A new branch of Chatime opened in Ville St-Laurent this weekend so we ventured out before lunch to get some bubble tea! The kiddo has only tried this once but thought it was a fun treat. Gummy chewy drinks are delicious and sensory adventurous so good for all! This is the 3rd branch to open in Montreal, but Chatime is a Taiwanese franchise and has locations all over the world. This branch is part of the Pho Côte-Vertu restaurant and right next to the metro stop of the same name. They have a decent sized parking lot for those who drive, but street parking in the area is also available. Once you enter the restaurant doors, you will immediately see the Chatime counter.
Cha means tea in Taiwan (and Chinese) and they specialize in iced teas made with fresh ingredients and toppings (mix-ins that go inside the drink). The tea is brewed fresh as you order, so not the typical power mix that a lot of bubble tea shops use. The most popular drink they offer is “Pearl Milk Tea” which is commonly known as bubble tea or boba. The tapioca balls is what gives the tea its name and adds a fun chewy component to the refreshing drink. Chatime offers different options in drink choices, both caffeinated and non-caffeinated forms. This is important to note, as I am always in need of caffeine but the kiddo is most certainly not!
The hostess was very friendly with answering questions and walking me through the process, but I’d highly recommend studying the menu beforehand to have an idea of what you would like to order. I get anxiety at Starbucks having to remember the different variations. For the longest time I only ordered Grande Mocha Valencias no whip because it was the easiest thing to remember. I loved the drink but when the discontinued it (still bitter), I got more nerve to order but still stresses me out. The Chatime menu is by far more intimidating but not impossible if you get familiar with the menu before you order.
Here’s an overview of the drink types:
- Milk Tea – black tea and milk, with variations based on the type of tea used
- Fruit Tea – tea drink with no milk
- Smoothie – self-explanatory and you can add the toppings to this drink!
- Oriental Pop Tea – specialty teas like matcha (ground green tea) and genmaicha (tea with roasted rice)
- Fresh Tea – plain teas
- Juice – caffeine free juice drinks. Note the QQ drinks under the jelly menu are also “juice” based but not entirely sure why its a separate category (bad blogger)
- Mousse – topped with a, well, mousse. To try on a future visit!
In your drink you can add toppings or mix ins ( I haven’t tried all so wont attempt to describe what I don’t know!):
- Pearls – tapioca pearls or boba
- Grass Jelly – a softer structure jello with a distinct flavor (not grass), I love it!
- Rainbow Jelly
- Coffee Jelly
- Red Bean – sweet beans
- Coconut Jelly – a rectangular jelly with more chewiness than the pearl
- Aloe Vera
After you choose your ice level and sweetness. This is the best part in my opinion, as you can really customize to your taste. The visual to the left is from the Chatime website and describes it way better than I could. Sweetness is subjective. In all our drinks I ordered 30% sweetness. For the Pearl Milk Tea, it was the perfect amount for me if not a touch more sweet than I would have liked. For the Grass Jelly Roasted Milk Tea, I could have used more sweetness. The Peach QQ for the kiddo had just the right amount!
On the ice level, it really can depend on whatever you feel. It was a hot day and I ordered 50% ice. My mistake! The drinks were delicious and still cold but after a while warmed up. Still enjoyable but definitely could use more ice.
Probably important to note, some drinks can only be served iced and some can be served hot. Drinks that can only be served cold are indicated on the menu with a snowflake symbol. This does make Chatime a year round shop, since iced drinks in a Canadian January isn’t very appealing. Warm pearl milk tea is a really nice alternative and I look forward to it in the fall months.
Here are the details of Chatime in Montreal!