Bubble Tea in Vienna

December 11, 2022



Hello lovelies, 

did you know that Vienna had a bubble tea craze back in 2010-2011? 

Bubble tea is a drink that is typically made with fresh green or black tea, milk, flavouring syrups and tapioca balls (these round jelly looking little balls on the picture).


This is the short bubble tea history from wikipedia:

"Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, tapioca milk tea, boba tea, or boba; Chinese: 珍珠奶茶; pinyin: zhēnzhū nǎichá, 波霸奶茶; bōbà nǎichá; 泡泡茶; pàopào chá) is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s.[1][2] Taiwanese migrants brought it to the United States in the 1990s, initially in California through regions like Los Angeles county,[3] but has likewise spread to other countries where there is a large East Asian diasporic population.

Bubble tea most commonly consists of tea accompanied by chewy tapioca balls ("boba" or "pearls"), but it can be made with other toppings as well, such as grass jelly, aloe vera, or red bean. It has many varieties and flavors, but the two most popular varieties are black pearl milk tea and green pearl milk tea ("pearl" signifies the tapioca balls at the bottom)."

Tealicious was founded by Susanne Dreier-Phan Quoc in 2010 and it was the first shop that opened in this city. Afterwards, almost every major street in Vienna had at least one bubble tea shop. But that craze vanished as soon as it came and by 2013-14* 99% of all the bubble tea shops had closed again. *(In a former version it was mentioned that most shops closed by 2012. This was incorrect. This article was updated with the correct information on 15th December 2022)

The reason for this was bad publicity and imense pressure from big players like McDonalds, who also started to offer bubble tea. Some people even claimed that the bobbas were a choking hazard and the tea was pure sugar and therefore unhealthy and probably the main concern for some, that the additive were carcinogenic. 

One lonely shop survived at Mariahilferstraße and people would often queue up to buy their bubble tea. 

Fast forward to 2020. Tea plus was on of the first shop to try their luck again, followed by Le cha. In an interview given to Kurier, published on the 9th of December 2020, one of the owners of Le Cha stated that "It's different now, we learned a lot and our Bubbles Teas have natural ingredients, our toppings are selfmade [compared to the bubble teas before]". Read the interview here [German only]. 
The target group are people between the age of 15-20, those who were too young to remember the first bubble tea hype. But I am pretty sure that it is also super popular with the people from 20-35, those who loved drinking it during the first wave and feel a nostalgic drinking it again after all those years.
The shops that are are currently open in Vienna (probably not a full list because I feel like there is a new shop every week) 
Find Tea (I could only find the page for Salzburg, It probably closed in Vienna again)
Teaone closed
Another list of all the shops can be found on this map:
Personally I am not a fan of the cheezy styled teas and prefer milk- or fruit teas with tapioca. Matcha milka tea and strawberry milk or fruit teas are my favourites. 

What I realized from drinking bubble tea at least once a month is that all shops are very inconsistent with the quality of their drinks. I can have the best strawberry milktea I ever had at one shop, return the next day for another dose and only taste lukewarm strawberrymilk dishwater. It's a huge shame and I don't return to the shop for a long time and instead go to another one. There are a few to choose from but I always have the same experience in all the shops. 

Do you drink bubble tea?
Have a great weekend,

Auris Lothol

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