Last updated on June 10th, 2019
Hey guys, if you’re looking for the best bubble tea in London, look no further! I created this list of the best bubble tea stores in London, so you know where and what to try of the best boba tea in London.
None of the places I mentioned sponsored this post and I’m creating it just because good bubble tea is hard to find and I want to help people who like the pearl milk tea as much as I do! You will also learn where to find the famous Tiger Milk Tea in London (or brown sugar tea / Mudflip tea), so keep reading. I will start by testing 15+ different bubble teas from 9 different bubble tea stores in London and in the end, I will reveal my winner!
I haven’t included the Xing Fu Tang London in this list, however, I wrote a separate review of Xing Fu Tang in Chinatown in London here.
Getting used to the authentic bubble tea
I first tried real Taiwanese bubble tea about 3-4 years ago, and I didn’t like it at first. My problem was, I didn’t know what to ask for and didn’t know yet what I would like. So I asked for an extra strong Oolong tea with Tapioka pearls and guess what… I hated it. Many months have passed until I gave bubble tea another chance and fell in love with it. Now I’m lucky to call London home and be able to order delicious authentic Taiwanese bubble teas in London!
Do you like Ramen? Check my guide to the best ramen in London! Or go straight to the guide to the best brunches in our favourite city (London, of course)! I also specialise in Instagrammable locations around the world. Here you can read the London edition of the most Insta-worthy places for 2019!
Without further ado, let’s get started! Let’s taste the major bubble tea shops in London and check which one is the best!
Where to find the best bubble tea in London? (2019 edition). Trying 10 boba teas in London.
Coco Fresh Tea and Juice
The first place that I decided to test is Coco Fresh Tea and Juice. Coco Tea and Juice is one of the biggest bubble tea and juice bar chains that originated in Taiwan. It just turned 22 years old a couple of days ago.
Coco has two bubble tea and juice stores in London and oh, my, they are very crowded. One of the stores is located in China Town, very close to the Les Miserables theatre. That one usually has the largest queue – once I spent 45 minutes there queuing for my favourite bubble tea in the entire London.
When the queue is too big, I head to another Coco Tea and Juice bar located just in front of the British Museum – this one is usually emptier especially when the museum is already closed.
What did I order:
The pearl milk tea with jelly and tapioca.
Did I like it?
I loved it!
Why is Coco Tea and Juice so great? Well, first, not only it is very authentic, and most probably, you’ll be the only non-Asian person in the queue, but also the ingredients and the taste of the drinks is fantastic. I’ve tried 5-6 versions of tea and one juice, and they were terrific. Moreover, they never get my order wrong despite the massive queues and so many people!
On a hot summer day, you can get yourself an ice fruit tea (e.g. peach) or even a smoothie with tapioca pearls and even jelly etc., and on a cold winter day, there’s nothing better than a hot milk tea with some tapioca and coconut jelly!
Coco Tea and Juice bar also serves the famous Tiger Milk tea or brown sugar bubble tea in London, however, in the evenings, it’s always sold out, so head there in the morning, if you want it!
My verdict: go there and try everything! 10/10
Yifang Fruit Tea
104 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5EQ
The second store I decided to test was Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea. Just like Coco Tea and juice bar, Yifang is an authentic Taiwanese place, and it also offers the Tiger milk tea in London at two times on the first come – first serve basis. I recall the times being something like 12 pm and 6 pm, but it makes sense to double check with them, as they could have changed.
I also tried their Brown sugar milk tea (they call it Mudflip Milk Tea), and it’s my favourite Tiger Milk tea in London!
Yifang is located just across the street from Coco in China Town, so in case the queue is too long, you can head there instead.
My verdict: even though the menu is somewhat limited, there are some great teas you can try. I liked Yifang Fruit Tea a lot and would recommend it. 9/10
Woo Tea London
26 Wardour St, London
Woo Tea just opened about 2 months ago and already got pretty popular. Its location just couldn’t be any better. Woo Tea is located in the heart of Chinatown, next to the famous bubble waffle and it always has a queue outside (although not as long as Coco’s queue).
My experience with Woo Tea was hit and miss. I absolutely loved their signature milk tea, but lychee woo tea in the peach resin section was the worst drink in my life (after the fish oil), so be careful if you opt in for some creative options.
The brown sugar milk tea was absolutely amazing, though, however, it’s pretty sweet as well.
T4 (Tea For You)
Another sweet spot for a bubble tea in London is T4. Located in two busiest shopping malls in London, Westfield White City and Stratford, T4 also has massive queues.
What did I try there?
A couple of drinks including a frozen mango juice (it wasn’t a bubble tea. Hence I will not evaluate it in this post, but I can mention that it wasn’t one of my favourite drinks).
I also tried the classic milk tea with tapioca pearls, and I tried a black milk tea with the coffee jelly.
They did mess up my order just once – I asked for no sugar, but my drink had at least 1/2 sugar. But I loved the milk tea with coffee jelly – something I would order again. And it’s great for cold weather, so definitely give it a try.
Summary: not bad and a huge variety of different tastes. It’s a large chain with bubble tea spots all around the world, so they know what they are doing. Also, you don’t need to travel far to try T4 – if you go shopping at Westfield, you can buy the tea on the same day. 7/10
Gonuts boba tea
Holloway Rd (opposite the tube station)
Located just outside the Holloway Road tube station, Gonuts boba tea mostly attracts local students from London Metropolitan University and the student accommodation right in front of it. I was very curious about this place for a while because this is the best-rated bubble tea in London (based on Google reviews).
We must have visited Gonuts on a bad day because a) the entrance door was broken and was making horrifying noises every time somebody tried to open it.
b) They ran out of lids for hot tea, and we received our drinks open – that was so unusual that my brain was confused and couldn’t perceive this tea as all.
c) They messed up my order – instead of a crown tea I got a normal one.
Pepe also got a boba tea – the brown sugar milk tea. To be completely honest with you, it didn’t taste like a typical tiger milk tea, but it didn’t taste bad either.
Summary: So, overall, my experience wasn’t the best with Gonuts, but the tea definitely wasn’t bad. However, I don’t think I will come back. 5/10
I have a love-hate relationship with Cuppacha. Once I got a terrible drink from there – something I couldn’t drink at all, and it had something to do with lychee. I was really upset and tagged them in the stories – they never replied anything. However, a couple of months later they messaged me on Instagram and invited to nominate them as a best “sweet treat” in some competition. LOL
However, for the sake of this post, I decided to give Cuppacha another try. And you know what, it wasn’t bad. This time, I opted for a classic milk tea with tapioca and jelly in warm with no sugar.
My verdict: It was a good tea, and I guess if you stick to basics, you can buy your tea in Cuppacha. Don’t ever ask for that lychee thing though if you don’t want to throw your drink away after one sip. 5/10
While I was buying my bubble tea in Cuppacha, Pepe got to Happy Lemon that is next door. I don’t know how two bubble tea stores survive next to each other, but Cuppacha definitely has more people inside and larger queues. I probably passed Happy Lemon 10 or 15 times, and I have never even seen people inside. Perhaps that is why they introduced Brown Sugar (Tiger Milk tea) like some of the popular bubble tea places in London, and it made it slightly more popular. At least, there were people inside.
My verdict: I didn’t drink the entire tea from there (Pepe did), but I did try a couple of times to make my mind. Again, it wasn’t my favourite tea, but it wasn’t bad either, and it’s way better than many bubble tea shops in London. If you like trying something new – head to Happy Lemon. 6/10
Biju Bubble Tea
Biju positions itself as fresh bubble tea that uses organic milk instead of traditional powder milk that we are used to seeing in bubble teas. I went to the store in Westfield Shepherd Bush, and I would like to share with you my opinion.
My verdict: I asked for a Roiboos milk tea with jelly and well… Apart from the jelly, it was no different from the tea from Pret for 1/2 the price (I paid £5). It didn’t take like a bubble tea AT ALL, but it wasn’t bad. However, if you want just a regular tea, head to Costa, Pret or Starbucks that does nice Teavana tea latte with Roiboos and save some pounds. 4/10 (all the 4 points for the organic milk).
One of the least traditional places to try bubble tea in London is Chatime. It’s also one of the biggest chains (completing with Bubbleology). I’ve been to Chatime twice – once in the store in Soho, another time I tried a tea in Chatime Shoreditch. Once it was a traditional Oolong tea with pearl (cold), the second time it was a peach fruit tea.
Summary: both times I didn’t like my order and couldn’t finish my drink. Perhaps a classic milk tea would be worth trying, but I just gave up after two unsuccessful attempts! 2/10
And the last, but not least of the bubble tea shops in London is Bubbleology. At some point, there was a bubbleology around every corner. Bubbleology also has nothing to do with a traditional Taiwanese bubble tea, and in the queue, you will mostly see locals or tourists. And that’s for a reason. All the tastes are adapted for Europe, and it’s just not an authentic Taiwanese bubble tea at all.
However, at some point, I really liked the coconut milk tea, however, I could only get it right in about 30% of the cases – I was asking no sugar or 10% sugar, but always ended up with AT LEAST 100% sugar in it, as the store assistants just simply disregarded what I asked for.
Bubbleology has some problems with the service – once a store assistant was really rude to us for no reason and refused to sell us tea even though it was 35 minutes before the store was supposed to close. He said that he already cleaned all the store and won’t do it again just to serve us a tea. No comments.
Summary: overall, I had hits and misses in Bubbleology – I’ve tried bubble tea from different Bubbleology stores (South Kensington, Angel, Tottenham Court Road (now closed), Soho and more) and I liked my order in 40% of the cases. 4/10.
I hope you found this post useful and now made your mind, which bubble tea in London to try next! If you were looking for Tiger Milk (Brown Sugar) Tea in London, I told you about four places that serve it, but I’m sure, more will come. Share your favourite bubble tea places in London in the comments below!