Tapioca Milk tea is not a new trend in Japan, it has been around for years, but now seems to be at the peak of a mass hysteria, specially in Shibuya city! The youngsters are lining up for hours outside the stores to TAPI (yeah, in Japan they go "TAPI" witch means going out with friends to grab a Tapioca tea).
Currently there are about 100 shops in Tokyo where they only serve tapioca, taking advantage of this boom still flourishing especially among young women. But where are the most popular Tapioca cafe in the youth city Shibuya? Let's go find out!
1. THE ALLEY LUJIAOXIANG
THE ALLEY LUJIAOXIANG is originally from Taiwan, and is highly recognizable thanks to the unique deer logo. The base of their drinks is Assam tea characterized by a fruity aroma, but you can experience a more Japanese taste with the Oyama green tea or the Okinawa black molasses variants.
TEA 18 has branches in China, Taiwan and United States; the Japanese one opened in Shibuya in 2017. Together with the standard milk tea, you can enjoy the more sophisticated "Honey Oolong Tea", "Kinhana Green Tea" and "Rose Lemon Tea", based on your mood of the day.
MING TEA is located right next to the Aoyama Gakuin University. They prepare tapioca with a unique method, serving the drink with larger grain that are crisp and sweet. In addition to the classic tapioca lineup, you can chose the Japanese cream tea, coming in three different kinds of creams. Unique and delicious!
4. MARIO GELATERIA Shibuya
You would't expect Tapioca from a place called MARIO GELATERIA, but in Shibuya everything's possible. Mario offers unique tapioca drinks as well as the Italian gelato that made him famous. The Shibuya Hikari shop has some exclusive tapioca tastes like the "cream chocolate mint tapioca", the "double berry tapioca milk" and the "seasonal juicer drink tapioca".
5. GONG CHA
Gong Cha Tapioca is made from selected high-quality tea leaves, including tea leaves cultivated in Mt. Ali (Arian) known as the tea ceremony mountain in Taiwan. The quality of this milk tea is so appreciated by Japanese youngsters that they opened a second store in Shibuya. One is located on the "Spain Saka" area and the other in the Shibuya MODI store.
So, if you happen to be in Shibuya and you love Tapioca you want to drop by one of those cafes, then wait in line few minutes (or hours?) with the Shibuya tribe before getting to sip on some of the best tapioca teas in Japan!