Set up by Mike Chen and Robin Liu in 2017, T-Go Tea has elevated bubble tea to an art. Here are five ways it stands out.
1. The tea is made to order
While most bubble tea joints brew up in advance, T-Go Tea has an espresso machine that’s been modified to take loose-leaf tea, so you get a fresher, tastier drink.
2. The ingredients are carefully sourced
Tealeaves come from a farm in Chiayi county, Taiwan, where the air and water are clear. Ingredients like coffee beans, fresh milk, fruit jam, fruit and vegetables, all of which are locally sourced. Even the all-important toppings are either made fresh (in the case of grass jelly and egg pudding) or, like the tapioca pearls and coconut jelly, imported from Taiwan.
3. You can customize your drinks
Prefer fresh milk or almond milk to creamer? No problem. Want to try a rose oolong latte? The team will brew it fresh. Chen’s current obsession is the sea salt latte, which he believes makes an excellent dessert substitute that’s not packed with sugar, and which you can get made with tea or fresh coffee.
4. It’s about way more than bubble tea
You can get freshly brewed coffee, and even cafe latte with tapioca pearls. There are also smoothies, made from fresh fruit, without colouring or additives, and Taiwanese desserts. “My favourite is the Egg Bubble Waffle, which goes really well with all our teas and smoothies,” says Chen. “It’s crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. When you buy it with a drink you get $1 off, so your waffle is just $2.50.” His favourite times to indulge are in the mid-afternoons when he needs a caffeine boost. “I also love to drop by with friends after dinner, around 8pm,” he says.
5. The decor is on point
Forget the standard modern design of bubble tea shops. This one has taken things up a notch with rustic chic decor and the work of local artists on display. “Our aim is to try and bring out the different side of bubble tea – the fact that making a really good cup is an art,” says Chen.
T-Go Tea is at 4720 Mcclelland Road #1810 (Central at Garden City Plaza near the new Walmart in Richmond). Enjoy Happy Hour from Monday to Friday, 8pm to 9pm, where you get 50% off six signature drinks. Find out more at Tgotea.com, Facebook and Instagram.