November 3, 2013
This is Why We're Fat in Asian, Beat the Heat, Bubble Tea, Discovery District, Downtown, Taiwanese, Toronto

Bubble tea is the official drink of Toronto (no, it’s not). It’s everywhere. Even random shops selling jerk chicken or waffles have bubble tea signs out front, you know? It’s like what water is to the rest of the world – the elixir of life.

It most definitely is when humid summer days come to pass. But, it can’t just come from anywhere, at least not for me.  I scoped out Tea Shop 168 and Ten Ren’s Tea (some might argue it’s the best) before pledging my love to Chatime, an international Taiwanese bubble tea chain located near the Eaton Center that freshly brews its tea base every day. 

It’s not difficult to spot in the summer. There’s usually a queue of bubble tea fanatics trailing out the door. Hold ups occur often because when customers don’t already know what they want, it takes five minutes for them to examine the overhead menu – font size: squint – to come to a decision. And, for the uninitiated, it takes an extra two minutes because they don’t know that they can customize how much sugar and ice they want in their drinks (~$5.00). For fuck sakes, when you’re sweaty and thirsty, waiting is torture. Let me help you make the best decision while dodging death glares all at once.

I nailed my first Chatime order: Chatime pearl milk tea with normal ice and half the sugar (trust me, it’s just right). I don’t know the specifics (bad blogger), but I’m sure they don’t just use whole milk – if they use any at all – to mellow the Taiwanese-imported black tea; it’s rich, like evaporated or condensed milk is swirled in the mix. If it weren’t for the mandatory pauses between sips to chew the delightfully fat boba, I’d drink it in one shot.

The other beverages I tried were hit and miss. I regretted the lychee milk tea and matcha tea latte (left). I liked the roasted milk tea with grass jelly (middle), QQ mango juice (right), passionfruit tea and honeydew slush.

All those words just to say that Chatime pearl milk tea is the one to get.



132 Dundas Street West | map


Chatime Bubble Tea on Urbanspoon


BREAKING NEWS: I’ve been back home for two months now, and every night, I prayed for an opening in Montreal to sustain my addiction. Well, someone’s been listening because I just got word that Chatime popped up on Sainte-Catherine West, next to Kanbai. Sweet mother of holy batman, I’m all over it. Here’s hoping it tastes just like I remember.

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