Before this review, a few people told us that CHICHA San Chen is a 3-Michelin star bubble tea brand. So first we should clarify the accuracy of this statement. CHICHA San Chen’s Ding Dong Oolong Tea was awarded the Highest International Authority iTQi certification (International Taste & quality institute in Brussels) in 2017. Now this certificate isn’t the Michelin star award; however, it is known to be of the same prestige and recognition as scoring 3 Michelin Stars.
CHICHA San Chen also has their very own teapresso machine, LION, which extracts the best flavour from the team by using high temperature pressing technology. CHICHA San Chen also has their very own teapresso machine, LION, which extracts the best flavour from the team by using high temperature pressing technology.
This ensures a level of flavour and quality consistency, protects the essence and aftertaste of the tea leaves, and also minimises the risk of human error when making the drinks.
We tried 4 different handcrafted teas at their store in Pavilion KL.
Bubble Milk Tea (RM15.90): As far as bubble teas go, this is one definitely prioritises the tea taste instead of the boba or the added sugar to cater to the sweet tooths. Some milk teas lose their strength because of the milk but nope, not this one—this is refreshing and absolutely delicious.
The boba, however, is way too soft, because it’s poured in hot and fresh. The pearls haven’t had the chance to harden so they just feel starchy and jelly-like when you attempt to chew it. There’s no bite to them. Even leaving them to cool down in the drink didn’t really help, it still took really long for them to establish a chewy texture. The CHICHA rep did mention that they’re still R&D-ing and improving on the texture as they have to cook and reheat these imported bobas from Taiwan. Speaking of cooking and reheating, they replace the boba every 3 hours to retain each batch’s freshness.
Cassia Black Tea with Mousse (RM14.40): We started this review being completely objective, and we wanted to judge each tea without being swayed by its public popularity and fame. So trust us when we say, this tea was the best flavour in any BBT shop we’ve had so far. It didn’t have any boba, and it didn’t need it. The fragrance and aroma of the tea sang through proud and strong, and the mousse balanced it well without dampening the tea taste. This is the one that we’d return for and happily pay for too.
Osmanthus Oolong with Mango (RM12.90): Unfortunately, among the four this was the most disappointing for us. Unlike the others, this one tasted the most artificial and the sweetest, which in a way affected the integrity and originality of the tea’s flavour. Oddly enough, after we travelled more than 40mins to return to the office, the ice in the drink melted and caused the tea to become diluted. And as a result, it tasted less sweet and actually better to drink.
Dong Ding Oolong with Mousse (RM14.40): This was one of the customised drinks that we requested for. We figured well why not combine their signature tea leaves with the mousse that we really enjoyed. We were wrong because we did not like the end result ☹ The Dong Ding Oolong tea taste is quite distinct, with a slight sweet assam aftertaste. Combined with the mousse, it didn’t seem right to our tastebuds.
We realise that we should probably leave the combos to the experts instead of venturing off on our own. Of course you can still take advantage of their customisation service, but we’d let the adventurous and daring try that out while happily settling for their Bubble Milk Tea and Cassia Black Tea with Mousse.
CHICHA San Chen / 吃茶三千 马来西亚
Address: 6.01.01, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Jln Pavilion, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: 10am to 10pm