I’m quite late in joining the latest boba party, namely the brown sugar milk tea that seems to have comfortably taken its place as the world’s most acclaimed drink. It’s a treasured gift to the boba community – which has been going strong for decades, and the brown sugar milk tea boba is undoubtedly creating a significantly larger footprint in the world.
While boba outlets have been popping up everywhere, an interesting observation is that the coffee world has accepted what I refer to as the ‘boba concept’ by incorporating boba-like elements in seasonal drinks. This peaks my interest further into the boba realm – and I’m referring to the real deal without coffee. When choosing a boba outlet to visit, I realised that Tiger Sugar is a favourite among boba enthusiasts.
Tiger Sugar is a Taiwanese boba brand that’s making waves in the global drinks/boba scene. Along with its name, the façade and interior is donned with aesthetics reflecting the edgy colour tones of brown sugar that characterise their signature brown sugar boba flavour. Their menu is not overloaded with endless choices as Tiger Sugar’s concept revolves around brown sugar milk tea. This is a great idea, especially considering that it’s insanely popular and the queues are never-ending at times!
It’s without doubt that I admire people who queue loyally to get their hands on a cup of what seems like liquid gold despite crazy queues. Never underestimate the willpower, perseverance and passion of boba enthusiasts, people! To avoid an encounter with a snaking queue, I paid a visit during Tiger Sugar’s downtime to get some of that liquid gold for myself.
By the time I arrived at Tiger Sugar (just after 11am), there was hardly anyone there, apart from the customer ahead of me. The staff are pleasant – from the cashier to the person who handed my boba and reminded me to shake it 15 times.
After the mandatory snapping of photos, it’s finally time to poke that straw through the sealed plastic ‘lid’ and have a sip, or so you might think. Tiger Sugar’s technique of savouring boba begins before the straw-poking. Apparently, they recommend that you should shake the cup first. It makes sense because the brown sugar is predominantly at the bottom with the pearls. According to Tiger Sugar, it takes 15 shakes to reach the perfect flavour experience! After shaking it, I took my first sip. My first impression is summarised in one word: wow.
While holding the cup to snap pictures, I realised that the brown sugar-coated boba balls at the bottom of the cup are warm, and the milk tea part is cold. The boba’s pearls are prepared/cooked with brown sugar, hence the caramel-coloured brown sugar element in the milk tea. Shaking it not only resulted in experiencing a delicious brown sugar flavour in every sip, it cooled the boba pearls (thanks to the ice cubes). The drink isn’t extremely sweet, but it has just the right sweetness for me. It was pretty much brown sugar-flavoured milk tea that somewhat reminded me of palm sugar, with chewy boba pearls that possessed a stronger brown sugar flavour.
The boba pearls are the shining stars. These chewy delights of brown sugar-coated boba was my highlight. If Tiger Sugar sold these cooked brown sugar boba pearls in jars, I reckon their shelves will be empty in the blink of an eye!