Bubble tea stores are ubiquitous in Singapore — and they keep the customers returning, sometimes in crazy long queues, by rolling out trendy drinks built for viral fame, like brown sugar pearl milk and bizarre new recipes such as bubble tea toast (yep, it’s real). Even though we’re almost at the end of 2018, it looks like the craze just won’t wither away, because here’s another new brand from Taiwan that just opened shop last month at Galaxis in Fusionopolis: Winnie’s.
For the 90 percent of us who don’t live or work in the area, that’s in Buona Vista. Next to one-north MRT station. However, its stall space — although decked out with a lush photo wall of greenery — is tiny, and we can’t quite think of any reason why you would visit Galaxis unless that’s where your office is located.
But fret not if you don’t frequent the neighborhood, because it doesn’t stop there. Winnie’s already plans to open three more outlets next year, with the second one coming to Republic Plaza at Raffles Place in early 2019.
Launched in 2012, the chain has since expanded to nine outlets in Taiwan and six outlets in Beijing, now hitting Southeast Asia for the first time with its Singapore store.
So how is it different from the 20 other names out there, you ask? Apparently, Winnie’s only uses a custom water treatment system for better water quality and tea flavor, plus its preservative-free pearls are hand-made in-house daily. Its base teas come in five varieties: smoky blossom green tea (smoked three times for enhanced floral notes), black tea, Nantou Mountain spring tea (made with oolong leaves from Taiwan), charred oolong tea, and Jingxuan tea (a flavorful brew that requires no added sugar).
The popular Black Sugar Pearl Fresh Milk ($4.30) also makes an appearance on the menu, and it isn’t too cloying or saccharine sweet, which your blood sugar level will thank you for.
With a relatively affordable starting price of $2.20, the drinks come in small or large sizes, with customizable ice and sugar levels, plus toppings such as pearls, aiyu jelly, basil seeds, nata de coco, grass jelly, pudding, and aloe vera.
Signatures include Afternoon Milk Tea ($2.90), a classic that you really can’t go wrong with; Lychee Rose Nectar ($4.10), a refreshing blend that’s fruity and floral; and the Legendary Jingxuan Tea ($2.60), for when you’ve just had a heavy meal and you’re in need of a light beverage to wash it all down.
For something a little different, try the Organic Fuji Apple Green Tea ($4.90), an easy-to-drink concoction that replaces pearls with crunchy apple bits. Or get the Apple Milk-Topped Afternoon Black Tea ($4.90) — it one ups your regular cheese foam with apple-infused milk foam.
Other options on the extensive menu include Lemon Rose Nectar ($3.90), Black Sugar Oolong Milk Tea ($3.10), Ferrero Rocher Smoothie ($5.20), and Black Sugar Milk & Matcha ($7.50), as well as two Christmas specials: Milk-Topped Silk Cocoa ($4.50, basically a rich and creamy cup of iced chocolate with milk foam), and Strawberry Milk Smoothie ($4.90).
Winnie’s is at #01-34 Galaxis, 1 Fusionopolis Place.
8128-8802. Mon-Fri 9am-9:30pm.