The Bubble Tea Craze

Thailand is the champion consumer of bubble tea in Asia and as Lanna Sayles reveals Chiang Mai has not been slow to embrace this latest craze.

By | Thu 17 Oct 2019

October 15th, 2019 – On average each Thai person consumes six bubble teas per month, according to ASEAN Post, making it the most bubble tea crazed country in all of ASEAN. The opening of popular Bangkok bubble tea chain “KOI Thé” this past August, increased the consumption of bubble tea even more, making this a staple amongst teens and younger Thais.

According to these stats, just about everyone in Chiang Mai drinks bubble.

tea…though a little debate at the Citylife office had the older staff grumble that they were definitely not part of this statistic. So, if you are not familiar with the ubiquitious sweet tea, where do you go to find some? As resident youth expert at Citylife, being a teen intern, I decided to come up with a list for my older colleagues to explore. Below is a list of favourite bubble tea places in Chiang Mai compiled by regular bubble tea goers:

Tea Inn

In Chang Klan, this pink and tiny yet vibrant bubble tea shop is beloved by many locals due to its quiet location and friendly staff. In addition to the delicious bubble tea, the oh-so “Instagrammable” cutesey pink decor adds to the fun atmosphere.

What to order: Brown sugar milk tea with boba

TEA INN -TEA INN ทีอินน์ เชียงใหม่ ティーイン

The Alley

With multiple chains accross Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia, The Alley is already a well-known bubble tea shop. However, what sets it apart from other bubble tea chains is its use of Taiwanese brown cane sugar as a sweetener, in substitute for the usual artificial syrup. So we can clearly see the hype for this tea shop!

Location: Nimman Soi 7

What to order: Brown sugar deerioca & cocoa fresh milk

The Alley – The Alley Thailand

Brown Cafe

Already known by many locals and expats, Brown Cafe is one of the most trendy cafes in Chiang Mai. On any given day, between 12-3pm Brown Cafe is filled to capacity with consumers eager to try its delectable cakes and bubble tea. In addition, Brown Cafe also has a wide variety of bubble teas to fit anyone’s preferences.

Location: Nimman Soi 9
What to order: Melon niu niu latte with rainbow bubble

Brown Cafe – Brown Café ブラウン


With many chains around Bangkok, Koi Thé is no stranger to many locals. One of the most known features of Koi Thé, being its famous golden bubble tea (pictured above). As a result, it is not uncommon to see a long line at any branch, however, any bubble tea enthusiastic will tell you it’s worth the wait!

Location: Maya Shopping Centre, Central Festival, Central Airport

What to order: Golden bubble milk tea

KOI Thé – KOI Thé Thailand