Australia's First All-Vegan Bubble Tea Shop Nuttea Has Opened in Melbourne's CBD
The Melbourne Central venue has swapped milk for mylk with delicious results.
The bubble tea canon features two main categories of drinks: fruit-based and milk-based teas. Usually, it's only the former that is vegan friendly; however, the success of Nuttea in Melbourne's boba scene is proving this no longer needs to be the case.
The Taiwanese brand is serving up delicious beverages, both fruit- and milk-based, from its flagship Melbourne Central store — only every single menu item is vegan. Its milk-based drinks use a milk substitute, stylised mylk, made fresh and in-house from a blend of walnut, macadamia and cashew.
"I don't really see us as bubble tea," owner Jason Tan told Concrete Playground. "The hero product is tea, but we're a nut beverage specialist. We're a brand that is really in our own category."
In addition to bubble tea, Nuttea features its trademark nut mylk in coffee and smoothies as well — mango and strawberry are reliable classics, but Nuttea also offers a banana oatmeal smoothie that incorporates the nut mylk's flavour remarkably well. You can also try the nut mylk by itself.
As well as this, Nuttea also produces a hazelnut-based nut cream. Rather than a milk substitute, the nut cream is closer in consistency to cream cheese. It's served on top of a drink and is designed to ultimately be swirled into the beverage, making for a smooth and decadent experience on the whole.
"We have a three-step process for trying our tea with nut cream", clarifies Tan. "First, you try the nut cream on its own, and then you tilt the cup 45 degrees so you get the nut cream and the tea together. The last step is you mix everything with a straw to turn it into a mylk tea."
The signature nut cream is available on many beverages, from ruby black tea to pour-over iced coffee. A chocolate nut cream is exclusively available with earl grey tea, a rich and complex pairing, which effectively combines the tea's floral notes with the silky-smooth, nutty cream.
Tan is particularly passionate about Nuttea's mission as a vegan-friendly bubble tea outlet. He says, "80 percent of the customers that come through here don't know that we do vegan bubble tea — they think we're a regular milk tea shop. That gives us an opportunity to take our customers on a journey and explain that we're 100 percent plant-based."
However, he clarifies that the store is not just for vegans, adding, "there's a lot of people out there who are lactose intolerant, have allergies and whatnot, who can't drink milk. We offer a product that appeals to everyone. Not only does it taste really good, but it makes you feel good as well."
Find Nuttea at GD078/211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne from 11am–8pm Sunday–Thursday and 11am–9pm Friday–Saturday.
Images: Parker Blain
Published on February 03, 2021 by Mark Yin