KOI Cafe Hot
You can say that Koi was responsible for bringing back the Milk Tea craze in Singapore. There was a time when you could see long snaking queues all around Koi outlets in Singapore. Then Gong Cha came in offering the same thing at half the price and things changed quite a bit.
A few things they did differently were their very organised queue systems, the ability to pick your sugar levels and well being a big name in Taiwan.
Blk 83 Marine Parade Central #01-562
Tel: +65 6440 4869
Koi Cafe Ang Mo Kio
Blk 704 Ang Mo Kio Central #01-2545
Tel: +65 6459 1518
Koi Cafe Bishan
513 Bishan street 13 #01-503
Tel: +6258 1729
Koi Cafe Illuma
201 Victoria Street #01-15 Iluma At Bugis
Tel: +6884 6817
Koi Cafe People’s Park
1 Park Road #01-16 People’s Park Complex
Tel: +65 6536 8330
Koi Cafe Toa Payoh
190A Toa Payoh Central #01-562
Tel: +65 6256 1169
Koi Cafe Clementi
LK 442 CLEMENTI AVE 3 #01-101 SINGAPORE 120442
Tel: +6773 1476
Koi Cafe Tampines
BLK 510 TAMPINES CENTRAL 1, #01-250 SINGAPORE 520510
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When bubble tea was revived a few years back, I did not think it would last long but it seemed like this wave of bubble tea would be here to stay. I had discussed this with some friends that were doing business. Their thoughts were this wave was more controlled and the quality was maintained. The previous wave failed because after a while, you would find a bubble tea shop every few steps and each shop were trying to sell cheaper than the shops besides and they sacrificed quality to go for price war.
This time round, the bubble tea was more expensive and although there were also an increase in number of shops selling bubble tea but these shops were mainly franchise and they maintained a certain standard and the competition was no longer with price but rather with quality.
If the tea shops maintain their standard, these shops would be here to stay. KOI bubble tea was one of the rewards that I gave to my children for good behavior.
Some nice drinks
Like all good bubble drink stores, there will be some good drinks as well as some not-so-good ones. And everyone's opinions differ.
For me, I love Koi's Honey Green Tea because no sugar is added (I'm health conscious) and the natural taste of raw honey and green tea complements each other. It has just the right amount of natural sweetness as well.
I dislike queuing though but service is fast and the wait is not too long.
Ice Cream Milk Tea craving!
When it comes to ice cream milk tea...i think of KOI! Although there are a few bubble tea shops that offer the same item but KOI ice cream milk tea (with 50% sugar) is more satisfying!
Me and my friends find it challenging to search for KOI outlets as most of their shops are located in a not-so-exposed area (except the outlets in Bugis+ and Chinatown). We just need to look for a long queue and you’ll find KOI!
One thing that I’m not satisfied with their service is the inconsistency in the amount of pearls they put.
Not the best but still good
The best bubbletea i have ever tasted is not from KOI Cafe. Although the milk tea brewed by KOI Cafe is refreshing and tastes better than the formers which set the trend of the bubbleteas in Singapore, it is beyond any doubt that there are better ones out there.
I like my milk tea plain, with fifty-percent sugar level. Once in awhile I may forget to request for no pearls and hence have to make do. Take note, I leave the pearls out for a personal reason - I once heard that a cup of pearls is equivalent to X bowls of rice and that is an immeasurable amount of carbohydrates! Their pearls are indubitably palatable and i would love to chew on them everytime I buy a cup of KOI milk tea, and Ii urge you to try it!
A big detriment KOI Cafe has is that pudding is not available. Trust me, you have to try a cup of milk tea with pudding and this combination can be found at other entrenched establishments.
Whenever I walk pass Koi, I would always be tempted to buy a cup of beverage from them. My favorite so far would be Passion Fruit Green Tea and Milk Tea. I feel that their milk tea has a unique and specific taste to it that you will recognize it's from Koi and no other bubble tea shop.
There are many competitions around Singapore now. Gongcha and Koi seems to be the most "famous" amongst society now and I feel that they are competing fairly as I seem to notice the crowds are almost similar. They each have their unique drink, style and taste.
But whenever you are walking along the street or after a tired day of shopping, you will not resist the temptation of the sweet and fruitful flavored beverages Koi has to offer. What are you waiting for?
Standard has dropped
I used to find queueing for a cup of KOI worth it as it was tasty and the flavours were refreshing. My old favourites were the Ice Cream Chocolate Milk Tea, Passion Fruit Aloe Vera Green Tea and Honey Green Tea. However, over time, I find that the quality of the drinks have dipped and the teas are no longer as fragrant as before. The quality of the drinks are not worth paying the price for it and I can get better tasting bubble tea at competing bubble tea shops. The more I drink KOI, the more I do not feel like purchasing it again.
KOI would have to come up with innovative flavours for their drinks and/or up the quality of their drinks to get my vote for them again. However, it is undisputed that KOI's standard of drinks is better than the usual drinks that you can get at cheaper bubble tea stores. If you're new to bubble tea and want to give it a try, you could give KOI a try.
Don't know what all the hype is about...
I simply had to sample KOI Cafe's insanely-popular milk tea after seeing the long and winding queue at their Bugis outlet. Anticipating the thought of trying authentic Taiwanese milk tea with pearls, I ordered their Caramel Macchiato and chose my preferred level of sweetness, which was a feature I appreciate.
After a few sips of my Caramel Macchiato Milk Tea, I was stumped. I looked back and I was dumbfounded as to why there was such a long queue for this! My beverage was clearly diluted, with almost no flavour at all. The distinctive taste that accompanies Caramel Macchiato beverages was missing and I quite certainly felt that I was drinking a plain milk tea which can be bough from any two-bit neighbourhood bubble-tea shop.
Definitely not going to waste my time queuing up again...
Best milk tea.
Koi really excels at doing what they do best; making milk tea. I've tried many different bubble tea shops in Singapore and have come to a conclusion that Koi's milk tea is really exceptional and hits the consistency that i expect every single time.
My personal favourite would be the "Green Milk Tea" with pearls. I love this flavour because it's milk and green tea, both combined together is amazingly refreshing and not to mention i love pearls. I basically love anything that's chewy and Koi's pearls are chewy with a capital C.
I used to frequent Gong Cha often when i was working at vivo city and yes their earl grey milk tea is nice, but there's just something missing. Gong cha's specialty, the Gong Cha milk teas with the creamy froth on top? Looks good but when you try it, it gets sickening, too fast. Plus their prices are much pricier than Koi and slower service/standards.
I compare Gong Cha to Koi because i believe they are the top 2 bubble-tea selling franchises that are up to the "good" bubble tea standards. But it wouldn't be a tie, because i would choose Koi. :) Always consistent, always fresh, always fast service (even though you've to wait quite awhile due to their overwhelming amount of customers), and their forever chewy and lovely black pearls. Their milk teas are also very fresh and i love that. It's unexplainable until you try it yourself!! Must try for any bubble-tea lovers.
Be sure to ask for less pearls!
The only thing that attracts me to Koi is their milk tea because the milk tea is the only one drink that separates Koi from fellow bubble tea stalls.The normal milk bubble tea from other stalls like "Sweet-talk" is light brown in colour and like the normal "teh-peng" that you drink in coffee shops. The one that you buy from Koi is totally white in colour and they use fresh milk for the milk tea instead of the standard condensed milk. This greatly makes their milk tea stand out.
However,I find the amount of pearls(bubbles) they offer are too overwhelming,Every time I ask for less pearls,I would still find it so tedious to finish them in the end.Their less is still a lot.It has been so annoying that I have changed to drinking grass jelly milk tea instead.Compared to "Gong Cha" and other bubble tea shops,I would still put Koi first because their milk tea has greatly stolen my heart. In Singapore's sweltering hot weather, a cup of Ice Cream Milk Tea would cool us down immediately.It feels like eating vanilla ice cream and drinking milk tea at the same time,extra oomph to our taste buds!
Sadly,other than their winning milk teas,I dare say that they have nothing else that is worth remembering.
where is my cacao barry :(
My favourite drink was cacao barry and I used to patronize Koi quite often.. Until they took Cacao barry off their menu :(
WHY DID THEY DO THAT??? :(
Other than the pearls (which are harmful for you anyway) AND THE CACAO BARRY, there is nothing special about Koi and I don't get the hype about it! Everytime I think of Koi I think of the long queues and I'm just like -sian-
I think they shouldn't open too many outlets because the high supply which was supposed to counter the high demand seems to have backfired.
In all, I think Koi is just a passing fad and will die out soon.. Just like sweet talk. Nothing special about it (except cacao barry). Maybe I'll consider giving it better ratings if Cacao Barry was brought back
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User rating summary from: 2 user(s)
Boy Toy named Koi
I used to be on the ‘Koi is overrated’ bandwagon, but once an outlet opened right in my neighbourhood shopping mall, I found myself jumping ship.
Koi’s Milk Tea had the right amount of bitterness, and tasted milky sweet instead of artificially sugary like most other milk teas. I usually had to get my Milk Tea at 100% sugar level at other stores, because 70% was far too bitter, but 100% made the milk tea taste sickening too. At Koi Cafe, however, 70% was sweet enough for my tastebuds, Their Milk Tea is so yummy that I’d usually get it plain. On days when I need a sugar rush, I’d get the Ovaltine Ice-cream Milk Tea or Ice-cream Milk Tea, which adds a creamy, vanilla taste to the Milk Tea.
Koi has one of the best pearls around as well, and never disappointed me by no longer being chewy no matter the time of the day, as most other shops would. The range of flavours available is probably the most extensive out of all bubble tea shops in Singapore, and they truly deserve all the hype they get.
Best bubble tea in Singapore
I remember vaguely a bubble tea craze in Singapore a few years back and Koi was at the forefront of this craze. And till today, it is a survivor. Koi is one of the most popular bubble tea shops in Singapore (with Koi a strong contender) and almost every Koi outlet in Singapore has a queue.
I personally love Koi’s bubble teas with Fresh Milk Tea and Green Tea Macchiato being my favourite flavours. The ingredients used are extremely fresh (fresh milk and Green Tea leaves) that I actually feel less guilty drinking it.
Although the drinks are slightly on the pricey side, I’d rather pay a higher price for good quality drinks and pearls than buy a cheap drink that’s chemical laden.
One of the best bubble tea names in SG
Koi is what I think of when I want to get my bubble tea craving satisfied. My favourite drink from Koi is the Green Tea Macchiato, complete with 25% sugar – no more, no less. The milk froth at the top portion of the drink is quintessential to the drink, giving the silky, soothing feel that only can be complemented with the green tea below.
Apart from the Green Tea Macchiato, the traditional affair of Milk Tea with Pearls is superb at Koi. The brew is great, with balanced bitterness and sweetness. The pearls are also easy to chew, and does not distract me from appreciating the taste of the milk tea. It all simply results in a great cuppa.
When you head to Koi the next time, certainly give a cup of Green Tea Macchiato, or Milk Tea with Pearls a try. Or both.
Maybe it's their decor, advertisments, or genuine quality: whatever it is, I have always found KOI's bubble tea or tea in general to be the freshest among the various bubble tea stalls.
My personal favorite drink, their green tea macchiato is both affordable and tasty, the blend of their milk and their fresh green tea make it a very enjoyable experience. When drunk at 30% sugar level, their tea really has a certain amount of freshness and sweetness combined that makes it not as sweet as Pokka's line of green tea yet not quite as bitter as the Ayataka released by Heaven and Earth. It is, in other words, their unique line of green tea.
I also enjoy their passion fruit green tea and their various concoctions that have to do with green tea. Admittedly, although their prices may be a bit steep, KOI has somewhat of a specialty in green tea that make their concoctions very enjoyable to drink. Either way, the quality of their drinks are reliable as well and you can alter sugar level or ice-level to your personal preference.
I must admit, however, that KOI is a bit on the pricey side. Perhaps that may be due to the fact that I always buy their drinks in large sizes - yet it's good that they provide that option, as opposed to other bubble tea stalls.
All in all, with a low enough sugar level, a drink from KOI can actually be rather healthy: which when you consider coupled with how enjoyable it is, makes it a pretty good choice for your fix of bubble tea.
Green Tea Machiatto - Best Drink Ever
I'm a fan of all drinks that have foam or bubbles floating around the brim, fruit juices, sugar cane, beer included. So whenever I order Green Tea Machiatto, I'd ask them to add more of the milk foamy stuff.
What sucks about it is that I love pearls too but they won't allow me to add it into my green tea machiatto :( I think it should be allowed.
That makes me buy two different drinks every time I patronize KOI.
Still As Good As Ever
If I remember correctly, Koi was the first bubble tea cafe to open in Singapore and it was such a huge hit among the masses that there would be long, snaking lines for it. It's the same for every single outlet and you'd have to queue for quite long before you can finally get a taste of their bubble tea.
However, after other companies opened up, such as Gongcha and Artease, I feel that Koi is losing out. Sure it was the big thing but now, it's just another typical bubble tea shop and there's nothing special to it. Koi is also much sweeter than other bubble teas and they give you a huge dollop of pearls that you can get sick of very easily.
I wish Koi would come up with new flavours and update their cafe menu to keep things more interesting.
Losing out to other bubble tea stores
Koi was once one of the most popular places to grab a milk tea or bubble tea. I remember the times when I had to queue for insane amounts of time. However, the price just does not justify the bubble tea experience any more.
With other similar concept stores popping up (Gong Cha is one of them) with much lower prices but teas that taste just as awesome, KOI has lost its former glory. However, I still go there for a bit, especially to get my favourite drinks which include iced ovaltine. The drinks are also a little on the sweet side, which makes me wonder if my money is going to the sugar instead of the tea.
Overrated and not that great
This is a huge favourite for most of my friends but quite honestly, I don’t get why. I’ve tried a number of drinks from them, each time with an open mind hoping to be impressed, but that usually never happens. The classic pearl milk tea, which i think is crucial for any bubble tea chain to get right, makes me sick. Something about the number of pearls they put in, together with the extremely sickly sweet taste makes my head and stomach ache. The ice cream milk tea isn’t as bad, but it’s not that great either.
Every drink in koi just ends up being far too sweet even when i ask for 25% sugar, which makes no sense to me. I think it lacks in comparison to its rival bubble tea chain gong cha. The prices for koi are also hardly forgiving. The drinks usually cost up to $4 which isn’t exactly affordable for bubble tea. However, if you’re looking to try it, I still think you should because it’s a hit or miss. It just happened to be a miss for me.
Nice milk tea
Koi is an alternative to Gong Cha and another very good bubble tea store. Koi has various different flavours such as the classic milk tea to one of my favourite flavours the passion fruit green tea. At Koi, there are two different sizes to choose from. If you have a large stomach to fill, the larger size is more than enough to satisfy it. The prices at Koi are quite high compared to other bubble tea outlets. As such I frequent Koi less.
Koi’s milk tea with 50 percent sugar, is quite good. The pearls are quite chewy and in my opinion, doesn’t add on or enhance the flavour of the beverage. I rather be slurping up the drink than slurping up balls of pearls. The passion fruit green tea is more expensive in Koi than in Gong Cha, but not any more better. Overall, It is worthwhile visiting Koi for its milk tea.
Favorite Drink Ever
I love milk tea and Koi is my favourite bubble tea shop, hands down.
I always order fresh milk tea with aloe vera, 0% sugar. People might think I'm crazy but I really like my teas with 0% sugar so that there will be more milk and tea taste. The fresh milk tea has a strong milk taste, so if you like milk, fresh milk tea is the way to go!
I think Koi's hazelnut milk tea is nice as well, if you drink it fast enough. I love the hazelnut milk tea, it makes the milk tea more flavourful and aromatic. With 0% sugar, it is already sweet and flavourful enough. However, if you drink it too slowly, the melting ice will soon dilute it and it will taste not as nice anymore, quite disgusting.
What I like about koi is the amount of topping they give. I always order my milk tea with aloe vera. Koi's aloe vera is huge and juicy and they always give a lot of aloe vera, that makes my drink so worth it! Aloe vera has health benefits too! I used to like the pearls of koi, but as time passed, I felt that their pearls became smaller and harder, which made it not as nice anymore. Nevermind though, pearls are bad for us. I will promote aloe vera to koi fans who want a healthier alternative.
Koi is my favourite drink of all times. Love it so much.