In my opinion, one of the best places in Manchester is China Town.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the city centre, China Town is home to a variety of Chinese restaurants, cafes, shops and karaoke bars – as well as a charming bridge and beautifully decorated arch.
Last week I received an invitation to try out China Town’s latest hot-spot, Chatime. Sitauated at the corner of China Town and along Princess Street it offers a great selection of arguably the best and most authentic Taiwanese bubble teas.
Having only opened a few days prior to our visit, Chatime had a rather long queue of eager customers waiting outside in the glorious sunshine. We were led through by a really helpful member of staff who introduced us to Nicolas – the branch’s manager.
Nicholas began talking us through the key ingredients to bubble tea – the toppings. Each topping was popped into a small cup which we were able to taste. I found the pearls to have such a unique texture which I really enjoyed – along with the pudding, coconut and rainbow jelly. I was really intrigued by the grass jelly topping and this also had a really strong, yet subtle coffee taste. It was amazing to hear about the preparation of each topping and the amount of time and skill it takes to create them.
Our first round of bubble tea included two really refreshing green teas. We tried the lychee green tea with QQ (pearl and coconut jelly) and a mango green tea with pearls. Both of these teas were my favourite. I loved how refreshing and fruity they were – perfect for such a lovely, sunny day! If you fancy trying bubble tea but feel a little uncertain about what to pick, then I would definitely recommend one of these. But if you are still in doubt, simply ask the friendly staff members.
Next, we tried a selection of milk teas. I was a little uncertain how these would taste as I am really used to drinking English breakfast tea – not exactly cultural, I know! We tried the Chatime milk tea with pearls and the roasted milk tea with grass jelly. Out of the two, I preferred the Chatime milk tea with pearls and found this to be rather sweet. Whereas the roasted milk tea with grass jelly had a rather smokey, coffee-like taste.
It was really clear to see Nicholas’ enthusiasm and excitement about the cafe and this seemed to radiate off his staff too. From the moment I walked into the cafe, it was hard not to spot somebody who wasn’t smiling and it created such a warm atmosphere.
With plenty planned over the forthcoming months, I can’t wait to see how Chatime will develop here in Manchester. If you fancy grabbing a bubble tea and experiencing a taste of Taiwan, drop by the store and don’t forget to check their Facebook page for all the latest offers.