ChaTime is established in 2004 and is a bubble tea house that has locations across Asia, Australia and America. Their stores in Singapore is at Novena Square Shopping Mall (01-07) and Tangs Market.
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 10 user(s)
the good and the bad
Oh-My-Gawd! I never knew they have Chatime until I recently chanced upon their store one day. Chatime was my frequent hang out spot when I was in Australia and am in love with their honeydew milk tea. When I say in love, I mean nearing borderline of obsession. It still is a wonder why they are not as popular as ShareTea or KOI. I suppose most bubble tea stores offer almost similar beverage menus, so having another franchise will not make any difference. The only downside of it is that their outlets can only be found mostly on the east side of Singapore, whereas I live in the North. Although I would die to have their bubble tea at the moment, it still is not something I'd go out of my way for.
Good but not great
I have this strange obsession with Caramel Milk Tea, and I think Chatime feeds this unhealthy obsession of mine a little too much.
While I wouldn't go as far as to say that Chatime's milk tea is the best (no one beats Gongcha's caramel milk tea), I'd say that its pretty good - just sweet enough to feed my sweet tooth, yet not overly so. However, while its caramel milk tea may be well worthy of those few dollars, I don't suppose I'd say the same for the rest of its selections.
I once tried out Chatime's chocolate milk tea, and it completely fell below my expectations. I'm not sure how it's even humanely possible to get chocolate milk tea wrong, but mine was awfully bland.
However, Chatime's saving grace would be that they actually have seats installed at the side of their store, which I'd thought was quite a good touch because there's nothing more milk tea addicts like myself would love than to seat comfortably in a corner, sipping on some milk tea, while having a good evening chat.
Romantic premise, no? Just don't order the wrong drinks.
Unpleasantness in a cup
I once stopped by this Chatime Bubble Tea Outlet on my way to a medical appointment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. I admitted that the initial lure for me was that there was virtually no people at the outlet, and i was rushing for my appointment but thirsty at the same time.
So I placed an order for a drink, the brown rice milk tea, which I thought would be healthy since well, its based on the nutritious crop. However, I realised that not every single flavour is compatible for making bubble tea. The tea provided by Chatime duoes not leave a lasting flavour, nor a rich texture, or a fragrance that you normally expect from tea selections. Furthermore, combined with the bland but slightly bitter taste of brown rice, the overall flavour did not go well.
Next, I was unsatisfied with the service i received. After taking my order, the staff leisurely chatted for a few minutes in front of me before moving off to concoct the drink. I was amazed by their audacity and wondered if they were aware that they were creating a bad impression for their customers. It was a while before I finally got my drink (at an overated cost of at least $3) which i did not enjoy.
Thridly, I do not like the way they handle their publicity. The official Chatime Singapore Facebook page introduces its drinks in Chinese. While I do understand the language, I believe most of my counterparts from other races will not be able to and this might be a factor that turns them off should they want to find out about new varieties of drinks Chatime is intending to bring in.
Overall, dissatisfaction from my experience will make me only buy from that outlet as a last resort.
Variety of Flavours
Chat Time has lots of flavours available. Ranging from their famous brown rice tea (which I don't like), to matcha azuki smoothie and many other flavours.
Personally, I liked their raspberry cocoa milk tea best. Sadly it was a limited time product, not sure if it is still available. It was so, wow. It was like, really smooth and thin chocolate milk with a tinge of raspberry with cookie bits. I love the cookie bits, they make the drink stand out as special.
What I didn't like was the brown rice tea. The plain brown rice tea by itself. I have no idea how it made it to the popular charts. Indeed the taste was unique and overwhelming, but not in a good way. I honestly found it horrible. It tasted like.. Smelly plain water? I don't know how to describe it but I am never drinking that again.
Apart from the brown rice tea, Superior Cocoa and Oolong Milk Tea are my favourites too. Chat Time's teas taste light but flavourful. I always add aloe vera as my topping. Chat time has huge aloe vera like koi.
Overall, I would recommend Chat time if you want some light drink, or if you want to try a range of flavours. They have a variety of toppings to try too!
A way to beat the queue
My children like to drink bubble tea and I hated to have to queue to buy bubble tea for them. Than I found this store, not as popular as KOI or Gong Cha, there was seldom any queue in front of this store.
Normally, in a food court or hawker centre, when I see stall with no queue, I will not order from them for fear that the food will not be nice. In this case, since it was only a bubble tea, I thought nothing much could go wrong with the tastes. I took the risk and it paid off. The taste was similar to the popular bubble tea shops and if not for the cups, my children may not even notice it was not from KOI or Gong Cha.
Unless you have no other choice.
It's unfair to judge a shop after just one visit. But 3 times should be fair enough I guess? Firstly, the people aren't the friendliest when it comes to taking orders. Of the 3 occasions, I had to repeat my order many times before they finally got it and showed me a relatively annoyed face. Minus points. Then, the drinks. In my opinion, for a bubble tea shop to be successful, the number one drink, Milk Tea, should be good. Disappointingly, Chatime's milk tea tasted like powdered milk with a dash of whatever flavoured essence you've ordered. Unless I am dying of thirst and have no other options, I will not patronise the shop again.
Just another bubble tea shop
The bubble tea industry in Singapore has been growing at rapid speeds in recent years. More and more bubble tea stores are popping up, striving for popularity in this thriving business. I first tried Chatime at Novena Square, because I live nearby and I was curious of how it compared to Gong Cha, which was at Square 2.
I'm not a huge fan of bubble tea, but I do drink it with my friends when they feel like drinking it. To me, bubble tea is bubble tea, but I can taste the difference between one from a more well-known store, with one from a neighourhood bubble tea shop.
Between Chatime and Gongcha, there isn't really a huge difference. Having control over sugar levels means that one being too sweet isn't really an excuse. However, Chatime lets you choose how much ice you want in your drink, with no extra costs! I like that option because less ice means more liquid, and sometimes I just want that few extra sips.
Flavour-wise, Chatime has different series of drinks like the mousse series, which is quite unique to them, but something not everyone might be used to. Generally, the bubble tea here is not bad, and comparable to gongcha. The prices are generally the same, so it's really a matter of personal preference really.
Come here only if you are lazy to queue elsewhere
With that many good bubble tea stores around, I do expect Chatime to live up to the high standards set by its competitors. However, I was disappointed to say that they are mediocre at best. I once had a chocolate milk tea where I found undissolved chocolate bits left in the tea. That aside, I find their selection rather unimaginative and the milk used very ordinary.
I guess there is good reason why there is hardly ever a queue at Chatime because it simply isn’t up to par with the other bubble tea stores. Perhaps they need to reinvent their menu so as to give it a unique selling point.
Just another bubble tea shop
I find nothing appealing besides the banana milk shake. You rarely find bubble tea shops that has any drink related to bananas. The outlet at downtown east has rather good service, efficient and effective.
In general drinks are a tad bit too sweet for my liking, have to request for less sugar. Quite a cozy corner, nice place to chill and hangout after school(My school is right beside E!Hub). Drinks are quite affordable, at an average of $2.
Nothing special about ChaTime, just another bubble tea shop.
I used to go to the branch at Downtown East regularly. Generally, its variety is somewhat comparable to that of Gong Cha while its price is generally 2 to 3 dollars. Most of the time, I drink the normal milk tea, which I find to be nicer than Gong Cha. I have also tried a few of its other drinks and I find them acceptable for their price, not exceptionally good or bad.
The Downtown East outlet also has a small place to sit, like normal yoghurt shops. I like this as it is a good waiting place for friends as well as to hang out, rather than like most other shops where it is entirely takeaway. The service is also good and waiting time is relatively non-existent, although this may be because the mall does not have a lot of people.
In short, it is average at best and neither disappoints or excels.