We love ice cream.
We love Häagen-Dazs’ ice cream.
We love bubble tea.
We love Gong Cha’s bubble tea.
And so, Gong Cha and Häagen-Dazs™, two of Singapore’s leading brands in their respective markets, have joined hands to bless us with a collaboration that will hopefully, save 2020.
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a fantastic year, but this collab is just what we needed.
The idea of ice cream floats isn’t new. But a ‘Bubble Tea Float’? This is an idea that might just turn the tables for us bubble tea lovers, and the food and beverage industry.
So, Gong Cha and Häagen-Dazs™ have rolled out 3 Bubble Tea Floats (BTFs), that they’ve been brewing to perfection for over a year now – Caramel Choc BTF ($5.50), Berry Tea Bliss BTF ($5.80), and the Sunshine Mango BTF ($5.80). These will be added to Gong Cha’s menu starting Friday, 23 October!
Now the most adorable thing about all these drinks, is that they go by a very special, and exclusive naming system that is bound to make you and your serving cashier smile. The Caramel Choc BTF is called ‘Indulgence’, the Berry Tea Bliss BTF is titled ‘Love’, and the Sunshine Mango BTF is ‘Happiness’.
This naming system corresponds with what you’re craving, and what the drinks will make you feel! Isn’t it lovely?
So allow me, a self-proclaimed foodie, to share with you a full-fledged review of these drinks.
I was extremely impressed with the ice cream and bubble tea combination. Like I said, ice cream floats aren’t new. But replacing a trusty carbonated drink with a bubble tea base, takes a leap of faith to try. Nonetheless, it was a winner for me.
While all these drinks take a sweet tooth to appreciate, I, someone who gets a 50% sugar level in her bubble tea, found the drinks’ sweetness acceptable. Maybe it’s because the Gong Cha and Häagen-Dazs™ teams specially engineered these drinks to cut down on the sweetness to meet as many taste palates as possible.
So firstly, I started with ‘Indulgence’, which was the Caramel Choc BTF. While I am aware of the long-standing dispute about what truly is the right way to consume an ice cream float, I started with the ice cream. It looked too perfect not to! Anyway, this drink is the pick-me-up you need, and a combination close to home.
Personally, salted caramel has always been a fear of mine due to its extreme sweetness, but the Häagen-Dazs™ Salted Caramel ice cream may have helped me overcome this fear. It was a perfect shade of sweet, with its slight savoury flavour. Of course, it was still pretty sweet, and that’s when I dove into the smooth base of Gong Cha’s Rich Chocolate Malt drink. It was the perfect palate cleanser. It was a very familiar taste, kind of like a mix of Milo and chocolate milk, because of the malt.
Salted caramel with chocolate is a very popular and loved combination, and for good reason. So if you love it too, you can get the Indulgence drink at $5.50!
Next, I went in for the ‘Love’ drink, the Berry-Tea Bliss BTF. Firstly, as you can see from the images, it looks divinely beautiful. Since social media has taken over our aesthetic standards, some might even say it is “Instagrammable”. But anyway, in this drink, the scoop of Häagen-Dazs™ Strawberry sits on Gong Cha’s classic Milk Tea, with the juiciest hand-picked strawberries, topped with adorable pink heart-shaped nata de coco jelly pieces.
Once again, I tried the ice cream first. It was good—a classic strawberry ice cream. I then took a sip of the tea. I stood there, shocked for three whole seconds. The lingering tartness of the strawberry ice cream married the Milk Tea so beautifully. It is a unique, yet familiar combination. We’ve heard of several drinks in which strawberries were infused with Milk Tea, but using strawberry ice cream makes a subtle, yet remarkable difference. The Milk Tea in this concoction is of only 25% sugar, in order to balance the sweetness.
Indeed, it was a home-run for me. Neither the strawberry nor the Milk Tea flavours were compromised, and neither flavour was competing for your attention. Hence, the perfect marriage. As long as you love Milk Tea, this drink is definitely a must-have, and you can try it for just $5.80.
Lastly, I went in for the ‘Happiness’ drink, the Sunshine Mango BTF. Its name is spot-on, because drinking it made me happy and it looks like sunshine in a cup! This one’s a fruity and refreshing concoction that can be enjoyed by anyone. The base for this drink is Gong Cha’s Jasmine Green Tea with a divine scoop of… wait for it… Häagen-Dazs™ Mango Sorbet. That’s right. This drink is perfect for any day. It’s also topped with some star-shaped pieces of nata de coco jelly!
I have to admit; the Mango Sorbet ice cream was a little too intense for me on the sweetness when I had it on its own. However, with the Jasmine Green Tea, which was prepared with 0% sugar, it was a match made in heaven. To hear that there was no sugar in the green tea was a huge surprise to me, as the sweetness of the ice cream really came through. However, the Jasmine taste of the Green Tea was not lost. Its original taste remained intact. Instead of being a palate cleanser, the Jasmine Green Tea further emphasises the fruitiness of the Mango Sorbet ice cream.
While this drink may be an adventurous and experimental option to many of us, I assure you, it can’t go wrong. Although, I would personally recommend this to people who have a sweeter tooth, as the sweetness may come on a little too strongly for some. However, it still is amazing, and you can try it for just $5.80!
Personally, I loved all three drinks. However, if I were to pick one that made the biggest impact on me, it would be the ‘Happiness’ drink or the Sunshine Mango BTF.
It is a new combination and a very refreshing one, which makes it the perfect choice for a hot day, which is every day in Singapore.
You can try these out yourself, starting Friday, 23 October at 21 Gong Cha outlets!
Not only that, you stand a chance to win $15 Gong Cha vouchers! How? From November to December 2020, take your Instagram shots with your BTF, tag @gongchasgofficial and @haagendazssg and use the hashtag #DontHoldBackSG. Make sure your account is public, and you might be one of the 10 winners each week that wins these vouchers!
Don’t Hold Back, Singapore. Your time has come. Head on down to the participating Gong Cha outlets and try these special drinks. You can only get them in-store, as they are not available for delivery.
Remember, #DontHoldBack. Go all out!
Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC Team.