Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cafe Review: Chatime

Location: Various (Elizabeth Street Store, Melbourne Central Store, Swanston Street Store,  Box Hill Centro Store, Doncaster Westfield Store, The Glen Shopping Centre Store)
Phone: 03 9663 2883 for  CBD store (77 Swanston Street, Melbourne)

Chatime is the world's largest fresh tea outlet and is rapidly building up a strong presence in Melbourne.
Gastrology was taken behind the scenes on a tea tasting tour courtesy of Chatime. Our wonderful and extremely knowledgeable host Zachary (Chatime's regional manager) guided us on our tea tasting journey through the Chatime menu.

Chatime's menu is expansive, boasting an array of hot and cold (mainly tea based) beverages, ensuring that there is a drink to suit all tastes. The list of best-selling drinks can be a very helpful guide when ordering, given the sheer number of drinks on offer.
The variety of teas is impressive, including assam black tea, premium black tea, oolong tea, roasted tea, jasmine green tea and brown rice green tea. All of the teas have unique characteristics and flavour profiles.

Chatime's main focus is bubble tea - a sweet, milk tea drink containing chewy tapioca "pearls" (the bubbles). Whilst bubble tea originated in Asia, its popularity (and deliciously addictive flavour) has seen it spread throughout the world.

What differentiates Chatime from other bubble tea outlets is the use of high quality, fresh ingredients such as fresh Taiwanese tea leaves and real, not powdered, milk. Chatime also allows you to customise your drink by adjusting the level of sweetness and quantity of ice.
We saw firsthand the state of the art technology and brewing techniques Chatime utilises to ensure that each specific variety of tea is brewed at the perfect temperature, and the carefully refined processes involved in creating Chatime's signature drinks.
One drink we found particularly interesting and unique was the tea espresso. Brewed in a similar method to a traditional coffee espresso (albeit with tea leaves instead of ground coffee), the tea espressos are strong and rich allowing you to fully appreciate the complex flavours of the specific tea chosen.

We were also surprised at the excellent quality of the coffee smoothie, given Chatime's self-confessed emphasis on tea. For true coffee lovers, we recommend paying an extra 50 cents to get a second shot of espresso in the coffee smoothie.

The Gastrology team have been fans of Chatime for many years. Given how delicious and refreshing Chatime's beverages are, it is not surprising that they are going from strength to strength in Australia and around the world.

Chatime on Urbanspoon

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