By Ling-Mei Wong
Taiwanese franchise Chatime opened shop in Boston this April. The Chinatown space is cozy, with dozens of beverages ranging from black teas, green teas, fruity smoothies and exotic milk “mousse” teas. A second location is planned for Newbury Street.
Classic bubble milk tea ($3.75 regular, large $4.75) features chewy boba, Chatime’s signature black tea and just the right amount of cream. The fresh-brewed tea flavor shines through, without the watered down taste.
The Tieguanyin tea latte ($3.95, large $4.95) has milk at the bottom and Tieguanyin oolong tea floating on top. Servers recommend drinking the milk layer before the tea, then mixing the two together to appreciate the flavors. Apart from being pretty, the full loose-leaf tea flavor is evident, rather than weak powdered tea.
Chatime’s matcha mousse ($4.50, large $5.50) is another layered tea drink, with frothy sweet cream at the top and green matcha tea underneath. The airy cream is similar to steamed milk, with the recommendation to drink the tea through the mousse “head” like beer. This drink is unique to Chatime in the Boston area, with other tea mousse options such as black tea, chocolate and roasted tea.
Lemon QQ ($4.25, large $5.25) is lemonade with chewy coconut jelly and boba. The fruit juice is pleasantly refreshing — sour and sweet for the perfect summer cooler.
The amount of ice and sugar can be customized for each drink, with “half sugar” being plenty sweet without drowning out the tea flavor. Chatime employees undergo strict training to brew tea properly with precise tea measures at exact temperatures — even the fullness of the cup is carefully monitored. This results in consistent flavors, which is refreshing.
Chatime’s operation is relatively new, with experienced trainers mixed in with green employees. While wait times could be shorter, the quality of the drinks makes it well worth the wait.
Follow the Chatime website for specials, such as Mother’s Day promotions and free birthday drinks.
31 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
This post is also available in: Chinese