Hi Tea 23.5
Hi Tea 23.5 a bubble tea chain from Guangzhou that offers an interesting mix of vividly colourful drinks and pretty desserts.
The '23.5' suffix at the end of the name actually refers to 23.5 degrees of north and south latitude, a geographic boundary which is apparently ideal for growing tea and coffee.
Despite its understated exterior, the cafe's interior is extremely spacious. A smattering of magazines and board games along with booth seating invite you to stay for a while.
The Blue Curacao Sparkling Water ($6.49) is a head-turner. It contains blue curacao syrup, fruit-flavoured popping bobas, and various fresh fruits like red dragon fruit and orange mixed with sparkling water.
The Sakura Sparkling Water ($6.49) is made with sakura syrup and real sakura leaves, mixed once more with fruity popping bobas, this fizzy drink is refreshing and not too sweet.
I really liked the ultra-refreshing Super Fruit Tea ($6.49) which contains everspring oolong tea mixed with a symphony of fresh fruit slices such as orange, watermelon, strawberry, lime, and apple. It's perfect for the hot and humid summer weather.
For something heavier, go for the Cake Milk Tea ($4.99) which tastes exactly like its name. The drink fuses your typical milk tea with a homemade cream reminiscent of cake frosting. It's a bit dense, but it's delicious.
The Strawberry Yakult ($4.59)is at the midpoint between a fruity drink and a heavier beverage. It contains strawberry flavoured popping bobas, strawberry jam, and of course, Yakult.
One my personal favourites is the Mango Olay ($5.49) which brings to mind a smooth and pleasant mango-flavoured milk. It's mixed with mango-flavoured bobas and jelly.
But the piece de resistance is the ridiculously over-the-top Taro Ball Ice Bowl ($6.99), which features pudding, taro balls, red beans, and tapioca pearls in a mild coconut milk syrup, all caressed within a bowl made of actual ice.
When the liquid nitrogen is poured on the side, the crackling sound and the visual spectacle combine to create an audiovisual treat.
The dessert itself isn't teeth-chatteringly cold despite how its initial appearance may suggest. It's also not overly sweet, which I really appreciate.
Hi Tea 23.5 also offers other snacks and dessert, such as a collection of Japanese style Octopus Ball ($6.99).
Or go all out with the Bubble Waffle with Ice Cream ($5.49), which consists of a rolled up Hong Kong style bubble waffle combined with a healthy dollop of ice cream, fruits, and wafer sticks. This one's for sharing.