New Bubble Tea: Yuan Cha at #01-29 Bukit Panjang Plaza, Singapore 677743

Even though most of you would have seen the numerous cups of latte art coffee on my Instagram, I am actually more of a tea person than a coffee one. If you have been friends/working with me, you'll know that bubble tea is my weakness. I used to get one after lunch almost every week when I was working - either Gong Cha's milk tea at 30% or KOI's green tea macchiato. I don't really like the pearls (too much calories and boring to eat) and I try to cut down on the sugar level, but having a cup of bubble tea is my little indulgence for the week. That's why I was really intrigued when a new bubble tea shop opened up at Bukit Panjang Plaza that is more tea than bubble, called Yuan Cha 源茶 that encourages us to drink good tea.

I went to try it out for myself and here's a short vlog of it!

And in case you prefer still images to video - walking to the shop, the first thing you'll notice that there's a little corner where different types of tea from Taiwan are for sale (different grades and types of tie guan yin, pu er, alishan etc). The packaging is super pretty, and prices are not too steep. 

Then there's the extensive menu to consult (second thing you will realise). This is much more similar to the ones you'll see in Taiwan, but is probably the only one in Singapore. Notice that other than the classic black (red tea) and green tea, there's Tie Guan Yin and Pu er tea in the plain, honey, milk, osmanthus and fruit series! Prices are from $2.50 to $5. 

You might also notice that there is a $5 Red Oolong Tea (first item on the menu from the top left). That's because it is made with premium red oolong which costs S$38 for a small can! So if you are curious about buying some home, you can try it in the shop first.

The fourth thing you'll notice is that there are NO PEARLS/tapioca balls available at this bubble tea shop. Instead, there's a variety of yam balls and jellies! I like that a lot because these somehow feel more interesting and refreshing. The owner of the shop explained to me that its because he wants to find quality pearls that are more worthwhile/interesting for his teas, than just regular pearls.

I had the milk tea with QQ yam (S$2.50+S0.80) at 25% sugar while my friend tried the Oolong Milk Tea (S$2.60) since that's what she normally drinks elsewhere. My milk tea was delicate, with a hint of black tea and had no overpowering creamer taste. I loved the QQ Yam! So chewy and you can taste the yam flavour too.


We also tried a sample of some other teas. What I really enjoy is the full taste of tea that comes out from each hand-shaken cup of bubble tea, complimented nicely with either fruit, milk or osmanthus (flower).

For example, the grapefruit alishan tea, which uses the grapefruit to bring out the dry, slightly bitter aftertaste of the tea in a smooth manner. The honey osmanthus was also super floral, though a bit too sweet for us (choose the other osmanthus teas if you don't want the honey sweetness).

For the more adventurous tea fans, try the tieguanyin milk tea - it really is a different bubble tea experience compared to the usual! And on a hot day, take some apple vinegar oolong - sour but so refreshing, balanced again with the fragrance of oolong tea.

The owner had warned that once I've tried Yuan Cha, I'll not be able to go back to the other bubble teas. And I suspect there's some truth in that - though the location is really a bit out of the way for me. I wish they will open up more branches soon* in central areas. But for now, I'll definitely recommend West-bound readers and friends to check out Yuan Cha.

Yuan Cha 源茶
#01-29 Bukit Panjang Plaza, 1 Jelebu Road, Singapore 677743
+65 67691153
11am to 9.30pm daily
Facebook Page

*UPDATE: They have a branch at Far East Plaza, #01-39 too! Yay!

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