Unit #108, 3749 Shelbourne St.
Sun to Sat 12pm to 11pm
Bubble teas aren’t the healthiest of drinks, and it really depends on the quality of the ingredients used. Ding Tea is a franchise operation which takes the latter seriously, and they’ve been around for four years.
When I’m seeing more competing specialty shops open in this city–the latest is Black Ball Taiwanese Dessert Café on Yates–I feel its time to start rating all the operations.
The main office claims this chain has fresh libations, and when I always see a line-up of customers at the Shelbourne Mall operation every time I’m here here to catch pocket monsters in Pokemon GO, I knew it’s time to try them out! The area is a frequent hotspot for good finds and this franchise should seriously consider sponsoring stops when considering there’s diners in every country! Like the AR game, the faithful carry more than one sweet pet in hand. I’m not sure if this loyal fan base is new or old. Border restrictions to prevent COVID-19 have lightened, but they are technically still in place.
This operation hangs a heavy plastic curtain over their front entrance to reduce the inadvertent spread of this virus and takes orders at the door or through online ordering services. I favour this approach over standing by designated floor markings (indoor).
In downtown Victoria, Chimoto and Partea duke it out for the “most authentic.” The former will customize right down to the amount of sugar used, and the latter uses all local ingredients. I must return to have a bubble tea face off.
Instead of tapioca pearls, I went for Ding Tea’s blueberry popping boba. The drink is not too sweet and I got the case of the giggles every time I popped a ball; I can taste the flavonoids of the leaves and am certain what I got was more of an authentic brew than powder. At other operations, sometimes all they do is spoon up a mix, shake the concoction and throw in the balls.
I think of these drinks as more of a treat–a dessert–for those hot summer days. The high sugar count is a concern and this article from the Business Insider has more than enough warnings about the various potentially unhealthy toppings which only add to the calories. More recent reports from health websites only repeat the same info.
I believe everything is okay as long as it’s taken in moderation. The best way to know if a dessert shop is serious is by making the tea in front of you, from proper brews over all powder, and limiting the amount of tapioca pearls used so digestion is possible.
3 Stars out of 5