Tiger Sugar 老虎堂 Bubble Tea Is NOT Bubble Tea

Here’s a PSA: For those of you who kept referring Tiger Sugar’s signature drink to bubble tea, they officially refer it to Brown Sugar Fresh Milk. That being said, they do serve the milk tea versions.

And here’s a trivia about me: I’m not a fan of bubble tea. Ironically, my aunt was one of the first franchisees who brought in the drink into Singapore and I got to drink it for free if I wanted, but no, it was just too calories-horrifying. Therefore, I was amazed that evolutions of bubble tea that added more calories (cheese?? Taro??) continued to fuel the popularity of the drink!

Being rather social media savvy, of course I got to know that a new kid called Tiger Sugar is in town. I heard they used black sugar to add a certain fragrance to their drinks. I saw people pose with their drinks. But I was surprised to find their 2nd store, opened just 1 month after their first one in Capitol’s basement, in Chinatown Point’s basement (near the MRT station exit).

It was as though Fate wanted me to be in the cool kids zone so it purposely arranged for a stall to open in one of my haunts.

No one should resist Fate.

No one.

So I ordered their Brown Sugar Boba + Pearl with Cream Mousse, which set me back at SGD5.30.

Tiger Sugar bubble tea drink and logo at Chinatown Point, Singapore.
The iconic Tiger Sugar shot – feel free to use this image and post this on your social media, if you are too busy to go and buy / forgot to take a pic / the photo turned out bad. The condition is that you need to make sure my hand in this picture looks like yours…

True to hearsay, their caramelised black sugar was very fragrant, which was very reminiscent to Singaporean’s favourite Gula Melaka. The drink tasted like Chendol, but not like Chendol, because the base used was fresh milk and not coconut milk.

I couldn’t taste the cream mousse amidst all the sugar-attack, which I assumed also that it got totally mixed in when I shook the drink a mandatory recommended 15 times.

Eh… I’m a Singaporean. When I’m told to shake 15 times, I shake 15 times.

No more, no less.

The pearls, a.k.a boba, a.k.a the parts that make you fat, were a mix of big and small pearls; one can choose to have only one type of pearls in their drinks. I read that the small ones were “pearls” while the big ones were “boba”, though I thought texture wise, the big ones were the pearls in our bubble tea that we drank growing up.

Anyhoos, the big pearls were difficult to suck up, despite the straw being the “pearl straws”. Because of this, the small pearls would sometimes sneak past the big pearls I was trying to suck and shoot right into the back of my throat.

I kid you not. I got choked a few times by the small pearls in just one drink.

For someone who does not like to be deep-throated, I advise like-minded folks to settle for either pearls or boba in their drinks, not both.

It wouldn’t look good if you start to merlion in the middle of the shopping mall.

Spewing milky fluids into the face of a stranger.

Sometimes with black bits of stuff.

Tiger Sugar bubble tea facade at Chinatown Point, Singapore.

It was said that 8 persons would work on a drink, a knowledge I didn’t know beforehand. I thought they were plain over-staffed and my HR director would be itching to sit down with Tiger Sugar’s outlet manager for a workforce optimisation project meeting.

Nope, every one of them had a task. Tiger Sugar created more jobs on average than any other milk tea store, which was no wonder that since its first store in Taiwan a year ago they had expanded to Hong Kong and Singapore with more than 10 outlets in total.

It was as if the talk that Singapore has a tight manpower situation was fake news.

Back to the drink, I must say that there was so much sugar in a cup that I had sugar-overload and everyone said I was a nicer person for the next few days.

“你的嘴巴好甜哦!”they would say.

I credit that to Tiger Sugar.

For guys, I recommend you buy one for your wives/girlfriends, even if it meant you have to queue for 30 minutes*, because no girls would hate a guy who buys them bubble teas, especially one from Tiger Sugar.

For guys, I also recommend you buy one for yourself, so that you can tell your wives/girlfriends sweet nothings for the next few days, guilt-free, which is good for the food-bingeing holiday season, if you know what I mean…

*Rumour has it that Tiger Sugar attracts long queues. The outlet at Chinatown Point did not have one, even on a Sunday evening. So you may consider buying one from there when your addiction craving kicks in.

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