the video about how to order your drink and personalize it, but I think it’s easier to just explain it while looking at the picture we took. This is really the most intimidating part of Gong Cha! I’m going to go through how we order our favourite drink and maybe next time you’re in Korea or at a Gong Cha in another part of the world you can order confidently and let us know if you like our style! Also, the price is great, drinks start at ₩3,900 and go up to ₩5,700 for the special jumbo sized health drinks, and they always give you TONS of bubbles. Other places skimp out on bubbles sometimes. NEVER SKIMP ON BUBBLES!!!

Gongcha How To

How to order the Eatyourkimchi Crew Favourite:

Step 1: Pick your base drink: Black Milk Tea

Step 2: Pick you size: Large

Step 3: Toppings: Pearl

Step 4: Sugar Level: 30%

Step 5: Ice Level: If it’s a warm day we go for 50%, if it’s cooler out, 0% (they still make it with ice, but it melts by the time you get it).

I ordered this Black Milk Tea today as a personal sacrifice for you guise, just to show you this picture. *shifty eyes* When you order at the cash they print out this lovely sticker with all the info for your drink as well as your number (which is on your receipt) and they call it out so that no one else takes your drink by mistake. You show them your receipt when you pick it up, and then they’ll ask if you want the straw in the drink or the straw on the side. We always say yes, but if you’re travelling to somewhere else, say no because you’ll get a perfectly sealed non-leaking drink.

Martina's Tea

Some notes on the ordering process. We’ve tried all the toppings. The herbal jelly isn’t for everyone. It has its own very strong taste so it can be very over powering. We aren’t fond of the white pearl. It’s too tough to chew (apparently it’s made from seaweed) but for those of you that don’t like the soft texture of the pearls, maybe the white pearls are for you. The ai-yu jelly was…interesting…what is that flavour? Anyone? We’ll stick to the original pearl. Maybe the other pearl types are better for different drinks, the the juices and special health drinks?

We aren’t really into sweet drinks, we don’t take sugar in our coffee and we don’t put sugar in our tea. However, we have ordered it without sugar before and it was just too overwhelmingly creamy. They make the black milk tea, not with milk, but with something magical that I don’t want to know about because it’s probably super fatty and unhealthy (SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!! I WON’T LISTEN!!!!) but the little amount of sugar cuts the cream taste. If I order the coffee based drinks, I ask for NO SUGAR. If I get the green tea based drinks, it depends on how I feel, but usually no sugar.

The ice level is super important! No ice will give you more tea, but the ice melts so quickly it leaves you with a room temperature luke warm drink which is neither good nor bad. You gotta get some ice! If you get too much ice, you’re left with either no tea (if you drink quickly) or a watered down version. Blah! However, if we order the House Special drinks, we often go with no ice so that we can get more of the specialness of the tea. That weird cream they put on top is SOOOOO YUMMY! Give me MORRRRRR!!!!

Other EYK Crew favourites:

House Special Green Tea (No sugar, 50% or)
House Special Oolong Tea (No sugar or 30%, no ice)

Honey Milk Tea (50% sugar, 50%)
Toffee Milk Tea (No sugar, 50%)
Toffee Coffee (No sugar, 50%)
Chocolate Milk Tea (No sugar, 50%)

So that’s about it! Let us know if you’ve had Gong Cha and what your likes/dislikes are. We heard Taro Tea is really good but apparently Gong Cha doesn’t make it (or doesn’t make it well). If you haven’t tried Gong Cha, have you tried a different brand? Let’s share the bubble tea love! :D

Also, we have a few deleted scenes and slip ups, and some other Nasties we met along the way in this week’s Blooper Reel. Check it out!

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  1. OMG!!! A Gong Cha place finally opened in NYC! I just found out today -_-. i was telling my parents about it and how u guys put it in ur videos, but they didnt let me go.T^T. watever I’ll go next time and try all the amazing drinks u were talking about. cuz me and my friends are obsessed with bubble tea.

    4 years ago
  2. So… When the caption “Poor Unfortunate Soul” came up at around 25 seconds, did anyone else immediately start singing the song from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid?”

    5 years ago
  3. I loved this video, and I love that SooZee and Leigh are in it too, they’re so purdy (not that you guys aren’t :p). Bubble tea is awesome, the first bubble tea cafe just opened up in my town in the UK, going to give it a try tomorrow!!

    5 years ago
  4. I LOVE BOBA!!!! :)

    5 years ago
  5. Nic

    I always get the Taro Milk Tea with lychee jelly from EasyWay in Sydney. Yay Easyway!

    5 years ago
  6. Bubble Tea. I swear, it’s one of the most beautiful creations. evarrr.
    Martina won on camera. Whooo! (^o^)/
    Simon, your poor face while drinking that milk tea. And then Martina’s. xD Those jellies that you’re spitting out look like marbles. So shiny o-o

    5 years ago
  7. i miss ths FAP and WANK xD hahahaha i my town sell those drinks too!!!! i bought a Taro flavor (betroot´s rise) and taste like cookie oreo… the only don´t like me was the jelly bubble!!!! EYK LOVE YOU!!!!! :D

    5 years ago
  8. so many steps to ordering. usually its just flavor and topping for most places I’ve been to. I love milk tea and almond tea, but not many places know how to actually make good milk tea.

    5 years ago
  9. I just had some coconut bubble tea today :D
    So delicious <3

    Such a coincidence ^^

    5 years ago
  10. I had no idea about this fantastic world of bubble tea!

    5 years ago
  11. my favorite Gong Cha drink is Longan Honey Tea with Aloe Vera! Super refreshing drink that’s awesome for a hot day! :)

    i have friends who actually order their drink with MORE than 100% sugar level – does Gong Cha in Korea actually allow that?

    the most popular bubble tea brand in Singapore is probably Koi, though Gong Cha is still one of the bigger brands.

    5 years ago
  12. Are Soozee and Leigh going to a Draw My Life too?

    5 years ago
  13. I tried bubble tea for the first time in Prague, CZ of all places, hehe. It was very delicious though, I hope it becomes a ‘thing’ here soon. 0.0

    5 years ago
  14. WOW. Martina finally won Kai-Bai-BO!!!

    5 years ago
  15. They have fruity flavors over here in america for bubble tea

    5 years ago
  16. Leigh!!! Unlikely Squiggle!!! I recognize you from your vids!!! So good to see you in vid again!!

    5 years ago
  17. Oppan Soozee Style

    5 years ago
  18. ooohhh~~~ i LOVE bubble tea!!!
    i’ve wanted to try after seeing Shinee have in taiwan and it looked so interesting!!! then i saw it in China Town and got excited and tried it and mmmmmmmmmmmmmm got totally hooked!!!!
    i don’t ave a ‘Gong Cha’ bubble tea place….i have ‘Moo Cha’!! hehe!!

    ahahahahaha Simon like totally STICKS OUT among the crowd!!! (which i already knew…but it’s funny to see!!)
    i am totally gonna buy bubble tea tomorrow!!

    5 years ago
  19. Oh Bubble Tea, you so dericious. I’ve been hooked on it since I was probably 6 or 7 when bubble tea first came to Singapore (Mango flavour ftw!). We don’t have Gong Cha here is Brisbane but we have EasyWay, Chatime, Tea Bar, Just Bubble (They have the egg balls <..> I mean, egg cracklet things you guys talked about in your ‘Nightlife in Hongdae WANK’, but not in the store that I went to ㅠ.ㅠ) and a few others. Some of the good ones I’ve tried are the Green Tea Latte (The name I can’t remember but it’s in the Elizabeth St Arcade), Taiwan Mango QQ from Chatime, and the Red Bean Oat Soymilk (great in winter) from Chatime.

    By the way, the white pearls are made from tapioca starch just like the black ones, only unflavoured. EasyWay’s marketing it as Panda Bubbles (Seungri?) Don’t go dissing the Ai-yu jelly! Some stores call it Fig Jelly and it’s great in the non-milky (or as normal people would call it, regular) bubble teas. Grass Jelly topping great in all of the bubble teas.

    Awesome FAPFAP guys!

    5 years ago
  20. I liked that SooZee and Leigh came with you! It meant we got to see four different choices instead of the usual two when just S&M go. You should bring them along more often :)

    My favorite kind of bubble tea is almond milk tea. It tastes like drinking almond extract (which… is more delicious than it sounds). Does anyone know if Gong Cha has it?

    Also, everyone is saying how pretty SooZee was today, but I thought that Leigh looked really pretty today too! I love her outfit.

    5 years ago
  21. In Perth (Australia) we have a few chains for bubble tea too. for example Utopia(the Starbucks of bubble tea here haha) and another popular chain “easy way”. They have the whole select drink, size, ice and sugar level and topping thing too. We have more choice in toppings though, like lychee jelly, green apple jelly, rainbow jelly etc yeh I find the chewy pearls are an acquired taste. Personally I love it and never choose any other topping :). If they run out I don’t even bother getting other stuff cuz then it’s too sweet for me and plus there’s no awesome chewy bubbleness goodness!

    5 years ago
  22. Omg Soozee is so freakin pretty :o

    5 years ago
  23. bubble tea is freaking awesome i honestly can have that day and night because there are so many choices. recently i am hooked on ice-almond-oolong tea-with grass jelly. =)

    5 years ago
  24. Just found out there is a bubble tea shop in Liverpool FOR ONCE I CAN GO AND TRY SOMETHING I HAVE SEEN ON THIS!!! So awesome :D

    5 years ago
  25. Ian

    Also, sorry for the double post: Taro tea is AMAZING! I think if you guys get the chance to try it you totally should! My girlfriend gets Taro w/ tapioca pearls and I get Taro w/ lychee jelly. Honestly I cannot live without that flavour and I’m afraid to try any other ones because I get bubble tea rarely enough as it is! >_< I'd explain that Taro tastes kind of like vanilla? I really can't put an explanation to it without saying it tastes like what purple would taste like. Literally. It tastes like what purple should taste like! Give it a try sometime, I definitely suggest it! :)

    5 years ago
  26. So glad to see the whole EYK family there! It’s twice as hilarious! And you’re all so NAAASTY! (It lacks a bit of bubble pop dancing, though ^^)

    I had no clue about bubble tea before coming to South Africa… No idea whether it exists in France…

    5 years ago
  27. I once drank Milk Tea.. and I used to like milk tea but not anymore… I prefer the jasmin tea. I dislike the popping so I always get the jelly except when I order a hot drink. Recently they changed the plastic that covers the cups, it used to be Hello Kitty with animal costumes and I started to collect the cute ones.

    Question: do they also sell other bubble drinks? The shop in my country (Netherlands) is called YoYo, they have the juicy drink, the yoghurt drink and the milkshake.

    5 years ago
  28. Ian

    What is this madness!? Was any one else really surprised that Martina won kai bai bo first? o_o;

    5 years ago
    • I was! I was like Leigh and Martina will be last and then Martina wins and Leigh and SooZee kick Simon’s butt! XD

      5 years ago
  29. @simonandmartina:disqus and Soo Zee and Leigh thanks for this awesome GongCha review. We have Gong Cha in the Philippines as well and many other bubble tea/milk tea/taro tea variations. I couldnt help but laugh at those wind-blowing-the-hair-while-drinking-bubble-tea shots. So funny!

    5 years ago
  30. As a Taiwanese, I have to say… BUBBLE TEA IS AWSOME!!!!!!!!
    personal favorite:bubble green tea, 30% sugar , no ice
    And we can get a cup of jumbo size bubble green tea only cost about ₩950…

    Please come to Taiwan and you can get a lot of cheap but delicious food!!
    FAPFAP in Taiwan must be sooooo great!!!

    p.s. maybe you guys can try Lemon Juice w Ai-Yu Jelly. It’s perfectly matched!!

    5 years ago
  31. :O I’ve had bubble tea before in Berlin. But I haven’t seen it in the Netherlands yet or in Germany near the border of the Netherlands. But I didn’t like the bubble tea I tried that time. But chai tea latte is my favorite tea of the year ^_^

    5 years ago
  32. I will never never ever going to buy tea! I don’t like tea! But it looks like you guys were having fun except for Simon who felt cheated, but nevertheless thanks for drinking strange stuff for science

    5 years ago
  33. This is awesome with Leigh and SooZee, and omg, SooZee is so photogenic. And Leigh is so funny, haha with “are we done yet, i want to tried my tea.” haha

    I love the one in Taiwan *even though I’m back in the USA* where Gongguan located with a giant cow in the front. It is so good, and it literally melt in your mouth. In the USA, the pearl milk tea isn’t as good as it is in Asia, I think it is due to the milk being different. The tea is the same. I cannot wait until I go back to Asia to get some Gong Cha now ^^

    Never knew about Taro, but I’ve heard about it, so I’ll tried it later on.

    5 years ago
  34. Emi

    Okay, so I have been dying to try Bubble Tea for a while now but I don’t know where to start. See, the problem is that I live in Sweden and the Bubble Tea craze doesn’t seem to have made it here. At least not in any big way. Is there a Swedish nasty out there who is more experienced and can point me in the right direction? (or maybe I have to do some traveling D: I hear it at least made it to Germany years ago)

    5 years ago
  35. I.LOVE.TARO.BUBBLE.TEA. <33333

    I'm sorry, I just had to get that out there ^^ So far I've only tried chai, mango, and taro (taro is the besttt esp hot taro bubble tea) but I really want to try honeydew cause I've heard that one is delicious :D

    5 years ago
  36. First thing’s first.
    SooZee. I love you. Moar sexy hair flipping please XDDD

    Gong Cha is okay… But too bad there’s no ChaTime in South Korea. That place is the shiznit (it’s from Taiwan, and I think Gong Cha is too). Everything is good at ChaTime tho, even the taro XD
    Happy Lemon is also fricking delicious, but I’m pretty sure it’s only in the Philippines. If you ever come here and go to Happy Lemon tho, I recommend getting the Cocoa-Cheese-Rock Salt drink. It is to die for!!! It has that same “cream cheese” stuff that Martina had in her drink. It’s not supposed to be mixed supposedly, but I mix it and it’s wonderful ^^
    I usually like getting yogurt drinks tho when going out for bubble tea. And I actually like the herbal jelly. All of the jelly really. I’ve yet to try one I don’t like. hehe But there are times when it doesn’t match the drink so gotta be careful of that xp
    Also, those Jelly things you and Martina hate, I think that’s Nata de Coco and my mom loves that shiz, and I like it sometimes in milk teas. It’s basically fermented coconut water xp
    Lastly, I also dislike Wintermelon tea greatly .___.

    5 years ago
    • I was just going to comment the same thing – if you like a strong tea flavour in your pearl milk tea, Happy Lemon is the best for this. Their other drinks are also to die for. I think Martina / Leigh would also like the rock salt cream cheese with green tea, (and Soozee the coffee with rock salt and cream cheese) but I have to say their pearl milk tea sets the standard across all chains available in Sydney for me :) And we have a decent range of bubble tea available here at the moment, including Gong Cha.

      – Oh and they have mini-pearls for their pearl milk tea which I love (easier to eat than standard size)

      5 years ago
    • I saw a Happy Lemon in one of those big department stores in Beijing, China. I did not buy anything though, missed opportunity ;____:

      5 years ago
      • Aww man that’s too bad .__. TBH, I’ve never ordered anything but the drink I said, but every time I go to a Happy Lemon, it’s pretty full, so I guess their other stuff is good too ^^

        5 years ago
  37. Havent had bubble tea in so long ; A ; waaaannntt

    haha martina trying to steal the tea at the end, u so nasty

    5 years ago
  38. OMG WAS MARTINA SITTING ON SIMON’S LAP? <3<3 <3 You guys are so cute.

    5 years ago
  39. These must be the nastiest food porn (drink porn?) shots ever!
    I’ve seen different bubble tea places emerging here and there but never tried one… I think I’m gonna give it a try.

    5 years ago
  40. It’s called bubble tea over there?! In NorCal we call it PMT (pearl milk tea) but in SoCal it’s called boba, so interesting!

    5 years ago