18 Aug 2013


I went to try the new Milk Tea & Pearl in Boxpark, the bustling pop-up mall in Shoreditch. They serve authentic Taiwanese bubble tea, a chilled drink that has been around in Taiwan for decades, but is rather new to London.  It can be found on every street corner in Taiwan, and first appeared in London in their store near Oxford Circus. Milk Tea & Pearl now also occupies a small and bright space upstairs in the assemblage of shipping containers by Shoreditch High Street.  There is a shared outdoor seating area for the various cafes around, and it was very crowded and lively even on a weeknight. I asked for the most traditional type of bubble tea, which I was told was the Assam Black Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearls. I also tried a sample of all the different toppings, which were really fun to eat. You use oversized straws to suck the pearls up. They are all natural even though they don't necessarily give that impression with their crazy textures. I was particularly fond of the Lychee Jelly, which reminded me of salmon roe in sushi with the way it pops in your mouth. The tapioca pearls are really chewy, also very fun to chomp on, but it was tiring for my jaw. It was so fun though, so I finished them all. The tea was a refreshing alternative to iced coffee, and if you ask them to go easy on the sugar like I did, it won’t be too heavy. It is still almost a meal in its own right though, but in a good way. There is also a bunch of colourful, fruitier options for the summer that I will try next time I go. Bubble tea is something worth trying, as it is truly a novelty. Part toy, part drink, part dessert, Milk Tea & Pearl has brought something new to London. 

Unit 58 Boxpark, 2-4 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY

   We were invited to review Milk Tea & Pearl, but the opinions expressed are our own.