By now, you must have noticed the bubble tea station that has been popping up all over the lower mainland. Let’s talk about the store that started the trend of brown sugar milk tea in Vancouver. Yi Fang marketed themselves as Taiwanese Fruit Tea. They use real fruit and tea leaf from different regions. The difference in taste are distinct. When they first opened, Vancouver was still drinking tea of the same green/black tea base with added flavor. The introduction of Yi Fang, really took Vancouvites by surprise.
High Quality Natural Tea
Yi Fang take Vancouver by surprise with their natural high quality tea. They then move onto setting a new trend for Vancouver, Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea. Its limited serving time of 3pm and 7pm is still being used to date. After the huge success of Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea, Coco followed suit. Then we have Xing Fu Tang, The Alley opening franchise stores in Vancouver.
Flavor Comes From Tea, No Syrup
Before Yi Fang came to Vancouver, most bubble tea station only have 2 kinds of tea. You can choose black tea, or green tea. The different flavor all comes from artificial syrups. At most, you get some Oolong or Tieguanyin and that’s about it. Yi Fang use high quality tea leaf that you can taste. If you order “Jade Tea”, you’ll get the flavor directly from tea leaf.
Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea
Yi Fang’s Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea use traditional slow cooking method to cook the brown sugar’s sweetness into the pearls. The pearls are added to the cup before the milk to create interesting patterns inside the transparent cup. If you start drinking right when you get the drink, you’ll find it too sweet. You will also find the pearls warmer, and very soft to chew on. It is highly recommended to shake well before drinking to make the pearls more chewy and consistent texture. Please note that you cannot alter the sweetness of this drink.
Hand Stirred Slow Cooked Taro Milk
This time, I ordered the mashed taro milk. It was pretty late so i chose the non-tea version. The taro was cooked just right. There are mashed taro that adds to flavor in every sip. Also, there are chunks that are kind of like pearls for interesting texture variation. The sweetness is perfect for me, but some may think it’s not sweet enough. I appreciate the freshness of milk that comes through in every sip.
604 Food Critic Assessment
Yi Fang’s price is between $4 – $7 a cup. I think there’s really no comparison here. There are powder-brewed bubble tea around greater Vancouver that are selling at $7.50 a cup with pearl. Yi Fang using natural ingredients without syrup for less than $7 is a steal. I would recommend Yi Fang to anyone who care about what they are drinking. I should probably mention, Yi Fang locations typically don’t have a lot of seating. It’s not a place for you to do homework or sit to chat.