Comparing bubble tea brands in Korea

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Gongcha

Gongcha is one of Korea’s most popular bubble tea brands that can be found roughly anywhere around in Seoul. Its menu is diverse, ranging from the original Thai tea to fruit juice, green tea ade, coffee, smoothie, seasonal specialties, and even bingsoo, a traditional Korean shaved ice dessert. Customers are also given many options to customize their drinks, such as choosing their cup size, sweetness, amount of ice, and the type of tapioca pearls they prefer. Gongcha’s pearls, jellies, and milk foams contribute to the brand’s unique style of presenting their drink, giving more texture and distinct flavor every sip. Among the 60 different combinations, popular drinks have been black milk tea with pearl, taro milk tea with pearl, and grapefruit green tea ade with aloe.

 

Amasvin

Amasvin is a bubble tea franchise well known for its cheap price and effective distribution of coupons. Amasvin’s menu, aside from the classic milk tea and bubble latte types, is mostly constituted of fruit flavors with its bubble aid and soda, smoothie, fruit shakes, and yogurt options. Focused on its café-like qualities, Amasvin provides extra shot, coffee pearls, and milk cream, along with the typical extra tapioca pearls. The best qualities of the franchise are its nutty flavors, rich chocolate scent, and coffee beans that are aged for up to five days in the diverse drink combinations. The brand is not only famous for its bubble tea, but also for its baked goods, such as the signature Amasvin waffles with extra toppings such as cookie and ice cream or cinnamon and caramel combinations.

 

Bubble Tea Works

Bubble Tea Works is a brand focused on more conventional styled drinks, placing its emphasis on the delicate balance of flavor and customers’ health. Customers can choose the size, sweetness, and the type of pearls for their drinks. Bubble Tea Works makes their own pearls every day and the options are more sophisticated, with not only house bubbles like other brands, but also with rose sakura and yuza honey bubbles. The brand’s distinct quality comes from its reduced artificial flavors compared to other milk tea brands, as they try to preserve the original taste and scent of the original tea base. The bases for all of the available drinks are black tea, oolong tea, jasmine green tea, tieguanyin tea, premium green tea, or milk cloud. Bubble Tea Works is also famous for the shop’s unique interior design with iridescent walls and white chairs and tables, along with fruit-shaped inflatable tubes as drink holders.

 

The Alley

The Alley is a newly launched premium bubble tea brand founded in Hong Kong. While typical Korean tea brands resemble the common café with a variety of caffeine products, The Alley’s menu is solely focused on tea, limiting the drink variations to the White Velvet series, milk tea series, tea latte series, original brewed tea Deerioca series with tapioca, blended series, fruit tea and juice, The Finest collection, and the Aurora series. Customers can also customize their drinks by choosing the sweetness, amount of ice, and toppings, such as deerioca, coconut jelly, and lactose-free milk. The best selling drink is Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk, made with homemade cane syrup, self-brewed tapioca bubbles, and handpicked tealeaves. The Alley not only prioritizes the richness of the drinks’ flavor, but also highly considers their presentation. Aligning with its motto on “reminding you all the happiness,” its signature drink has milk layered on top of tapioca bubbles with tea extract cascading down the inner surface of the plastic cup.

 

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Andie Kim

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