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It goes without saying: Bubble tea is the icon of mainstream Singaporean culture. It’s more than just a drink by this point. Rather, this God-tier beverage has the ability to evoke camaraderie and kinship among Singaporeans. It’s a love affair fostered since our schooling days. For the health conscious, there’s the option adjusting sugar levels or cup size to make room for an occasional indulgence!
Since its peak, the scene has continually evolved to include various bubble tea chains, each offering a range of delicious flavours that suit any individual’s palate. In this list, we’ve gathered a list of Singapore’s best bubble tea brands that you can find within Changi Airport, including our beloved Jewel!
1. Chun Yang Tea
Remember the good ol’ days of OG neighbourhood stalls where you would order drinks like Green Apple Green Tea and Oreo Ice Blend? Yummy as they are, Chun Yang Tea is a huge upgrade from those days of artificially-flavoured syrups — in fact, you know that you’ll be getting good quality stuff when you purchase a drink here.
This is a chain that uses fresh tea leaves harvested from a plantation in Ren’Ai, Taiwan. Fresh ingredients are infused with traditional recipes to bring a modern concoction that’s both delicious and refreshing.
With its extensive menu — anything from black to green and oolong tea, along with a fresh fruit series and milk tea lattes, it is no wonder that the brand has expanded to 100 outlets worldwide, including countries like China, Malaysia and the United States.
One of Chun Yang Tea’s drinks to look out for is the Cheese Macchiato with Mountain Tea (S$5.50). The drink’s topped with a satisfying layer of foamy cheese, and it might just be your next go-to beverage! It’s made for fans who prefer having an added texture in their drinks. For a non-dairy option, try out the Honey Lemon Oolong Tea (S$6)! This is a refreshing one that best fits the humid weather of Singapore.
Other best-selling bubble tea options: Oolong Tea Latte with Pudding (S$5.80), Brown Sugar Pearl Fresh Milk (S$5.80).
Location: Jewel Changi Airport, #03 - 207
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday — 11:00am to 9:00pm, Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holiday — 10:00am to 10:00pm
2. KOI Express
Most of us are familiar with KOI by now — their chains are scattered all over Singapore after all. Did you know that there’s one located right at the basement of Terminal 3 too? KOI express is a quick and convenient option for all you bubble tea lovers. If you're not a fan of anything too sweet, we’d recommend the Cacao Barry Latte (S$4.60) for a unique blend of decadent dark chocolate and unsweetened cacao powder.
Another one of KOI’s most popular beverages is the Golden Bubble Milk Tea (S$4) — a creamy concoction well-paired with chewy golden bubble pearls, resulting in a fragrant milky aroma. Alternatively, opt for the Lemon Lime Green Tea (S$3.70) for a refreshing jolt especially on a weary mid-afternoon (just take note that it might be a tad bit sour at first taste).
Other best-selling drinks: Oolong Milk Tea (S$3.40), Ovaltine Milk Tea (S$4.00), Yakult Green Tea (S$4.00), Peach Green Tea (S$3.70).
Location: Terminal 3, #B2-12
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday — 11:00AM to 9:00pm
3. The Alley
Arguably, one of the best elements of bubble tea has got to be the texture and aroma of pearls. In my opinion, The Alley hits the spot. Their handmade pearls are slow-cooked for over four hours, thus giving them that signature bite. Their pearls are never soggy, and are often made to the right level of chewiness!
When The Alley first opened its doors in Singapore, what we saw were lines of snaking queues. Clearly, it’s for good reason. This is a Taiwanese-based modern bubble tea chain, best known for their Brown Sugar Deerioca (a wordplay on “tapioca” and the brand’s deer logo). Each of these costs S$5.30 a cup. What keeps people coming back for more is that satisfying creme brulee texture that’s well-paired with a roasted caramel flavour from its brown sugar tapioca pearls.
Other best-selling drinks: Royal No.9 Milk Tea (S$5.30), Apple Of My Eye (S$6.30), Hojicha Latte (S$5.75).
Location: Jewel Changi Airport, #B2-273
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, Sunday — 11:00am to 9:30pm, Friday to Saturday — 11:00am to 10:30pm
4. CHICHA SanChen
Best known for their freshly-brewed tea drinks, CHICHA San Chen is a bubble tea chain that hails from Taichung City. Each order is made fresh from toasted tea leaves here — one of its most famous is the signature Dong Ding Oolong Tea with Konjac Jelly (S$5.70). It’s aromatic, it’s fragrant, it’s what you’ll definitely crave after a long day of wandering about in malls.
There’s that build-a-bear excitement when it comes to this store — for one, you’ll get to customise your drinks by mixing the chosen tea with fruity flavours such as honey, lemon juice, passion fruit and mango. Or even better, watch the staff brew your drinks right before your eyes — all thanks to its open counter concept.
For a refreshing combination, get the High Mountain Pouchong Tea with Lemon Juice (S$4.20). The aroma of the tea pairs well with the light punch of sourness that comes from the lemon. Other best-selling drinks: Green Tea with Mousse (S$4.70), Fresh Milk with Brown Sugar Bubble (S$5), Osmanthus Oolong Tea with Passion Fruit (S$4.70).
Locations and opening hours:
Jewel Changi Airport, #B2-213 (Opens daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm)
Terminal 3, #B2-25 (Opens daily from 11:00am to 9:30pm)
5. Hub & Spoke
Located outside Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 is a hidden glasshouse casual cafe, Hub & Spoke. It’s near the new-ish 3.5km Changi Airport connector — a jogging and cycling path that links the airport directly to East Coast Park. What you’ll find at Hub & Spoke extends beyond local delights like Nanyang-style kopi, western mains and toasts.
Not many know this yet, but it’s also where you can stop by to hop on the bubble tea bandwagon! For those who prefer something sweet, consider getting their popular Signature Taro Milk Tea (S$4.20) or Gula Melaka Avocado Shake (S$4.90). Besides those, other crowd pleasers have been refreshing ones like the Honey Chrysanthemum Tea (S$3.60) and Chrysanthemum Macchiato (S$4.20). While these picks may not come from a large bubble tea chain, the ambience of Hub & Spoke is a good enough reason to visit. In fact, it’s a tranquil hideout in this part of Singapore with lots of greenery.
Other best-selling drinks: Brown Sugar Fresh Milk (S$4.90), Roasted Oolong Tea (S$3.60), Strawberry Matcha Fresh Milk (S$4.20).
Address: #01-T2S-02, Singapore Changi Airport (Nearest to Terminal 2)
Opening hours: Opens daily from 7:30pm to 10:30pm
As long as it’s consumed within moderation, there’s no shame in sipping up some of that bubble tea goodness every once in a while. It’s pretty much our unofficial national drink — a beverage suited for both kids and the young-at-heart. It will go along with any snacks and sweets you enjoy. Not a bad idea to take away some of the best fast food at Jewel Changi Airport along with your bubble tea fix, maybe? Next time that crave hits again, consider hopping by to the vicinity of Changi for that delicious fix!
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