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Where To Find Authentic Bubble Tea In Cardiff

 Lately, I have been on a bit of a bubble tea craze. It all started when I first moved to Cardiff and went to Bubbleology with a friend. I opted for a fruity tea with popping bubbles and was instantly hooked. I loved how refreshing it was on a summers day and the concept of popping bubbles was really fun to me. Then I got pregnant and tastebuds did a whole 360. Suddenly, I found it too sweet. A little synthetic. Just a whole lotta meh. 

Fast forward, two babies later, and I was curious to try bubble tea again. Just not the super sweet kind - I wanted to try something a bit more traditional. And, after trying out a few new places and experimenting with different teas and toppings, I created quite the list of favourite bubble tea destinations here in Cardiff. So, I thought I would share with you where in Cardiff you can find traditional bubble tea and try something different to the typical fruity teas and popping boba. 

CN Tea Lab

46-48 Charles St, CF10 2GE

CN Tea Lab feels like a bit of a hidden gem here in Cardiff. It is mostly frequented by international students and it offers authentic Chinese milk and bubble teas. You can choose from fruit teas in flavours like grape and strawberry, milk teas flavoured with gold taro, and bubble teas made with jasmine or oolong tea. You can have these topped with mousse and there are a choose of toppings - tapioca pearls being the most common.

On my visit there, I opted for the grape jasmine tea without the mousse and my sibling went for the gold taro milk bubble tea. Mine was super refreshing and had grape flavoured jelly in the bottom. I also had a sip of my sibling's and it was super milky with tapioca pearls in it. The taro flavouring with delicious, really sweet and almost caramel-y. Next time, I would opt for the taro barley oat bubble tea which sounds so good.

CN Tea Lab is situated on Charles Street which is on the street behind Grazing Shed - the same street as the Job Centre. It is located in an inconspicuous looking office building but the decor inside is really cute. I had a bit of trouble finding this place as it wasn't showing up on Google Maps so just look for the Job Centre which is at the end of the road and this place will be midway up the road on the same side as the Job Centre. Disclaimer: I am awful at giving directions but this place is definitely worth searching for.


Ha Noi 1991

28-30 Royal Arcade, CF10 1AE

Ha Noi 1991 is one of those places that I have walked past a tonne of times but never actually been inside - well, until about a week ago. It is a Vietnamese cafe located in the Royal Arcade in Cardiff's city centre. They are better known for their delicious Vietnamese style baguettes and their egg coffees - which I am yet to summon up enough confidence to try! But they also do brown sugar tapioca pearls which you can have in your choice of tea.

When I visited, I opted for the taro bubble tea with the brown sugar tapioca pearls and it was so nice! The tapioca pearls came warm and the taro bubble tea was served iced over the top of them. The tea itself had a gorgeous, sweet, milky flavour - without being too dense like some milk drinks are. And the tapioca pearls were lovely, especially with the brown sugar on them. They were chewy but slightly cakey inside. Even Ava loved them so you know it is good when your picky three year old likes them.

Next time, I would definitely reorder this - maybe with less tapioca pearls so I can have some sips with just the tea in it - and I would love to try some Vietnamese food too. Also the decor in there was beautiful - quite rustic and natural, definitely my style. So, I will have to go back when indoor dining is allowed again!

Peking Bakery & I-Tea

60 Cowbridge Rd East, CF11 9DU

Peking Bakery is a new discovery for me - mostly because I am ever on Cowbridge Road as it is on the other side of Cardiff from where I live - but they do deliver via Just Eat so that is how I managed to try them. I will set the scene: I was at home one evening with only Asaba there (and he had just gone down to sleep) and I desperately craved some bubble tea. I went through all the apps (because, of course, I have every food delivery app on my phone #guilty) but couldn't find anywhere that was open. Then I stumbled across Peking Bakery - my saving grace! As it was late, the delivery time was long but I was happy to wait. 

I ordered a caramel milk tea (but, stupidly, I forgot to add any toppings!) and a bunch of pastries - the best of which was the red bean paste bun which was topped with sesame seeds. They do a range of traditional Chinese teas there which are really unique. Their flavours range from the regular ones like passionfruit green tea to yakult based ones and even a red bean one. The toppings are extra and there's a choice of grass jelly, coconut jelly, coconut pearls, or regular tapioca pearls. 

If I were to reorder, I would love to try the grapefruit green tea one maybe with coconut pearls or just as is.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to know what your go-to bubble tea order is!

You may also enjoy:

A Local's Guide To Visiting Cardiff

Where To Eat In Cardiff: Barker's Coffee

Where To Eat In Cardiff: Waterloo Tea

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