Word on the street is that there’s a new tea store trying to muscle in on the monopoly that is Easyway. If you’ve been down George St any time over the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed Chatime – the latest tea store to hit Sydney.
Their selection of teas are interesting – amongst them Yakult Lemon Juice, Ichiban Roasted Tea, Lemon Yoghurt Smoothie and Brown Rice Green Tea ……….but do they really beat Easyway?
Since Chatime had a Buy 1 Get 1 free promotion until the 13th November, I was naturally tempted to try their new range of drinks.
Grace had bought a Hawaii Fruit Tea (M – $4.20) the day before, and it had tasted suspiciously like breakfast juice in tea form …but hey! New things might always surprise you :)
Grapefruit Green Tea (R) and aloe vera – $4.70 &
Chatime Roasted Milk Tea (R) with pearls – $4.70
First up on the list of drinks to try was the recommended grapefruit green tea and the interesting sounding Chatime roasted milk tea.
The prices are a little dearer than Easyway, which is often justified with the random inclusion of toppings in some of the drinks (not in this case, though).
I asked the staff if the grapefruit green tea would be sour, to which I was told it would be bitter =[. Had a slight bitter aftertaste, and the aloe vera texture was a little mushy (Easyway’s is definitely better), but if you like grapefruit it’s definitely worth a try.
Chatime roasted milk tea, which is supposed to be green tea based, just tasted like watery coffee. Like, SUPER watery coffee. -_- The pearls were very chewy though, which is good I suppose, if you like chewy pearls.
Verdict? Grapefruit > Roasted milk
Despite not being blown away by these 2 drinks, Helen & I decided to give Chatime another try with:
Brown Rice Green Tea (R) with pearls – $4.20 &
Tokachi Red Bean Milk Tea (R) included with pearls and red bean – $4.50
Was not really a fan of the brown rice green tea. Tasted like the hot green tea they give you in Japanese shops – the ones that taste like sesame tea instead (which apparently isn’t sesame or green tea at all, but rather the brown rice..so I guess the name is rather accurate). In Helen’s words, is it “infused with smoke” ? =\
The tokachi red bean milk tea came with a serving of pearls and red beans. Red beans were really nice – not overly sweet (Easyway’s milk tea is a thousand times sweeter – although you can adjust the sweetness), and rather small. The milk tea had a red tea aftertaste that could potentially be amazing if you love milk tea.
Verdict? Tokachi red bean > brown rice green tea
Unfortunately, despite trying four different drinks, we still hadn’t found the WOW factor of Chatime ….so one more time.
Longan & Red Date Juice (L) – $4.20
One thing I can say about Chatime is that the descriptions for their drinks are pretty accurate. Although a refreshing drink, there was a definite longan aftertaste that could very easily be overwhelming if you don’t like longans that much. There was a strong date flavour as well (which was only accentuated further by the small sweet date pieces floating around in the drink).
Figured that I haven’t really liked anything from their energetic healthy juice range .. =[ (which this drink came from)
Fairy Vanilla Milk Tea (L) and pearls – $5.20
The WOW factor.
This was definitelyyyy my favourite drink so far! Not much to say other than it’s a vanilla milk tea, and if you like vanilla, you’ll looove this!
As for comparison with Easyway, I suppose it all comes down to whether you have a tolerance for sweet things, and whether or not you’re obsessed with milk tea. While Easyway has a large variety of different drinks, Chatime differs in that they have a few of the populars – e.g. milk tea, green tea – and then a few variations of the same thing.
But speaking of Easyway, did anyone see the episode of the Simpsons where all the shops in some megamart turn into Starbucks?
That’s pretty much the same case with Easyway and George St, with a new Easyway opening up opposite the World Square one and diagonal to the Goulburn St store.
Oooh, competition, considering this new Easyway store opened up in the same time frame as the Chatime store.
…a store which uses masking tape to hold its sign up.
Anywayyy. If you’re adventurous and really like milk tea, then maybe Chatime’s gazillion different types of milk tea will appeal to you!
If anything, the tea is worth a try at least once – and if you’re not game, you should swing by Easyway Castle Towers for the best Easyway around :D
Chatime (Visited 13/11/09)
Shop 181, 569 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000
(Summit Arcade, opposite World Square)