Deep inside Maadi’s Degla area, across the street from popular Korean fried chicken joint Kokio, is a new bubble tea shop called Feng Cha.
Feng Cha is an international Chinese teahouse with franchises all over the world, with its Cairo branch being one of Egypt’s first bubble tea stores.
Bubble tea, also known as Boba, is a Taiwanese tea drink that combines chewy tapioca balls made of tapioca flour mixed with brown sugar, honey or other ingredients with different types of tea. The most popular and traditional Taiwanese bubble tea uses milk tea as a base.
According to Twinings, Bubble Tea first appeared in Asia in the 1980s. In Taiwan and Hong Kong, bubble teashops can be found on every corner.
“Taiwanese tea stands became very popular in the 1980s as a post-work pick-me-up and a place to hang out. This created a certain competitive atmosphere in the tea market, and merchants started searching for and creating ever more inventive variations on their teas and beverages,” was noted on the Twinings website.
However, the drink only recently rose to international popularity when Bubble tea orders in Southeast Asia recorded a 3,000% increase in 2018 alone, according to The Asean Post.
Feng Cha serves multiple flavors of bubble tea, with their traditional Milk Tea being the ‘Sun Moon Lake Bubble Tea’, named after the scenic Taiwanese lake.
While some bubble tea stores worldwide make their tapioca pearls from scratch, Feng Cha receives its tapioca pearls imported from China, then cooks it in Egypt.
Among the popular flavors included are the Dirty Brown Sugar Boba, which is a sweet milk tea with a brown sugar caramel syrup. Other flavors include Matcha and Wolfberry Tea.
Bubble tea is a not a light drink. This is especially the case when it is topped with frothy sweet cheese, which gives the beverage a foamy texture. It’s a Feng Cha signature topping, and it is a unique flavor that is quite unusual to taste in a drink.
While the choices currently on offer seem to be popular amongst customers and social media followers, the selection is quite limited compared to other bubble tea branches abroad. However, the store plans on offering Taiwanese and Chinese desserts, the most popular of which is the Bubble Dorayaki, which is a pancake-style pastry stuffed with tapioca pearls and custard.
The small store has seating fit for about 10 people, with a comfortable seating area, setting a cozy atmosphere.
Right now, Feng Cha seems to just be a quick stop shop, but the seating area inside seems to be expanding it to a larger restaurant upon official grand opening, date unknown.
Feng Cha is perfect for a post-dinner dessert or a morning tea pick-me-up. While bubble tea is not for everyone, it is worth a try and a distinct experience for first timers.
Feng Cha refused to be interviewed for this review due to their soft opening status.