Well well well… What do we have here?
I couldn’t resist.
But bubble tea!
This is a composite review, made up of two trips on two consecutive days, but in different company.
people *ahem* person I went with was my own dear cousin, Lina. She figured that, being in Vancouver, I had to at some point get some good bubble tea. Thank goodness, because my future bubble tea visits would be something awful, although I did not know it then.
The decor was rather nice and the staff were quite friendly. Carvings on the wall and mini zen gardens underfoot leave a bit of an impression, doncha know. The Well Tea experience was off to a great start.
We ordered and the drinks came quickly enough. Lina, being the fun-lovin’ gal she was, decided to be brave and order a drink she had never before attempted: hot grass jelly with pearls, coconut jelly and mixed beans (5.25). The drink comes with three different types of add-ins, such as red beans, green beans, mixed beans, pearls, coconut jelly, lychee jellies and the like. Unfortunately, Lina found the drink overly sweet, the sugar masking the taste of the grass jelly, and the texture of the beans strange as well because of their great contrast to the pearls and coconut jelly. Unless you’re a fan of grass jelly, I wouldn’t recommend this to you if you’re a first-time drinker of Asian drinks. As you can see, much was left behind.
I, on the other hand, ordered the house special milk tea (4.50) which came cold, although you can order it hot as well for another 50 cents. Milk tea is one of the basic bubble teas and if a house can make a splendid bubble tea, there’s something to be said about the house indeed. This milk tea was decent, although I found mine a bit sweet as well (and I had ordered it cold!). The pearls, which were likely soaked in honey water or some similar syrup, were the culprit to this overly sweet drink. Thankfully, the tea itself didn’t have much sugar, the foam was a nice touch and the ice was just enough to keep the drink chill but not watered down.
My second visit ’round was with Ari and, seeing as I had just visited the day before, we decided to splurge a little. This time Ari ordered the pudding milk tea (4.50) which comes with real pudding at the bottom! She found the amount of pudding surprisingly substantial and decided that she had found a drink that she would order again. You can’t quite see the pudding in this mixture, but it is important to note that it’s not a Jell-O-type pudding but rather a Japanese-type pudding. See examples here (=
Before I continue though, I must point out: the service really wasn’t as great this time around. The server didn’t understand us very well (we ordered in English) and the wait was rather long in between ordering, receiving drinks, ordering again and receiving food.
Since it was my second time here and I was curious about Well’s consistency, I ordered another basic drink: the house special black tea (4.50), cold, but this time without pearls. I thought the lack of pearls would keep the drink from being sweet but unfortunately the drink was still as sweet as ever. I found out too late also that you could order drinks with less sugar, so there’s a pro tip for you.
I mentioned that we splurged, and that splurge came in the form of a plate of deep-fried chicken nuggets (6.95). These weren’t your typical McDonald’s fare; these were Taiwanese style fried chicken nuggets, and they were really quite tasty. These were spiced bites of chicken that were breaded for just enough crunch without the soggy layer you get from typical grocery store or fast food chicken nuggets. I would probably go back to Well’s just for a plate of these tasties. As they cooled the grease became a little more noticeable, but the fact remained that there was very little left to observe as the dish cooled.
All in all, the Well experience is… well, decent. I’d gladly come back for a round of drinks and chicken. And maybe just more of that chicken.
Well Tea (茶井)
4811 Hazelbridge Way
Richmond, BC V6X3K7
Pros: The decor is nice and staff are pretty polite. Drink prices are decent and they make a mean plate of chicken. Om nom.
Cons: That being said, drinks are for the most part overly sweet. I found this out afterwards, but you can order a drink at half its usual sweetness or with no sugar added at all, and that’s what I’d recommend. The service seems to be a bit of a hit-and-miss too, so I wouldn’t come in expecting fabulous service.
Honestly, I have no holds about going back to Well Tea. If the chicken is any indicator of their other food then why not? My only caution is to cut the sugar (and maybe avoid the grass jelly, although that is an acquired taste) and focus on having a good time. Happy bubble tea times (=