I would consider myself fairly practical when it comes to spending my money. The exception? Bubble tea. As a child growing up in South Africa, I was warned about drug and alcohol addictions; but no one cautioned me about the compelling boba-filled drink that can lead to a serious addiction. Luckily (or unluckily if you’re my bank account), I am able to easily find bubble tea in Doha!
Note: None of the drinks at the establishments mentioned in this post were sponsored and I paid full price for all.
While Doha may not have hundreds of neighbourhood stalls virtually around every corner (I wish!), if you’re a bubble tea aficionado, you will find a few tried & tested spots in Doha to satisfy your craving.
Here’s some quick history: Bubble tea was birthed in Taiwan during the 80s. The most famous origin story is the one about a staff member at a teahouse getting bored during a meeting and pouring her sweetened tapioca pudding into the tea. If only all meetings were as revolutionary. Because these drinks had bubbles at the top (the froth) and at the bottom (the pearls), they became known as bubble tea.
If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, find our video here :
Whether you’re a straight up addict
like me, or wanting to try this phenomenon for the first time, Lion & I have done all the investigations, and I have below my picks for the best bubble tea in Doha, Qatar. I’ve included Google Maps links, prices & photos for your convenience. None of the places I mentioned sponsored this post and I’ve compiled this list just because bubble tea is sometimes hard to find and I want to help people who like it as much as I do!
Panda’s top 5
Top of the list is this cute little cafe that serves the most bubble tea flavours I’ve seen at a store in Qatar. And the ones I have tasted so far are DIVINE. They have a sit down area and they serve food (bonus!) which is quite yummy. The cafe itself has plants from the ceiling, swings for seats and they even have a tripod you can borrow to take photos of you and your pals enjoying bubble tea. They even have 1 litre and 1 gallon options! What more can you ask for?
Panda recommends: Hazelnut milk tea
Lion recommends: Roasted caramello milk tea
Prices: 16oz- 15QAR/ 22oz- 19QAR/ 1litre- 29QAR/ 1 gallon- 110QAR
This place is the real deal with their quirky, colorful interiors and massive array of bubble tea options. I have been here a few times and each time I have ordered different things yet I have never been disappointed. They have non dairy options, all drinks are customizable and the service is generally efficient. My only complaint is that they seem to have no designated parking area so try to go using public transportation if you want to enjoy your bubble tea there.
Panda recommends: Authentic Taiwanese Milk Tea
Lion recommends: Brown Sugar Milk Tea
Price: 2 sizes available, different options have different prices: 15- 24 QAR
I wasn’t expecting much from this outlet mostly because it looks a bit like they started to decorate the space but didn’t quite finish so my expectations were pretty low when we arrived there. However, I was intrigued by the unusual offerings on their menu. One thing I can say about Xuan Tea is that the boba was amazing; it was chewy and sweet and had a delicious honey taste. Their milk tea is very unique because most of the flavor comes from the bubbles and not the tea. I would definitely go here again! There is a small seating area but its probably not very comfortable.
Panda recommends: The Duke
Lion recommends: Kenting
Price: 2 sizes available- Regular is 17 QAR & large is 20QAR
Beautea & the Beastea
For me, the bubble tea here was love at first sip. Yes it truly was that good. Their tea was refreshing, sweet and the bubbles were some of the best I have ever tasted. If you order a cheesecake version of any of their teas, it comes with extra tapioca pudding which takes it from bubble tea to decadent dessert. While I loved their teas, their location (inside Inihaw Time restaurant is less than ideal and the space is rather bland. Grab yours to go and take a short drive to MIA park which is what we did!
Panda recommends: Red Velvet Cheesecake
Lion recommends: Once Upon a Time
Price: 2 options available- Regular is 25 QAR & as a cheesecake shake is 30QAR
The fact that this pop up stand used to be within walking distance of my home at one point proved fatal to my plans for a healthy diet. They have a wide array of flavours, options to customize and their location is very convenient if you want to enjoy your bubble tea as you shop in a mall (City Center & Festival City)!
Panda recommends: Custard Milk Tea
Lion recommends: Signature Brown Sugar Milk Tea
Prices: 1 size available- prices range from 15QAR to 24QAR depending on flavour & toppings
Here are some other options that didn’t qualify for the top 5:
Alice’s Dessert Land: A newbie in doha at the time of posting which meant we didn’t have enough time to try many flavors. What we did try was delicious (sago pudding milk tea for the win) and Alice & her staff were so helpful and friendly that I can’t wait to go back to try more options!
Tofu House: An unsuspecting contender on this list, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw bubble tea on the Tofu House menu. And it’s so affordable! Tofu House serves a wide variety of (delicious) Asian food which is the perfect accompanied to their yummy bubble tea. They have 5 kinds at 15QAR each, but I would call ahead to make sure they have it in stock (they don’t always).
Flamin-Go: I did not expect a small Filipino based restaurant tucked away on Salwa Road to have so many delicious bubble tea options. But boy do they deliver and their offerings don’t disappoint! The servers take their time to make your drink perfect. I will say their teas are on the sweeter side, so if you have a sweet tooth this is perfect for you.
Khaosan Restaurant: They serve Thai Ice Milk Tea and Thai Rose Tea with bubbles- both of which I really enjoy! They are 18QAR each and the food at Khaosan is scrumptious too. The only reason they didn’t make it into the top 5 was because they only have 2 bubble tea offerings.
Beesweet Cafe: All their teas tasted the same- like plain milk- with no variation in taste despite ordering 3 different flavors.
TeaCaf: Had a great experience once but upon return, the tapioca pearls were painfully stale. The tea was delicious but it was very expensive considering the small size. Also you have to ask for it, its not on the menu.
Little House of Latte: Again, the tea was yummy and the cafe was cute but the stale tapioca made the drink barely drinkable.
Meesh Cafe: They don’t have specific milk tea but you can add tapioca pearls to any of their hot drinks. Sadly the tapioca pearls weren’t available when we went. I also did not enjoy their karak chai, thought their breakfast was bland and hence wouldn’t go back.
Koi Milk Tea: Tried this once & wouldn’t try it again. Didn’t like the flavours on offer and you have to WhatsApp in advance to collect it (their location isn’t public knowledge).
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Do you enjoy bubble tea? Would you try bubble tea in Doha, Qatar? Or have I just put it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!