Bubble Tea Review: LiHo Cheese Tea

Now that Gongcha is officially gone-cha (with long queues at its last branch on 4th June at MBS) and all 80 outlets are replaced by local brand LiHo 哩喝 (which means "how are you!" in Hokkien), I wondered how the new bubble teas will stack up against the ousted Gongcha and against competitor KOI whom I wrote about back in 2010. There are other bubble tea shops like the super-purist Yuan Cha (in Bukit Panjang Plaza and Far East Plaza) and Woobbee (my favourite bubble tea shop in Singapore) which I'll leave out of the equation for now due to their market share/number of outlets.

Here's the LiHo drinks menu (if your eyesight is not so good like me and want to see what to order while in the super-long queue).

Everything remains quite the same except for the Cheese foam, and the presence of 
Jing Syuan and Guan Yin teas (which Yuan Cha has) instead of Earl Grey (Gongcha's). The queues are longer now though (let's wait another month for the foam to settle down).

I tried both the Milk Tea (no pearls, 30%) which had a slightly stronger tea taste than Gongcha's (my default drink) and finally the Cheese Green Tea near our office, since it is limited to 50 cups per day per outlet. At $4 for a cup it is quite a hefty price tag! Also this is a small thing but that cup cover is really quite excessive in terms of plastic usage. What's wrong with the old plastic sheet seal?

What's the verdict, you ask? Is it worth the S$4 and the queueing time for a cup of LiHo Cheese Tea?

Well after trying it my honest opinion is that it's quite unbalanced in terms of flavour. When I first took a sip, the green tea was very diluted and it brought along a mild burst of salty foam which quickly dissipated. But after finishing the almost-tasteless green tea, I was left with a thick layer of foam. Then it felt like I was slurping up a liquid Bake Cheese Tart and the taste on its own was a little too strong (salty cheese!) without the green tea to wash the taste away.

Verdict? Try if you have time and likes salty cheesy foam, but don't have high expectations. Personally I prefer the KOI Macchiato for their sweet milky foam which integrates better with the drink.

Comment and let me know your thoughts after trying!

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