Thursday 9 September 2010

Gong Cha(贡茶) vs KOI vs Ochado(茶の道)

Other than KOI that draw large crowds from the bubble tea lovers, Gong Cha(贡茶) is also another franchise from Taiwan and there are only 2 branches in Singapore located at Novena Square 2 and City Square Mall. I love milk tea, so usually I will go for their milk tea range like their signature Gong Cha Ali Shan Milk Tea with pearl or Gong Cha Milk Green Tea with herbal jelly shown above. Their pearl is soft and chewy and the milk tea taste smoothing and great with 30% sugar level which I find it is just nice compare to 50%.

You can also choose the level of sweetness range from no sugar, 30%, 50%, 80% or 100% which I will usually go for 30% only. So far the queue at Novena Square 2 was not that bad during lunchtime, and the average waiting time would be like less than 15 minutes or so. You can also add pearls or different types of jelly to your drink with additional $0.50 or so for the top-up.

Do you know why it is known as "Gong Cha - 贡茶"? The base of this tea is usually either matcha tea, black tea, tea or oolong tea that top with milk foam to arouse the taste and fragrant of the tea.

Gong Cha Outlets:-
Novena Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
Singapore 307506
Telephone: 6397 6816

City Square Mall
Telephone: 6509 3803

A few days ago when I walked past a new shopping mall at Bugis(武吉士 ) area, I was surprised to see a very long queues at the end corner of the mall. Out of curiosity, I went nearer to the queues to see what are those people queuing for. And while approaching the store, I saw the popular milk tea signboard – "KOI Café" and I realize that those people are actually queuing for "KOI" pearls milk tea. From this photo and you will notice that most people really loves KOI and despite of the hot weather they still can queue under the hot sun just for that cup of "fragrant and chewy pearl milk tea". Out of all the KOI outlets, which one do you think draws the most number of customers and which is their most popular tea on the list? Upon looking at the queue, I actually have the urged to go and ask those people what makes them fell in love with this tea and willing to queue under the hot weather just for that cup of tea.

Similarly to Gong Cha(贡茶), KOI also allows the customer to choose the sugar level of their tea range from no sugar, 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. Personally, I found that 50% and above will be kind of too sweet to our liking unless you really have sweet tooth. The one shown on the photo above is their "Ice Cream Milk Tea" where a scoop of vanilla ice cream will be added into the tea so for this a 30% sugar level will be great.

If compare to Gong Cha(贡茶), the pearls from KOI has a wonderful texture that is soft and chewy which is not too hard and importantly it burst with mild flavour that goes well with their tea. If you don't like tea, you can also go for their coffee menu which they have a few decent choices too. So are you willing to spend more than 30 minutes queuing for a cup of chewy bubble tea.......

KOI Outlets:-
Koi Cafe Ang Mo Kio
Blk 704 Ang Mo Kio Central
Tel: 6459 1518

Koi Cafe Bishan
513 Bishan street 13
Tel: 6258 1729

Koi Cafe Iluma
201 Victoria Street
#01-15 Iluma At Bugis
Tel: 6884 6817

Koi Cafe People’s Park
1 Park Road #01-16
People’s Park Complex
Tel: 6536 8330

Koi Cafe Marine Parade
Blk 83 Marine Parade Central
Tel: 6440 4869

Koi Cafe Toa Payoh
190A Toa Payoh Central
Tel: 6256 1169

Other than the two HOT bubble tea competitors above, there are so many other bubble tea stores available in Singapore such as "Each a Cup - 各一杯", "Sweet Talk - 甜言密语", "Ochado - 茶の道" and many other small outlets in coffee shop or food court. I have tried all the 3 stores mentioned above and strongly agreed with most of my friends who have tried "Sweet Talk - 甜言密语" that they are really very generous with their sweet syrup which makes their bubble tea far too sweet to drink. I remember there is once I ordered their lychee flavour bubble tea and it seems like they have pour in half bottle of the lychee syrup which makes the drink so sweet and full of artificial lychee taste.

So after all, I think Each A Cup bubble tea still taste acceptable with their sweetness and mini pearls. Recently, they also have this sugar level choices for customer to select too.

Recently I spot a newly renovated shop around my area which has that unique decoration that resemble most Taiwan bubble tea outlet known as "Ochado - 茶の道". I was attracted to their wide range flavour tea such as Assam Tea, Oolong White Peach Tea, Okinawa Milk Tea, Fusion Iced Tea and etc. I have tried their “Okinawa Matcha Milk Tea - 冲绳抹奶茶” which has a very fragrant matcha taste that blends well with the sweet azuki beans and chewy pearls.

With a good impression of their tea and pearls, I went back on another day to try out their “Pop Eggs Milk Tea - 魔力爆蛋奶茶” which I am curious to find out what exactly is “Pop Eggs - 魔力爆蛋”. And after checking with the friendly counter staff, she told me that “pop eggs” are actually coffee flavour bubbles that will burst with light coffee liquid when you bite it. This is indeed a very interesting topping to go with milk tea and to me, I feel that I taste rather like those royal jelly capsule. Posted by Picasa

Block 102 Yishun Avenue 5
Singapore 760102
Telephone: 6757 4301

~ The price of these milk tea from Gong Cha(贡茶),KOI Cafe and Ochado(茶の道) range from S$2.20 - S$4.90 excluding extra topping of pearls or jelly from S$0.50 each choice.


  1. I have another recommendation, Eskimo cafe bubble tea. Love their Super Bunble milk tea. Found at Dhoby Ghaut exchange, Esplanade exchange and Market street carpark.- Susan

  2. Hi susan! wow..thanks for your reccomendation. Will try it when if i drop by that area :)

  3. Tried Ochado too. Think it is one that will create a three way fight with Gongcha and Koi in Singapore. Time for a 三国鼎立 in Singapore. Especially so if compared with Koi.

  4. I have Try ochado, i like the tea and milk taste. it is well balance. KOI is to much of milk taste, but no Tea Taste. Gong Cha is too strong of tea taste but bad in their milk taste.

    bubble tea lover

  5. halo Ellena

    nice blog .. wonder if u know where are the outlets of KOI or Gong Cha(贡茶)in taiwan .. will be going Taiwan in Nov,thot of checking out the outlets there ..

    Couldn't seem to be able to find any info on internet ..

    Thks = )

    koala ..

  6. Hi Koala,
    In Taiwan it is not known as KOI that's y u can't find it on the web :) In taiwan, it is known as "50嵐" where u can read more on the products and locations Hope that help.

  7. I have tried the Ochado at Yishun. It's near the Chong Pang area, close to the SHOP n SAVE near McDonald's. Near to the rt venue at Khatib camp too. Hidden find! Well balanced. Their Ochado's lemonade tasted very sour, but my gf liked it. The pop eggs not bad, but a bit too many. Shopowner was VERY friendly.
    Thumbs up~


  8. Koi - tastes 'normal' to me, but long queues probably due to their strategic locations.

    Ochado - tried oolong milk tea today, light taste with slightly soft/chewy pearls and refreshing. But seems to lack the 'body'?

    Eskimo - Mini pearls are very smooth. Milk tea is quite balanced in taste between the milkiness and the tea flavour.

    I would go for ochado/eskimo more often if they opened more outlets and in more locations...

    Koi is becoming a turn off due to the queues.


  9. happy00foodie3/12/10 10:00 pm

    wow am I late or late, so much of a talk everywhere on Koi,GC etc... well to contribute, i liked sharetea when i went to taiwan, koi in taiwan is not call koi so you may have a prob finding it le...its call some 50lan i think (*if i get spello correcto*)... when i was in taiwan, my whole family was crazy about sharetea, very unique menu and we just dont get sick of drinking everyday cos too many to choose from! my mum chose that over the rest cos her friend told her they dont use syrup, all fresh come think about it, no wonder we dun feel "je lat" drinking everyday... and hahaha last weeek shopping...i just saw the poster in wisma! i think its here in spore! so looking forward!

  10. Hey guys. Gong Cha will be coming to Malaysia. Watch out people!

  11. after reading ur blog i decided to travel down to yishun to try Ochado bubble tea, to my disappointment their drinks was even close to KOI or Gong Cha standard, but their price was even more exp then them =.="



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