LEMONCHA BUBBLE TEA GENEVA
by Paula Koscielny
After the inevitable chaos of Manor on a sweltering day, I’m desperately in need of a cooling, refreshing drink.
Choosing not to brave the Starbucks queue, I wander down the quaint side streets and the bright yellow signage of Lemoncha bubble tea on Rue des Étuves catches my eye. I’m intrigued, not to mention dying of thirst. It’s been a while since I’ve tried bubble tea.
The first thing you see upon entering the tastefully decorated shop is a beautiful and vast display of numerous little bowls filled with colourful toppings – like the pick-and-mix selection in a sweet shop.
Against the wall, behind the counter, colour-coded teas are displayed in transparent urns. Two retro copper hanging lights illuminate the intricate menu on the wall, which at first glance makes me want to run out of the shop because of the plethora of choices.
Even though it’s easy to be overwhelmed when faced with the extensive choices, a step-by-step menu and friendly, attentive staff makes it relatively painless to choose your drink.
The young man who serves me even reverts to English – always a bonus in Geneva!
LEMONCHA BUBBLE TEA GENEVA: THE CHOICES
After choosing your size – regular (500ml) or large (700ml), you are ready to choose your drink: I chose a regular size.
- A fruit flavouring (parfum) There are 18 different choices of fruit flavours, most of them made from concentrated fruit nectar: I opted for passion fruit.
- The tea base of your drink (six different teas) – is the essential ingredient. Lemoncha offers 6 different types of tea including:
- Jasmine green tea
- Assam black tea
- Dark roasted Oolong tea
- Earl Grey – a great classic Chinese tea
- Jade Oolong
My choice was Jasmine green tea, as I didn’t want the flavour of the tea to interfere with the passion fruit taste.
- Milk (in the case of milky teas)
Lemoncha uses organic Swiss milk and also offers vegan milks such as almond, soy and rice milk.
Tapioca pearls (a product that comes from tapioca, a starch which is extracted from the cassava root) is the traditional Japanese bubble tea topping. It is chewy and has very little flavour when eaten by itself without sweetener. The Lemoncha tapioca beads are prepared several times a day to ensure freshness, texture and taste.
Popping boba – (popping juice balls) is made from a seaweed extract with fruit juice flavouring inside that pops once bitten into. It comes in a wide variety of flavours such as Lychee, Strawberry, Mango and Kiwi. Unlike tapioca pearls, there is no cooking involved.
I chose the Mango popping boba.
Other toppings include aloe vera, basil seeds, coulis, jellies and red beans.
Finally you get to choose whether you want your drink hot, iced or frappé.
I opted for iced – and can even specify whether I want normal ice, no ice, more ice or less ice, as well as choosing how much sugar I’d like to be added to my drink.
I watch with fascination as my passion fruit jade green tea with mango popping boba and ice is prepared, not only because it’s a fascinating process, but also because of the heavenly air conditioning inside the shop. I collect my drink and make my way back into the sweltering heat, heading for the nearest spot of shade.
I pierce the straw through the sealed plastic cover and take my first sip…
A rich, harmonious blend of fruity flavours fill my mouth and the popping boba adds unexpected fresh bursts of sweetness with a pleasant texture against my tongue … this is heaven in a cup!
Pleased at my new discovery, I can’t wait to return to Lemoncha to try different combinations.
If you’re looking for something besides your regular Starbucks Latte or Frappé, try Lemoncha bubble tea. You won’t be disappointed.
WHAT IS BUBBLE TEA?
Bubble tea is a drink originating in Taiwan. In its traditional version, it consists of a black assam tea base mixed with milk and decorated with small black tapioca beads (prepared from cassava flour and brown sugar), consumed hot or cold.
Originally, the name “bubble tea” refers to the small bubbles found on the surface of the drink after shaking it in a shaker, today this name makes more and more references to the famous tapioca pearls.
Today, this drink has evolved and is prepared from a multitude of different teas and perfumes. It is also customary to personalise your drink with the multitude of existing toppings.
Where: rue des Étuves 15, 1201 Geneva
When: Monday to Wednesday: 11am-7pm, Thursday: 11am-8:30pm, Friday: 11am-7:30pm, Saturday-Sunday: 11am-6pm
Prices: Drinks range from 5.50-8.00 CHF
Menu: Click here for the Lemoncha website.