Wanting to know where you can find the best boba in Melbourne? We’ve got a tea-ser of the tastiest bubble tea shops!
Bubble tea (or boba), with its distinctive tapioca pearls and fanciful flavours, has become a global sugary sensation. Hailing from the humble streets of Taiwan in the late 80s, today bubble tea stores dot the streets of every city from New York to New Delhi. In Melbourne, snake-like queues form outside the newest bubble tea shop, becoming as much a feature of the city as trams and coffee shops.
But, with new bubble tea stores setting up shop almost weekly, each experimenting with the tried-and-true bubble tea formula, it can be a choice overload. New flavours like panna cotta, salted egg and charcoal bamboo only make it harder for even bubble tea enthusiasts.
This list will cut through the clutter and give you only the very best that Melbourne’s bubble tea scene has to offer. So go and slurp down the top 10 bubble tea shops in Melbourne of 2021!
Better yet, if you’re looking to make bubble tea at home, try a Bubble Tea Club kit – home delivered and available in a variety of great tea flavours!
Naröcha Premium Tea Room
With cosy locations on Therry Stand and La Trobe Street, Naröcha is one of the best hidden delights in Melbourne. The Premium Tea Room stands out for its blend of traditional Japanese tea with a kaleidoscopic range of flavours. Teas such as Oreo Milk Tea with Matcha Pudding and Butterfly Lemonade Tea push our conception of what a bubble tea can taste like. Of note is Naröcha’s cheese teas, offering a mix of strong tea with gooey cheese. Narocha even offers a take-home DIY Bubble Tea kit to help you make delicious tea right from your kitchen.
Powdered milk, with its long shelf life and easy storage, make for the preferred alternative for most bubble tea shops. Milksha wanted to do something different. A chain originally from Taiwan, Milksha prides itself on its use of real milk. The Elizabeth Street bubble tea shop even includes cute cow street art to sell you on the importance of the bovine. And you can taste the difference! The use of real milk results in a tea that is smoother and richer than their powdery counterparts. For those in the mood for a heaping of dairy, udder no circumstances can you miss Milksha.
Xing Fu Tang
Xing Fu Tang sells only a few drinks, but it does it to perfection. Their brown sugar milk tea is a captivating mix of hot and cold, boba pearls and a decadent tea flavour. The top layer of cinnamon is singed, with the option to add an adorable panna cotta bunny to sit on top of your drink. This is the best brown sugar tea you are likely to find in Melbourne, and among the best bubble tea establishments. And with the launch of their bubble tea meal kits, you’re able to enjoy that great taste from home.
A bubble tea place for the Instagram era, Instea has captivated the hearts of bubble tea fans since it was first set up in Malaysia. Bubble tea filled in small perfume bottles, an upstairs balcony brimming with foliage and a wellness centre aesthetic all make this the perfect spot to take snaps in-between slurps. The main attraction is their signature perfume drinks, one of the most luxurious bubble teas on the market. The fruity flavours of their Galaxy tea oozes into your mouth, sending your taste buds soaring across the stars.
While many new bubble tea shops have opened in the last few years, vegans and non-milk drinkers have been largely left out. That changed with the launch of NUTTEA. Billing itself as Australia’s first vegan bubble tea shop, NUTTEA offers those curious enough a truly one-of-a-kind tea. Using non-dairy mylks and rich teas would be enough to get a mention. But, what elevates NUTTEA into the upper echelons of tea-dom is their Nut Cream – a blend of hazelnuts, pistachios and a few others – that will make even dairy lovers swoon.
True to its name, King Tea offers a royally good tea for anyone’s taste buds. Home to some of the best bubble tea in Melbourne, this shop is found in a narrow store on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Street. Since their opening, King Tea has built a reputation for their delicious cream cheese beverages that toe the line between sweet and savoury. For those not eager to try cheese, King Tea’s fruit teas are also an easy recommendation, with great tasting tea accentuated by the spritely refreshing taste of fruit.
Top Tea expands what the best bubble teas can be, with some of the most complex and varied flavours in Melbourne. Doubling as a bakery, the Swanston Street tea shop has become a staple of the burgeoning bubble tea scene. Their teas are reminiscent of baroque artwork – overwhelming and beautiful. With drinks like Baked Cheese Mono Milk Tea, you’ll be able to taste chunky pearls, a thick layer of cheese and crunchy creme brulee. That cascade of flavours means every sip is a new flavour for your tongue to enjoy.
YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea
YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea truly shines with their namesake fruit teas. The use of real fruit – whether it be chunks of watermelon, or strawberry, or orange – swirl in one of the most refreshing drinks in Melbourne. With rich flavours and satisfying teas, it’s the perfect treat for those lazy summer days. A celebration for the palate of any bubble tea aficionado.
The Alley LuJiaoXiang
Originating in Taiwan, The Alley LuJiaoXiang has become one of the best bubble tea shops in Melbourne, with several locations to quench your thirst. The depth of their tea flavour, the broad variety on offer and, of course, the delicious taste, means that The Alley should be on everyone’s radar. For those daunted by the menu, the signature Brown Sugar Deerioca Series, a range of warm brown sugar drinks, are the perfect treat no matter the mood.
A narrow store in the heart of CBD, Machi Machi is one of the best bubble teas you can buy in Melbourne’s burgeoning bubble tea craft. The bubble tea joint has built up a twee brand image: adorable dog doodles adorn every drink; technicolour scribbles line the walls; and a quirky atmosphere that would make Wes Anderson squirm with glee. However, what makes Machi Machi stand out is their signature panna cotta bubble teas. The addition of panna cotta breathes new life into well-worn drinks like black tea, as the added depth of flavour makes each slurp better than the last. This is a must for all fans of bubble tea.
If you want to try making a milk drink yourself, here are 3 Homemade Oat Milk Latte Coffee Recipes. And if you still need something sweet, be sure to visit one of Melbourne’s Best Patisseries and Cake Shops in 2021.