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Montreal Bubble Tea recommendations please?

p
Petit May 28, 2007 08:11 PM

I am interested in stopping by a Pearl Milk Tea/Boba/Bubble Tea/ Tapioca joint during my stay in Montreal and would appreciate any advice on the location of the best Bubble Tea joints. Thank you in advance. :D

  1. e
    emerilcantcook Apr 29, 2008 09:04 PM

    I tried the Patisserie Harmonie's sesame bubble tea twice, and while I really liked the flavor I found a little bit too sweet for my taste. Second time I ordered I asked with half sugar, but ironically it was as sweet as before. Still, it was milky, strongly flavored with sesame (unlike some watery bubble teas I tried) and just hit the spot. I just need to find a way to order it less sweet.

    5 Replies
    1. re: emerilcantcook
      mainsqueeze Apr 30, 2008 06:33 AM

      I don't know what to do about that either, other than to say you don't want any sugar at all. I think the bubbles are cooked in some sort of syrup, so that definitely contributes to the sweetness.

      At Cactus they usually take my half-sugar request seriously.

      I love the Hong Kong milk tea at Harmonie. You can get it unsweetened if you like. Maybe they will even put bubbles in it.

      I wish there were decent Thai iced tea in this town.

      1. re: mainsqueeze
        bomobob Apr 30, 2008 07:13 AM

        You'll have to pardon my apparent ignorance on the subject, but this bubble tea craze has me dumbfounded. Could someone please explain how it differs from the Vietnamese che I've been consuming for the past 20 years?

        1. re: bomobob
          SnackHappy Apr 30, 2008 09:07 AM

          I don't know, chè and bubble seem awfully different to me. Bubble tea is much more of a drink. you don't need a spoon to eat it. The ingredients are different. Bubble tea is a lot less "natural" than chè. The tapioca bubbles are actually made with potato starch. The flavours are much more pronounced and often artificial tasting (not always a bad thing BTW). If i were to draw a parallel, I'd say that chè is to fruit as bubble tea is to fruit roll-ups.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Mi...

          1. re: SnackHappy
            m
            morebubbles Apr 30, 2008 12:23 PM

            The avocado drink I had is quite natural, I saw the lady at the store make it, it starts with a real avocado (cut before my eyes), then she added 2 tbls. milk, a bit of water and a bit of sugar. That's it. It's good, thick & creamy. The bubbles did taste like they were flavored with artificial mango powder or something, but that's ok. I guess it was more of an avocado smoothie rather than the usual bubble tea.

        2. re: mainsqueeze
          hungryann Apr 30, 2008 09:22 AM

          I am with you 100% on the thai iced tea; everything I have tried here is mediocre with a strong ashy after-taste.

      2. m
        morebubbles Apr 29, 2008 10:51 AM

        I just wanted to report my latest bubble tea finding: I just had a fantastic fresh avocado bubble tea from Juicy Tezzz Tea Shop, a really small place on the first floor at 1111 St. Urbain (the building where Maison Kam Fung is). It's avocado, a bit of milk, mango "bubbles" - really delicious and not too sweet, not need to ask for the lady to cut down on the sugar on this one.

         
        1. c
          chilipepper Aug 4, 2007 10:31 AM

          Also Pho Tay Ho on St Denis (6414 I think at Beaubien) has decent bubble tea plus great food
          The original bubble tea-sers at the Faubourg are still going strong and their drinks are okay, food so-so.
          Plus two new bubble tea spots ( the size of a closet) in the building housing Andy and Dobe and Kam Fung on St. Urbain in Chinatown....will try to get there for a sample ....

          3 Replies
          1. re: chilipepper
            m
            morebubbles Aug 4, 2007 11:52 AM

            was there at that tea spot in the building on st. urbain. I found the sample & also the tea I ordered to be way over sweet...

            1. re: morebubbles
              mainsqueeze Aug 6, 2007 08:00 AM

              I ask for my bubble tea with "half sugar", because I find it too sweet no matter where I go.

              1. re: mainsqueeze
                c
                chilipepper Aug 7, 2007 12:19 AM

                I agree...sugar overload. I also ask for less sugar or in the case of flavours like red bean, no sugar, and it tastes just as good

          2. j
            jrudland Aug 2, 2007 08:50 PM

            My Girlfriend recently turned me onto Bubble Tea. She's asian (and opinionated) and so I bow down to her expertise. She likes the Peach Green tea from the store on De Maissonneuve near Fort . I think it's called Tapioca. Then there's the Bubble Tease franchise in the Eaton center where we go when we're down town.

            Our favourite place, by far, is the Pho Bac at 5473 Victoria Ave in CDN. Be careful there are a bunch of Pho Bacs in Montreal but only that one sells Bubble Tea. We drive out of our way to go to this one. Pleasant staff and great food to boot.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jrudland
              mainsqueeze Aug 3, 2007 08:44 AM

              The one on De Maisonneuve is called Tapioca Thé, as Snackhappy pointed out. I like their blended slushy bubble teas.

              I find that most of the teas and flavours are the same, no matter where you go, but some places have better bubbles than others.

              1. re: jrudland
                n
                nonpareils Apr 29, 2008 08:20 PM

                I only tried Bubble Tease once, and I thought their hot bubble tea thing was interesting, but got a regular one... and I thought it was horrible. It was just like any other boxed juice kids have in their lunchboxes, or worse.

                I usually go to Magic Idea - I like Cactus better, but it doesn't exist anymore.

                1. re: nonpareils
                  mainsqueeze Apr 30, 2008 06:27 AM

                  There's a Cactus on Mackay between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve, on the east side. It's the same owners as the old cactus in China Town.

                  1. re: mainsqueeze
                    n
                    nonpareils Apr 30, 2008 06:40 PM

                    thanks!

              2. c
                chilipepper May 30, 2007 07:33 PM

                I second
                the
                motion
                re:MagicIdea
                Also
                like
                their
                new
                location
                ondeMaisonneuve@StMathieu
                though
                the
                music
                can
                get
                LOUD

                1. SnackHappy May 28, 2007 09:05 PM

                  I like Magic Idea on La Gauchetiere and Clark in Chinatown, Cactus on Mackay north of Sainte-Catherine and Tapioca The on Maisonneuve east of Saint-Mathieu.

                  The bubble tea places in town are all pretty much interchangeable. They are pretty inconsistent and the food is just so-so.

                  My favourite is Magic Idea. They are slightly more consistent and the food is ok. I like the ambiance there, too.

                  I would avoid L2. The place smells like B.O.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SnackHappy
                    m
                    morebubbles Aug 3, 2007 04:04 AM

                    I was at MagicIdea recently& had the bubble tea (coconut green tea) which was great. Someone behind me ordered food & it smelled really good. SnackHappy: what dishes do you recommend there?

                    1. re: morebubbles
                      SnackHappy Aug 3, 2007 08:10 AM

                      Oh, nothing in particular. I haven't eaten there in a while. All I remember is that the food was decent.

                    2. re: SnackHappy
                      c
                      chriswm Jun 16, 2012 10:53 AM

                      I tried Magic Idea yesterday and it was very disappointing. Maybe it was better five years ago, but the place is extremely dirty (I actually had to hold my breath in the bathroom) and the Bubble Tea was nothing to write home about. For $3.65 I got some kind of flavour powder with water, milk, ice, and of course the tapioca balls. I thought it was a really bad idea that they put the ice in it (without asking) because it made it hard at the end to get at the tapioca balls. Also, because of the dilapidated state of the restaurant, I was concerned about the safety of chewing the ice.

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