Charlie Tea is Breadtalk’s first tea venture
BreadTalk is on a roll lately with new concepts. First, its “atas” take on Toast Box at Funan, Butter Bean, opened late last month with an offering of Korean-style sandwiches, thick toasts and local coffee. Then, their Wheelock store made its debut, this time with elevated items such as truffle croissants and soy milk on tap. Now, BreadTalk has made a renewed mark on tea by opening Charlie Tea, their flagship tea-focused cafe in Orchard Road.
Located at the basement of Takashimaya, the cafe seats 18 across its 1,100 square feet. On the menu are over 30 different tea-based drinks, served in a variety of combinations.
Drinks at Charlie Tea
This concept prides itself on sourcing teas from artisanal growers across the Fujian province and Sri Lanka. Teas are hand-picked and carefully curated to ensure top quality.
Three key teas are the foundation of the menu. Green Jade, an earthy green tea; Mount Wu, a medium-bodied, nutty oolong; and Red Phoenix, a fragrant red tea that brims with citrus. These are then expressed across Charlie Tea’s drinks, available hot or cold, as bubble tea, cold brew, fruit tea, slushies, with cultured milk, or as jellies to top your fresh milk drink with.
For cheese tea lovers, the Mount Wu Pink Cloud ($3) is a must. Aromatic oolong is topped with Charlie Tea’s signature Pink Cloud cheese foam, creating an ultra-creamy drink that still manages to retain the tea’s depth. This is straight-up one of the best cheese teas we’ve had lately, and all credit goes to the Pink Cloud. Instead of just cheese and heavy cream, Charlie Tea’s version uses a touch of beetroot to impart a pastel pink colour, and Himalayan pink sea salt for a savoury contrast.
Sometimes, you want a break from milk tea. Charlie Tea gets it, so they have plenty of fruit-forward drinks on the menu. Hands down, the Grapefruit POP ($3.80) was a crowd favourite. Real grapefruit and citrus pulp are added to a fizzy green tea brewed in a Sodastream, making it taste like a glass full of sunshine — refreshing, bright and bittersweet. Call it hyperbole, but this is seriously thirst-quenching.
A more substantial fruit-based beverage we also loved is the Dragon Fruit Slushie+ ($4.80). The Slushie+ series stars cultured milk teas, better known as Yakult bubble tea, and this dragonfruit rendition is an unexpected kick of nostalgia upon first sip. Tasting just like a Solero ice cream stick, this satisfying shake is all guilt-free, given that real fruit and minimal sugar is used to make it.
Charlie Tea also has its Pure Tea, Pearl Milk Tea and Milk Tea series available as warm drinks as well. The floral Green Jade Milk Tea ($2.80) was especially comforting when drunk hot, and topped with brown sugar Pearls ($0.50) for texture. The pearls at Charlie Tea also underwent extensive research to create, so they come chewier than the average.
Food at Charlie Tea
Complement your tea order with Charlie Tea’s range of sweet and savoury snacks. Danish pastries reign supreme in the glass cases, all made with a particular French flour to ensure an extra-crisp, extra-buttery crust that lasts. The Tuna Sandwich Danish ($3.60) is a definite upgrade from your regular tuna bun, as flaky pastry cases a housemade tuna mayo mix that’s generous with pepper, along with lettuce and tomatoes for crunch.
Another savoury we enjoyed was the Char Siew Danish ($2.80), which we jokingly called an “ang mor char siew sou”. The traditional roast pork dim sum dish gets a remix at Charlie Tea, this time stuffed into the same buttery Danish shell we can’t get enough of.
Sweet pastries are also a win, especially the fruity ones. The Mango Danish ($2.80) was the top pick, as generous chunks of sweet mango are layered over cream cheese and crunchy pistachios.
Also noteworthy are the Chunkie cookies, which come in Double Chocolate, Red Velvet and Matcha White Chocolate flavours ($3.20 each). These are as thick as chocolate chip cookies could get. Crisp on the outside, but ooey-gooey on the inside and filled to no end with 70% Fleur de Cao chocolate buttons, this is one for pure dessert fiends. The Double Chocolate is the recommended flavour, given that it is studded with macadamia nuts and a dusting of sea salt. Fair warning, though: some could find it a touch sweet.
To celebrate the opening, Charlie Tea will be having a 1-for-1 promotion from 9 to 11 September 2020 too — as if you need more reason to head down.
Address: 391 Orchard Road, #B1-30, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 9pm
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This was a media tasting at Charlie Tea.