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Guaranteed to make you Bubble with joy

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Top 4 Bubble Tea hubs in Aberdeen

by Rory Buccheri (@rebelfoodrory)

courtesy of HEA

Picture it: it’s a rainy day in Aberdeen. Rivers of young people are streaming down the street. Students are going back to school from their break. Back to classes, or work, or both. Among the granite buildings and grey cloudy skies, there are patches and splashes of colour everywhere, in the cups the students are holding. Thanks to TikTok trends and bubbly entrepreneurs, Bubble Tea is all the rage: and Aberdeen has just jumped on board. You may wonder why this article is only reviewing four establishments, and it’s not a familiar top 5. Well, the truth is that in order for me to get that fifth review, they’d have to open another bubble tea hub. If you’re looking for a business idea, let me know. I am fine with waiting.

courtesy of TCHIT bubbletea

4) TCHIT bubbletea

148 King Street

Variety: ★★★★★

Flavour: ★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

Price: ££

I am in that 10% of the population who discovered Matcha and got absolutely hooked on it. As green as it is luscious, Matcha has that simply irreplaceable flavour – half freshly-cut grass, half pure energy in powdered form. For people like me, then, it is an unfortunate occurrence when a Matcha bubble tea doesn’t live up to expectations. It is something you can forgive a Regular, double ice, Boba – but Matcha? It’s the Mona Lisa of bubble tea. It has to be a masterpiece. (It certainly costs like one).

As far as bubble tea establishments go, TCHIT certainly doesn’t sin in lack of options. Quite the contrary, on coming in you find yourself trading simplicity for sweet confusion – where to start, how much ice to put, how many bubbles, how sweet? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when visiting a bubble tea establishment. In TCHIT, there are soooo many more. There are plenty of specials that make your mouth water just looking at them. The experience is a rewarding one in the end, and one left in the careful hands of kind and professional staff.

3) Bubble Ci-Tea

Union Square Shopping Centre, Ground Floor

Variety: ★★★

Flavour: ★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

Price: £

More affordable doesn’t always mean worse. In this case, Bubble Ci-Tea has the great perk of having a good variety of bubbles and of tea for a reasonably good price. Their fruit options are the most in demand, leaving more daring blends at the bottom corner of the menu. Both the hibiscus tea and the Matcha have a strong, hearty flavour, and there is infinite choice to what bubbles to put in. One thing needs to be said: if you go around lunch time or in the afternoon, chances are you will find a 10-people waiting queue in front of you. That aside, their customer service makes the entire machine work on well-oiled cogs, and you will be served in reasonable time. At the end of the day, Bubble Ci-Tea helped with the trend growth in Aberdeen, and we certainly must recognise that being part of a chain (and inside a mall) means distribution will be greater. However, if you are fond of independent establishments who wake up at 6am every day to make their own bubbles and prep their own tea to make a customer’s day special, this is not the place to be.

courtesy of HEA

2) HEA Tea & Coffee

23A Castle Street

Variety: ★★★

Flavour: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★★

Price: £

On the other hand, if I wanted to make my day special, I’d go to Hea. ‘Hea’, the owners explain, is a Cantonese saying representing the concept of taking it easy, relaxing, enjoying and…maybe a bit of procrastinating. Who can’t relate to that? Once you step in the shop on Castle Street, you will see the mood goes hand in hand with the brand. As far as location goes, it is a great place to be if you want to run away from the noise and constant hustle of Union Street. Tucked safely in its own space facing Castlegate, HEA has the chance to be a real treat to bubble tea aficionados. When it comes to bubble tea, these guys don’t need to sugar coat it: the ingredients speak for themselves. This is, by far, the most delicious balance of creamy and not-too sweet blend I have tasted in Aberdeen. The young people behind the biz (an alumnus and a current student in Aberdeen) spend time explaining how they use oolong (half fermented) instead of black tea to go with Matcha. When I taste it, there is something strikingly different from the usual, and I am able to pick up hints and tones that are impossible to trace when you visit big stores. I have the impression that paired with a softer bubble and a less-sweet, more embodied flavour, there is a lot of passion and joy poured into my tea.

As the name suggests, Hea provides both a superior bubble tea experience and hot drinks. Whether you are in the city centre for commissions or you are just on your day off taking it easy, I would recommend paying them a visit.

courtesy of FUN TEA


10 Back Wynd, Aberdeen

Variety: ★★★★

Flavour: ★★★★★

Customer Service: ★★★★

Price: £

There are lots of things that make FUN TEA my favourite in Aberdeen so far. For starters, the shop is a little jewel – it looks tidy and decorated and just lovely to be in. Plus, if you count their fresh biscuits and cheesecake in the fridge as decorations, those alone are able to steal the scene. I can name countless times in which I have stared at their fluffy Japanese cheesecake from the shop window. But let’s talk about their bubble tea. This is bound to be the best bubble tea I’ve had in Aberdeen so far. Placed conveniently in the city centre, I think it easily beats its main competition down in Union Square, and deserves a plus star for being an independently-run business, part of a Scotland-wide franchise. Their Matcha bubble tea is simply enchanting. As you might have guessed by number 4, I am difficult to impress on that front. It has everything a good matcha needs: grassy flavour, milky background, bubbles that go with it instead of against. Kudos for their sweetest options too: when you don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, a Biscoff and whipped cream bubble tea can sound horrifying. Yet, in the hands of FUN TEA, it has a touch of genius.

I usually go to the city centre without knowing my exact route. Since FUN TEA has opened, I know I will go past their street. Just, you know, to get a good look at that Japanese cheesecake (and sometimes be tempted further).


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