Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jul 21, 2014 12:15 PM

Quickly Bubble Tea

What is going with this place? All three of their Manhattan locations have closed and two of their locations in Flushing. Only one location remains in Flushing. Is Quickly pulling out of New York?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In my opinion, Quickly is low quality bubble tea for undiscerning teeny boppers. A higher quality product is now widely available via various providers. The Top Dog seems to be Gong Cha, which has location in the New World Mall in Flushing as well as on East 60th Street in Manhattan

    1 Reply
    1. re: AubWah

      Any recommendations at Gong Cha? Doesn't have to be milk tea with bubbles. I thought I even saw some drinks with red bean. Maybe that was at Tea Twitter, can't remember.

      I make milk tea with bubbles at home. I use the bubbles that are just tapioca starch without any additives. The ones I had around Flushing so far taste and feel very artificial to me. I was actually trying to find some place that might use the sago pearls in their bubble tea. Those sago pearls look pure-ish, but this trip is my first exposure to sago, so I could be very wrong.

      One more comment: In Maryland and Virginia we have a lot of places with avocado smoothie bubble "teas". I haven't seen those here. Maybe it's due to our large Vietnamese population.

    2. We had milk tea from Quickly and this other super cheap place on Roosevelt today. Are you sure there's only one left in Flushing? I feel like there's one around every corner. Wait, maybe that's Maxin's Bakery. Everything's a blur after a while in downtown Flushing.

      AubWah, thanks for the recommendation. So far we've been very underwhelmed with the bubble tea offerings in Flushing.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bmorecupcake

        Try the bubble tea at Ten Ren, it's my favorite that I've tried in Flushing. I actually liked Quickly more than the bubble tea at Coco and Kung fu. I order tea without milk and usually without a lot of bubble or syrup and the tea at Quickly is smoother and less processed tasting than Coco or Kung fu.

        Two Quickly locations closed in Flushing, one was replaced by a Coco.

        Have not been to Gong Cha yet.

          1. re: AubWah

            Chatime was the other one we tried! We got their Chatime Tea. They had a 2 for $1.50 special, so for that price I couldn't complain, but then when you walk in, that special is only between 10AM-Noon. Haha, they got me!

            We have Ten Ren in Maryland, which is why I was going to the other places. I know they are pretty decent.

            1. re: AubWah

              I haven't been to Chatime, do you recommend Gong Cha more or Chatime?

                1. re: AubWah

                  Went to Gong Cha today, and yes it's a step above the rest. They had "fresh milk" tea and explained the regular "milk tea" has powdered milk. That explains a lot. We were trying milk tea without bubbles at places and still getting an off flavor.

                  I sampled "white pearls" at Gong Cha. I was told these are different than regular white tapioca pearls. Anyone know if Great Wall, JMart, HMart, etc carry these?

                  1. re: bmorecupcake

                    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I almost never drink bubble tea these days but I like to think I still know where to get one

                    1. re: AubWah

                      I'd skip the white pearls. Those were no good.

                      One caveat, though: I feel like Gong Cha used a higher quality oolong, as there were definitely floral notes to it. That could be off putting for some.

        1. Yeah, there's just the one Quickly left in Elmhurst, and a fancier, pricier, newer-looking one in Flushing on Roosevelt, which I believe is in a new location down the street from its former spot on Roosevelt (?) and/or was completely refurbished.

          This is a huge bummer. For iced green tea with no bubbles and no milk, you can't beat Quickly's prices -- they give you a big discount when you order plain tea with no bubbles. The price varies depending on location but it's never more than $1.75. You'll pay twice that, or nearly twice that, for plain iced green tea at most other places. And it's REALLY GOOD QUALITY! Now much of Manhattan and especially Brooklyn are bereft of good deals on bubble tea. The former Quickly on Pell St., now known as BobaLife, seemed to be using the same ingredients the last time I checked, though.

          Quickly's U.S. site is outdated and still lists all the former Manhattan locations as well as the non-existent Brooklyn location. It also features the mysterious disclaimer, "New York & Southern California are not under Quickly Corporation's licensing region, We DO NOT affiliated with any of those stores." Uh, what?

          9 Replies
          1. re: Ike

            I went to Gong cha this week, plain green tea and bubbles. The bubbles are very good, my friends got hot taro milk and they all enjoyed them.

            Quickly's plain green tea is smoother than Gong Cha's, so I would recommend Quickly if you are getting the tea without syrup or sweetener.

            1. re: Pookipichu

              Is the "standard" milk tea actually green tea? For some reason I thought it was a black tea.

              Just curious what you mean by "smoother". Do you mean the texture was smoother? If taste, do you mean Gong Cha's tea was overbrewed, or something else?

              1. re: bmorecupcake

                I never order tea with milk so I don't know if the standard is green or black.

                When I say smoother, the tea is less bitter and astringent. I usually order green tea without sugar/syrup and I've tasted the green tea at several places. Unfortunately, the old Quickly on Kissena had better tea than the tea I experienced in my visit to the new Quickly on Roosevelt. I tried the tea at the new location yesterday and the green tea was badly watered down. There was almost no flavor and the bubbles were unappealingly hard, like rubber. The bubbles at Gong Cha were far superior, soft and chewy.

                1. re: bmorecupcake

                  I'm not sure why you bring up milk tea, but I believe the standard milk tea is normally black. But I think you can also get green milk tea. I was talking about plain green tea with no milk and no bubbles though. That was always my favorite item at Quickly. Sometimes I order it less sweet than usual, as well.

                  I almost never order milk tea, as I find lactose a bit problematic. (Though I'm not sure if these places use real milk anyway, or if it's non-dairy creamer. At least one BobaLife/former Pell St. Quickly employee told me that their taro milk tea uses non-dairy creamer rather than milk, which would explain why that tasty item has never given me problems.)

              2. re: Ike

                To follow up on this, the new Quickly location on Roosevelt actually STILL has really cheap plain iced green tea if you get it without bubbles. They just don't advertise this. I was charged $1.50 after a 20% discount (fully-stamped loyalty card). However, for the first time, my iced green tea was very watered-down, despite not having much ice. Bummer. That's never happened to me at Quickly before, and certainly not at the remaining location in Elmhurst. (I recently got some really watered-down taro milk tea at a neighboring Chatime too, so maybe it's some kind of cheapskate tea-shop trend on Roosevelt Ave. lately.)

                According to an employee, Quickly went through a phase where they tried opening a bakery, and it didn't work out. Based on some signage I've seen, maybe it was the big bakery at Prince & Roosevelt? It's now called Iris. I'm not clear if that was once Quickly Bakery, or what happened.

                1. re: Ike

                  Iris has been Iris for many years.

                  1. re: Peter Cuce

                    Peter is right about Iris. Funny though, Quickly was going to open another location at Grand Ave, off of Queens Blvd. I remember the store sign went up above the new store earlier this year but when it finally opened, it became an Iris bakery instead.

                  2. re: Ike

                    I used to only go to Quickly or Ten Ren. I don't know why Quickly's been watering down their green tea to save a few cents, when now they've lost a customer and probably more.

                    1. re: Pookipichu

                      Oh damn, if Quickly is doing that on a regular basis then they've lost me as well, at least at the Flushing location. I was hoping my experience was just a bad one-off. Urgh, that sucks.

                      The last time I went to the Elmhurst location, the green tea was still good, but that was at least a month ago.