After my morning walk in Botanic Gardens, I was thirsty and I was starting to feel famished. I still have to try the LiHo milk tea. It’s famous in Singapore and we don’t carry the brand back home. Since day one here I have been trying to find a LiHo tea stall but there’s none nearby in the areas that I went to. It’s the only thing left in my to-do list so I went.
The LiHo stall I went to is in Bugis Station. It is the nearest from the Botanic Gardens MRT. Eating and drinking is not allowed in the train station and a reminder is posted in the stall.
I ordered a large milk tea with pearl. I honestly can’t remember if I got the brown sugar variety, but typically if it’s my first time, I get the most basic flavor. I think it costs SGD 6 or even less. Like other milk tea brands, they allow customization for ice and sugar levels.
I was so excited that I practically ran to the mall connected to Bugis station. As soon as I entered the mall’s doors, I took my first ever sip.
That’s all I can say. Glorious. I’m not sure if it’s the milk tea deficiency talking but that first sip was so good! I’ve tried various milk teas in my life, and I am a self-professed milk tea connoisseur. I wasn’t able to have any milk tea prior flying to Singapore and in my few days there because I was so adamant in finding a LiHo stall.
Their cup sizes are just the same with the same other brands I have tried. It’s a clear plastic cup covered by an orange plastic lid. The cup has pictures of lions with different greetings, probably in the countries where they have operations. The lion is part of LiHo’s logo. Of course it’s reusable, but it isn’t that thick. I was going to bring it home as some kind of collection but I’m pretty sure it will be squished or even ripped.
I usually get the lowest sugar level available because milk teas are very sweet, but if it’s a brand I am trying out for the first time, I get 50% sugar. It’s the perfect balance because it’s not going to be too sweet and gives me enough leverage to judge the taste properly. Anyway! It’s not that milky in taste and you can tell that it’s a good brand and not watered down or thin. It’s creamy and the tea blends perfectly well. You can’t really taste the tea but the milk’s taste isn’t overpowering. I think the base they use is black tea, which is a commonly used base for milk tea.
I always say it’s not milk tea without the pearls. The pearls are its best asset. LiHo’s milk tea has a generous serving of pearls. By the time I finished my milk tea, there was still a lot of pearls left. Pearl to milk tea ratio is obviously not equal. In terms of consistency, they are not very sticky, they’re easy to swallow, they’re chewy but also slightly hard which I really like because there’s some body when I chew on it. It’s also really filling.
LiHo is an instant yes for me. No doubt I’ll be one of the first in line if they ever open a branch in the Philippines. I just like that it’s not complicated, the pearls are filling and have good consistency, and it’s not really that sweet! I think they relied on the pearls and the milk to give it its sweet taste rather than pumping tons of sugar in it. At 50%, it was still a bit sweet for me but that was a conscious choice I made when ordering. Ordering is easy because they don’t use complicated made-up names for their flavors. It also comes in a variety of flavors and if milk tea is not your drift, they have fruit teas available.
LiHo tea stalls are available widespread in Singapore outside SG. To know more about their products, you can visit their Instagram page @lihosg.