Earlier today I had the pleasure of visiting Yao Yao Cha, a bubble tea shop in Earlham Street, in the heart of Seven Dials near Covent Garden, who have just launched a range of delicious Shaved Ice treats. There are quite a few bubble tea shops springing up in London but Yao Yao Cha pride themselves on their authentic Taiwanese flavours and toppings, aswell as popular fruity flavours and a range of Frappés. I got to meet their lovely staff and sample a few of their products, including a gorgeous seasonal special edition that's only available for the next four days!
Firstly their new Shaved Ice! Yao Yao Cha offers two Shaved Ice options. For fruit lovers there are three varieties; Mango Shaved Ice with slices of mango, Strawberry Shaved Ice with strawberries, and Peach and Passion - passion fruit ice with peach pieces. For more adventurous types there is the option to build your own Shaved Ice experience by combining flavoured ice with three toppings. First choose the Shaved Ice flavour from mango, passion fruit, blueberry or brown sugar syrup (which is very popular in Asia). Then add three topping options from a choice of Fruit Pops, Jellies, Crème Brûlée or more traditional Asian choices - Azuki red beans, green mung beans, Aiyu, Taro or condensed Milk.
Since I had already tried some fruity flavours of Shaved Ice at Hyper Japan last weekend (see here) the staff at Yao Yao Cha made me a wonderful, and more traditionally Taiwanese, Shaved Ice concoction. It consisted of brown sugar flavoured Shaved Ice with three toppings; Créme Brûlée, Aiyu Jelly, and Azuki red beans. The combination is a really gorgeous one, consisting of a simple sweet ice base, with the lovely refreshing jellies and the more earthy and delicious red beans. I also got to try an extra side helping of Taro, an unusual sweet vegetable that tastes surprisingly good with the shaved ice. It's a lovely, light and refreshing treat and definitely worth stopping by to try out. It's available at both an eat-in or take away option. Next time I'd love to try the Peach and Passion Shaved Ice!
This gorgeous Bubble Tea above is a special edition which is only available until 4th August. It's been specifically created to celebrate Chinese Valentine's Day (Double Seventh Festival on August 2nd) and consists of a black tea base, Azuki red beans, and of course, lots of tapioca pearls. It was very refreshing and delicious, without being as sweet as other Bubble Teas I've tried. Bubble Tea originates from Taiwan, and is usually a combination of the distinctive chewy tapioca pearls and a milk tea or fruit tea base. Yao Yao Cha use smaller and less chewy tapioca pearls and regularly make fresh tea to ensure there are no bitter flavours. I really loved this Bubble Tea and I will definitely be back for more. Take a look at the full range of flavours on the Yao Yao Cha website HERE. There is a core menu of 24 drinks which range from familiar fruity flavours, such as Mango Green Tea to the much more adventurous, like Matcha Red Bean Tea.
We also tried one of their Frappé drinks, opting for a fruity mango one this time. The Frappés are a great choice for anyone who doesn't want a tea based drink or the tapioca pearls. Instead they are essentially a blended ice drink with a twist! All the Frappés come with a portion of "fruit pops" as standard, which are the jelly like balls you can see on top of the drink. Unlike the tapioca pearls these fruit pops are not chewy at all, they're quite light and delicate and they literally burst with fruity flavour as you drink. My kids absolutely loved this drink! It was so fruity and flavourful and the fruit pops on top are really fun. It's a bit like an extra special slushie drink and definitely one I would recommend! I really want to try the Blueberry one next time.
Yao Yao Cha also have a cute competition running for Chinese Valentine's Day this weekend. Take a selfie with your Yao Yao Cha drink and you could win free Bubble Tea for a whole month. I could definitely do with some of that over the summer! :)
More Info: www.yaoyaocha.com
I was invited to Yao Yao Cha to try out their new Shaved Ice for an honest review.