Bubble tea is taking over Korea and for this very reason, there are just too many spots in Seoul. They are popping up left and right, and the most famous chains are found worldwide. Here are a few of my favorites for the bubble tea lovers and anyone who is a newbie to bubble tea :]
With my cravings for bubble tea (boba tea), Gong Cha is definitely a café from heaven. It is my favorite bubble tea spot in Korea! Gong Cha offers one of the best bubble tea selections that I have ever seen. With a number of locations across Asia, Gong Cha has finally made its way to Hongdae. It is my favorite spot for bubble tea! They try to stray away from the traditional and classic milk teas and fruit teas by offering other blends.
In addition to the traditional take on bubble tea, Gong Cha finds ways to cater to the customers' tastes by adjusting the sweetness and ice level for each customer. When placing an order, they ask for the level of sugar which is important because we all know that sweetness is a constant complaint, which differs from person to person. Depending on who is making the drink, the taste varies, but Gong Cha offers a more consistent taste by monitoring the sugar and ice level.
The one complaint I have is the price. The drinks are a bit on the expensive side, but I think the product is definitely worth the price. I recommend my all time favorite: the Caramel Milk Tea with Pearl Bubbles. There are a handful of different topping choices that I have yet to try, but I will be sure to visit again soon!
Share Tea is labeled the number one bubble tea spot in Taipei, Taiwan. I have traveled to Taiwan (will be going back in December again this year) and I definitely do miss having Share Tea every day. I'm glad they opened a branch in Hongdae 홍대 because I've been craving the bubble tea. It's nice to have traditional taste when it comes to milk tea rather than a product from powder.
The one thing that sets Share Tea apart from every other bubble tea chain in Korea is the fact that they actually have pudding. PUDDINGGGGGGGGG ! You do not understand how difficult it is to find the traditional Chinese pudding in Korea. I'm glad to have it here!
Cha Time is a well recognized bubble tea spot around the world and they finally made their way to Korea. They have a small stand in Hongdae; it is next to Paul and Paulina which is up a hill outside of exit 9 Hongkik station. It is the place to drop by for a quick pick-up and to be on your way. A medium cup of bubble tea will set you back $3.40, but a large is just for an extra 50 cents. Although it does not taste the same as the other Cha Time chains, it is the next closest thing!
Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea is one of my ultimate favorite bubble tea spots back in New York. I crave this bubble tea, and if you have the opportunity - DRINK UP. For the rest of you who are living in Korea, they finally opened a small branch in the Gangnam train station. It was about time that this international brand moved to Korea, because of all the other bubble tea joints like Gong Cha, Share Tea, Cha Time, Quickly, and the rest of the bubble tea knock-offs like Bubble Pong. The moral of the story is, shop til' you drop in the Gangnam station on line 2 and then get some bubble tea! You'll find it right next to the Gong Cha.
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer.