Last updated on August 19th, 2019
Hi, fellow bubble tea lovers! A couple of weeks ago, I returned from a press trip to Manchester, where I was on a mission to discover some unique and hip things to do as well as create a list of the most Instagrammable places. However, I also had a small personal mission – find out what’s the best bubble tea in Manchester and finally try Gong Cha!
I did my research and found out that there are many boba tea stores that exist also in London, where I live – e.g. Chatime, Bubbleology or Happy Lemon. Then there is ICFT – I Come From Taiwan, which is an independent bubble tea store unique to Manchester. And finally, there was Gong Cha – an international giant, that entered Manchester pearl milk tea market a couple of months ago.
Having visited most of the common bubble tea stores in London and having written a blog post about the best bubble tea in London – testing 10 different boba tea stores, I wasn’t interested in trying boba tea from the chains that are also present in London. This time, I wanted to try Gong Cha in Manchester and yes, it was worth it (spoiler alert).
Gong Cha Manchester – The first Gong Cha store in Europe
Before opening a store in Manchester, Gong Cha didn’t have any stores in the UK, even though it existed in Taiwan since 2006. However, it did have bubble tea shops pretty much everywhere in Asia and North America. So Gong Cha opening its first store in Europe was a big thing. Since the bubble tea market is insanely competitive in London and new stores open every 3 months, I think, Gong Cha decided to go for perhaps a smaller, but still a very promising market of Manchester.
And it worked! On the opening week, the queues to Gong Cha were enormous (allegedly, people stayed in the queue for over an hour).
Gong Cha Manchester Menu
Now the interesting part – the menu of boba drinks in Gong Cha is quite extensive. There are a lot of speciality drinks featured on the TV screens, but I wish they had more explanation about the drink itself.
The regular menu includes different series of drinks, such as: Signature Series, Brewed Tea Series, Milk Tea Series, Fresh Milk Series, Creative Mix Series, Coffee Series and Smoothie Series.
So there’s literally everything you could wish for. Here’s the photo of the menu:
The most popular drink is the brown sugar milk tea called “Dirtea” and also the Fresh Milk Brown Sugar Pearl.
The cheapest tea on the menu is just £3.3, while the most expensive drink is £5 (a coffee), but potentially could go up higher with some extra toppings like milk foam, pearl, different jellies, red bean, oreo and basil seeds.
Gong Cha Manchester review – is it the best boba tea in Manchester?
To summarise, I really enjoyed Gong Cha Manchester and I really liked the long menu, even though it was quite confusing at first. Is Gong Cha the best bubble tea in Manchester? I would say yes. The restaurant is large and pretty, there’s room for sitting, the service was good and of, course, the bubble tea was good. I only tried one boba tea from Gong Cha, so I can’t say much about other teas apart from Dirtea that I liked. However, Dirtea was too sweet, as you can’t regulate the level of sugar in the speciality drinks. That, however, is normal in all the bubble tea spots.
Is Gong Cha now my favourite bubble tea store in the UK?
Unfortunately, no, Gong Cha didn’t make it to the top. My absolute favourite bubble tea is Coco Tea and Juice in London (check my review here) and Xing Fu Tang in London as well (check my review). On the place 3, there is this store from Nottingham (it’s mentioned in the middle of the post).
What about you? What’s your favourite bubble tea in Manchester? Share it with me in the comments!