Food trends come and go, but it looks like bubble tea is here to stay. Despite its Taiwanese origin, there’s no doubt that bubble tea or boba, if you’re American (or pretentious), runs through the veins of many Singaporeans.
For the unfamiliar, we’re not even sure what to say to you but sure, we’ll explain. The potential drink combinations are endless, but when we think of bubble tea, a classic milk tea with pearls comes to mind. In fact, some might even use it as a basis for comparison across the different brands.
Good thing we have no lack of stores to compare, as we’ve seen from the long queues that form each time a new bubble tea chain pops up (which definitely feels like every other week now) There’s even a hot new Bubble Tea Club with a subscription plan, but more about that later. If there’s one thing you can’t say about Singaporeans, it’s that we’re bubble tea-deficient.
With the perpetual oven that is this island and a nationwide penchant for all things yummy, it’s always a good time to get bubble tea. Bubble tea has been so ingrained into our culture such that it now feels like something we can’t live without. Just ask the 200 crazy *ahem* we mean dedicated people who queued up for Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong Cha when it returned after a 6-month hiatus.
Since its introduction to Singapore in 1992, bubble tea has become a hit with locals, spawning many bubble tea stalls in neighborhoods (did someone say Sweet Talk?). The national bubble tea addiction has only been helped along with the emergence of global franchises and a whole slew of pearl-filled concoctions.
So far, it’s spawned a myriad of unconventional creations — vegan options, healthier versions, a milk tea flavored with kaya (with coconut gula melaka pearls too, no less). It’s even been stuffed into croissants and even chucked on top of fries and into our hearts.
There’s no doubt that bubble tea is no longer just a drink, it’s become a pop culture phenomenon as well. For those in the know, bubble tea memes and references have found a home in the wildly popular Facebook group, Subtle Asian Traits. Who knew that we’d have people from all over the world bonding over their love for a single beverage?
Of course, closer to home, we’ve even taken things further by consuming our favorite drink experientially, in the form of the Bubble Tea Factory, an Insta-worthy, multi-sensory exhibition.
And then we’ve got Grab, who has recently launched a new programme to reward bubble tea devoteas by means of initiation into their Bubble Tea Club.
It’s a pass to a club that gives you exclusive bubble tea discounts — and also a pretty good way of earning yourself some savings while slurping up those pearls!
Check out the club fees:
For those new to GrabPay
Pay $5 for 5x $3 vouchers -> net savings of $10
For everyone else
Pay $9 for 5x $3 vouchers -> net savings of $6
Evergreen pricing from 2nd month onwards (for everyone)
Pay $12 for 5x $3 vouchers -> net savings of $3 (that’s pretty much 1 free cup!)
Do note that your purchased plan will be renewed automatically every month.
Whether you’re more inclined towards picking a milkier or fruitier tea, there’s something for everyone as participating brands include LiHO, Woobbee, Gong Cha, iTea, Hi Tea, and Hey Long Cha, so you’ll never run out of options when you have a thirst that needs quenching.