If you're lactose intolerant or follow a plant-based diet, bubble tea shops can present a challenge. Sure, they might have some dairy-free options on the menu, but sometimes they're made with powders and chemicals and don't offer a fresh or refreshing taste.
One global tea shop, Nuttea, that launched in Taiwan and rose to fame in Hong Kong, has just planted its flag in Canada with its first location (it's in Edmonton) but the Vancouver franchisors are now ready to welcome customers here in Kitsilano. The tea shop is having its soft opening on Friday, July 15.
Nuttea moved in on West 4th where popular long-standing juice bar Sejuiced used to be. The owners, a local couple who are fairly new to Vancouver and to the food industry, are thrilled to be able to offer a product that is totally vegan with fresh fruits and house-made nut mylks. Though they aren't vegan themselves, they have been cutting back on the meat they consume and making more informed choices when it comes to consuming animal products. They are passionate about having a business that offers plant-based foods that don't harm animals.
The new Nuttea shop is bright and airy with a charming mural that reflects the natural wonders of Vancouver and icons of the Kitsilano neighbourhood.
Right off the bat, you'll also see on display on the wall the five nuts that Nuttea deploys in various combinations in its mylk recipes: Almond, walnut, hazelnut, cashew, and macadamia. Those nuts are turned into smooth, deeply nutty "mylks" as well as creamy, airy frothed up toppings for use in some drinks - much like how in some tea shops you can add on "cheese foam" topping.
What is on the menu at Nuttea?
You can order from several categories of beverages. Cold teas with nut creams on top include fun and delicious offerings like a blend of fresh red grapes with brewed tea (with a classic nut cream topping this is sort of like a cold, drinkable nut butter and grape jelly sandwich with a fragrant blast of tea to cut the richness) or Earl Grey tea with Nuttea's most popular combo, their chocolate nut cream.
Nuttea also has drinks like bubble tea, where tea, nut mylk and chewy pearls make for a refreshing dairy-free combo, while hearty smoothies made with creamy nut mylk pack a fruity punch.
The drinks are not overly sweet as a baseline, but you can ask them to tone it down or crank it up, depending on your sweet tooth.
Nuttea HQ supplies the core recipes, but the Vancouver team says they are able to make adjustments as needed in order to ensure a stellar final product. Given how sometimes you can get a tart batch of strawberries one day and a super sweet one the next, this allows them to adapt in order to get a balanced taste.
As a delicious fruit-focused bonus, Nuttea in Vancouver can create drinks that take advantage of local produce, like beautiful B.C. blueberries in season, so look for some fun limited-run specials on the menu, too.
@vancouverisawesome Aw, nuts! 🌰🧋#forkingawesome #vancouverbc #vancouverfoodie #bubbletea ♬ Keep Driving - Harry Styles
Nuttea is located at 1958 W 4th Ave, Vancouver. Follow them on Instagram @nuttea_canada.