New chain comes to Cabramatta
Noodlies, Sydney food blog tastes a new Taiwanese Tea player.
Just when you thought it’s all froyo (frozen yogurt), Gong Cha comes along to ignite the sweet Chinese Tea market in Australia, currently there are three Chinese tea chains in Australia – all of them from Taiwan. In 2001, EasyWay, founded in 1992, introduced the syrup-sweetness of Chinese ‘bubble tea‘ to Australia, in 2009 Cha Time (founded 2003) arrived. And 2013, it’s Gong Cha, founded in Kaoshiung, Taiwan in 2006, with over 200 branches across Asia including Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and Philippines.
Each chain tries to claim a point of difference:
- EasyWay, it’s the ‘original and best’ with the biggest choice on the menu, in the early days it was bubble tea, these days their menu includes frappes, shakes and smoothies – there’s a new flavour every few months.
- Cha Time says their tea is brewed fresh in-store and “freshly brewed tea has more flavour and fragrance”.
And Gong Cha? You choose your level of ‘coldness’: standard ice, less ice, little ice and no ice. Given these teas are too sickly sweet for some, Gong Cha allows you to customise the level of ‘sweetness’: choose from five levels 100% (standard), 75% (less sugar), 50% (half sugar), 25% (little sugar) and finally,no sugar. There’s also a bewildering range of extras (below) from pearls, milk foam, red bean and basil seeds (I love basil seeds).
Noodlies, Sydney food blog video review
Gong Cha’s top sellers are mainly Chinese tea based, except for #3, Earl Gray. Noodlies tries #2 the intriguingly named White Pearl Ai-Yu Special (standard ice, half sugar) for a not insignificant $5. It’s a light, fruity drink with white jelly pearls and crunchy sweetened citrus pieces, refreshing and not too sweet. Check out the noodlies featured video review of Gong Cha, Cabramatta (above) for my ‘instant’ reaction.
In additional to the Signature Chinese Tea range, Gong Cha also offers brewed tea, health tea, milk (bubble), Yogurt series and smoothies.
Gong Cha’s newest branch is Cabramatta, opened on Thursday 18th March 2013. The company has stores in Sydney: CBD, Market City, Melbourne and Adelaide.
85 John St, Cabramatta