An update on New York City’s bubble tea scene includes a crazy popular Taiwanese chain moving to Manhattan and an alcohol-infused tea menu at another.
Taiwan’s super popular Tiger Sugar is opening in Manhattan this Saturday in Chinatown, at 197 Canal Street. The shop — which claims to have birthed the original caramelized brown sugar milk tea with cream mousse that has since proliferated around Asia — opened in downtown Flushing in May to crazy long lines. Demand was so high that the shop limited people to four drinks per purchase.
Soon after it expanded to Brooklyn, where throngs of people also showed up to get their hands on the signature drink with “tiger stripes” of brown sugar syrup running down the cup. Now it’s coming to Manhattan, which will mark its third NYC shop in just four months.
The chain was founded in 2017 and has over 40 stores worldwide, including China, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Canada, and soon in Australia. It’s not the first hugely popular Taiwanese bubble tea chain to open in Manhattan this summer. The Alley, also known for its Instagrammable brown sugar milk tea, recently opened to long lines in the East Village.
Meanwhile, East Village newcomer and London import Bubbleology NYC is introducing alcohol infused boba tea on Monday, September 16 — the first shop to do so.
Classic tea flavors will be paired with vodka, gin, bourbon, and rum and sold for $13.95 each, plus shots for $6.95. Drinks include the “majestic butterfly,” a Jasmine tea gin and tonic with butterfly pea flower and lime, and the “peanut loaded freak,” a mix of Jasmine tea, bourbon, caramel, peanut butter, vanilla, and milk. See the menu below.
Despite the grab-and-go nature of bubble tea, the alcoholic ones won’t be available to go and will be served in martini, tumbler, or shot glasses rather than the traditional tea containers.
Bubbleology opened earlier this year at 120 1/2 First Ave., between Seventh Street and St. Mark’s Place, serving tea alongside gelato served in “bubble waffles” with fruit toppings. The chain originally opened in London in 2011.