Other than es kopi, the beverage that’s become a legit national obsession, Indonesians are also very much into the bubble tea trend. The drink has been around for a while now, yes — but bubble tea, or more commonly known as boba, has been undergoing some sort of renaissance as of late. Whether it’s cheese tea or brown sugar boba milk, the variations on this drink just keep coming out.
While bigger players such as Taiwanese global teahouse chains Chatime, Sharetea, or Koi Thé are still being frequented by many of their loyal customers, the newer brands in the boba market — such as the Taiwanese brown sugar boba milk specialist Tiger Sugar — are also seeing long lines of thirsty customers queuing up outside their stores.
If you’re looking for new places to quench your boba thirst, we’ve gathered several notable places in Jakarta and beyond. In case you need someone to remind you again, you’ll definitely need to allocate some time, ranging from 15 minutes to 2 hours(!), to queue for the boba of your dreams.
Yes, Ban Ban might specialize in cheese tea, but their Boba Pan is the one that got people talking. The hype is real — customers reportedly have had to queue for more than one hour for the Boba Pan, which consists of buttery warm brioche toast, cream cheese, and chewy boba pearls. Other than Boba Pan, customers usually order the Beri Beri Chizu (a blend of tea and mixed berries topped with cheese) or Miruku Boba (brown sugar milk tea boba topped with cheese and torched brulee topping).
Sample pricing: IDR28,000 (US$2) for Boba Pan (dine in), IDR36,000 (US$2.6) for a medium Beri Beri Chizu.
Alright, this is the first case of I-think-I’ve-seen-this-somewhere-on-Instagram in this list. If Diagon Alley’s moose logo and name remind you of Taiwanese brand The Alley, well, you’re not alone. We’re not sure if they’re really related to the OG The Alley, given that one of their series is named “The Auroras,” as opposed to The Alley’s well-known “Aurora Series.” Diagon Alley serves a variety of tea blends with milk foam, milk tea, cocoa drinks as well as soft serve ice creams, but its main attraction appears to be the brown sugar series with flavors such as matcha, chocolate, and brulée milk.
Sample pricing: IDR42,000 (US$3) for Brown Sugar Crème Brulée Milk (only available in medium), IDR38,000 (US$2.7) for Brown Sugar Milk in medium.
This is one of the well-known cheese tea shops, and is more widely available across town in comparison to other brands. Established in 2017, Gulu Gulu is a part of local F&B company Sour Sally Group, which also operates Indonesia’s first frozen yogurt brand of the same name as well as Fi:Ka Kedai Kafi. Just like any other cheese tea place, Gulu Gulu serves variety of tea and milk-based beverages topped with savory cream cheese along with a biscuit stick for each serving.
Sample pricing: IDR27,000 (US$1.91) for regular Cheese Green Tea Jasmine and IDR32,000 (US$2.27) for regular Cheese Umami Matcha.
Goola is owned by none other than the president’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, a successful F&B entrepreneur to his name. The brand itself, derived from “gula,” which means “sugar” in Indonesian — and rightly so, because they serve the modern take of Indonesian traditional drinks. Some of their specialty drinks use their signature coco foam, such as Es Doger Jeger, with green sticky rice and fermented cassava (tape singkong) or Es Merdeka 45, a coconut drink with red tapioca pearls. Other than the signature series, Goola also offers selections of iced tea, refreshing drinks (the Nano Nano or the tamarind drink sounds really tempting), as well as the coffee series that features es kopi.
Sample pricing: IDR27,000 (US$1.91) for Es Doger Jeger in medium, IDR23,000 (US$1.63) for Nano Nano.
Gooma isn’t exactly a boba place per se — the tea bar specializes in matcha, and what sets them apart from their competitors in this over-saturated bubble tea scene is they provide customers with healthier choices. You can choose between premium creamy or skim milk, as well as adjusting the sweetness level for your drinks, and like boba, you can choose from several toppings to add, such as chia pudding, grass jelly, even aloe vera. Their signature is Uji Matcha, which is a pretty strong green tea latte with double shots of matcha. There’s also Kokuto Matcha with brown sugar, Mojo Matcha with banana, the refreshing and dairy-free Aloe Matcha, and other matcha-less drinks such as Black Kumquat, a combo of charcoal and kumquat.
Sample pricing: IDR30,000 (US$2.12) for Uji Matcha.
Hei Boba may only have one store at the moment — they usually sell their boba drinks at pop-up bazaars in Jakarta and South Sumatra’s capital of Palembang — but Hei Boba has seen a notable growth in popularity after getting rave reviews from local food bloggers such as Anak Jajan. Currently, Hei Boba only has two items in their menu, namely Brown Sugar Boba Milk and Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Regal Biscuits.
Sample pricing: IDR30,000 (US$2) for Brown Sugar Boba Milk and IDR33,000 (US$2) for Brown Sugar Boba Milk with Regal Biscuits, as listed on Go-Food.
Alright, we can’t help but recall the famed Chinese cheese tea brand Heytea upon looking at Heycha’s name and logo (the little drinking guy looks uncannily similar to each other, don’t they?). Local chain Heycha — we have no clue whether they’re related to Heytea or not, but we’re banking on the the latter — offers a variety of drinks topped with cheese. There’s tea, milk tea, smoothies, even coffee — as well as a customizable Brown Sugar Boba, with selections of soy milk, fresh milk, and milk tea. They’ve gone experimental lately, too, such as with its White Rabbit candy-flavored boba milk, as well as the mashups of current local trends such as Es Kopi Susu Boba and Marie Regal Milk Tea.
Sample pricing: IDR27,000 (US$2) for Brown Sugar Boba and IDR33,000 (US$2.3) for Strawberry Cheese Smoothie.
No, Heychago is not a ripoff of Heycha — it’s actually its sister company. (But we could see how putting their logos next to that of Heytea’s might look like a line of ripoff-ception). That makes sense, because their menu is pretty much like the minimalist version of Heycha with slightly more affordable prices, ranging from IDR15,000 (US$1) to IDR25,000 (US$1.8). Heychago stores are mostly located in or near office buildings, making their drinks as popular after-lunch treats for office workers.
Sample pricing: IDR23,000 (US$1.6) for Regal Milk Tea and IDR25,000 (US$1.8) for Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea.
“Kamu” means “you” in Indonesia, but the brand actually hails from Thailand. They serve the usual cheese tea, coffee, matcha, fruit tea, milk tea as well as Thai Iced Tea. Kamu Tea is one of the most popular brands in Jakarta, and most of their stores currently hold a respectable 4.0 rating and above on Zomato.
Sample pricing: IDR29,000 (US$2) for small a Thai Tea and IDR21,000 (US$1.5) for a medium Kamu Milk Tea with fresh milk.
There are 9 Kamu Tea stores in Jakarta and beyond: including Grand Indonesia in Central Jakarta, Kota Kasablanka in South Jakarta, and AEON Jakarta Garden City in East Jakarta. Kamu Tea’s Coconuts Directory listing, and Instagram
Unicorn lovers, unite — here’s the boba for you. Aside from the newly-launched brown sugar boba and cheese tea plus smoothies, Kokumi specializes in colorful drinks such as the Unicorn Drink (blueberry and dragon fruit topped with cream foam, which is surprisingly delightful), Rainbow Stardust (colorful lemonade), and the Unicorn Latte, basically a hot latte topped with unicorn-shaped foam(!). It’s currently one of the most popular chains in town, so prepare to queue longer on weekends.
Sample pricing: IDR35,000 (US$2.5) for regular Unicorn Drink, IDR25,000 (US$1.8) for regular Lemonade Stardust, and IDR30,000 (US$2) for regular Okinawa Brown Sugar Big Boba.
There are currently 7 Kokumi stores in Jakarta: including Delicae food court at Senayan City in Central Jakarta, Mall Taman Anggrek in West Jakarta, and PIK Avenue Mall in North Jakarta. Kokumi’s Coconuts Directory listing, and Instagram.
Another Taiwanese chain that recently opened here is OneZo, which offers four — yes, four! — kinds of boba. Customers can see the boba-making process on-site at their stores — from brown sugar boba, black sesame boba, crystal, and mango bubble. Several local food bloggers, such as Eatandtreats, called OneZo’s Dirty Brown Sugar series as one of the best in town. Customers can choose between fresh milk or milk tea to add as they like. Other than the brown sugar boba, you can opt for refreshing drinks such as Wintermelon-Lemon drink or Mango Milkshake.
Sample pricing: IDR35,000 (US$2.5) for medium Dirty Brown Sugar Fresh Milk and IDR34,000 (US$2.4) for the medium Wintermelon and Lemon drink with three types of bubble pearls.
There are currently 3 OneZo stores in Jakarta and beyond: Food Culture AEON Mall BSD, Ketapang Business Center in West Jakarta, and Mall of Indonesia in North Jakarta. OneZo’s Coconuts Directory listing, and Instagram.
Yes, Tiger Sugar is the well-known brown sugar boba milk drink specialist, and was one of the first chains in Asia to popularize it. The Taiwanese brand is generally regarded as one of the best of its kind in the region — even in the midst of fierce competition, our friends over at Coconuts Singapore put Tiger Sugar at the top of their brown sugar pearl milk ranking. Tiger Sugar only serves brown sugar drinks with two kinds of boba pearls, in a large or small size. Check out our intro piece on Tiger Sugar’s first Jakarta store here.
Sample pricing: IDR38,000 (US$2.7) for a Brown Sugar Boba and Pearl with Cream Mousse.
Yes, another local bubble tea brand that uses a drinking guy logo, but this time, he’s on the run — which wouldn’t do any good for his digestion, we think. Just like any other trendy bubble tea or cheese tea places, Yu Cha offers cheese teas and smoothies, including the Tiger Aren Bubble Milk, Gula Aren Nusantara series (using coconut sugar), as well as its own take of es kopi, yakult-based drinks and coconut fusion drinks.
Sample pricing: IDR26,000 (US$1.8) for a small Tiger Aren Bubble Milk and IDR30,000 (US$2) for a small Dragon Fruit Cheese Cream.
One of the most long-awaited Taiwanese boba brands, Xing Fu Tang, has finally landed in Jakarta. Their first store at Lippo Mall Puri has been open since June, and they just recently opened a second store at Kemang Village. When XFT first opened, queues could take up to 2 hours, but early on, online reviewers raved about the brand’s brown sugar drinks. Customers said the boba is tasty and chewy, but the downside is that you can’t adjust the sweetness for your drink since the brown sugar boba inside serves as the sweetener. You can also see the boba-making process at Xing Fu Tang’s stores, which might help you kill time while going through that monster queue.
Sample pricing: IDR38,000 (US$2.7) for Brown Sugar Boba Milk and IDR25,000 (US$1.8) for Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea.
Xing Fu Tang has two locations in Jakarta: Lippo Mall Puri (St. Moritz Mall) in West Jakarta and Lippo Mall Kemang (Kemang Village, South Jakarta. Xing Fu Tang’s Coconuts Directory listing, and Instagram.
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