The Alley

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Recent Tasting Notes

I have a coworker/friend who is really into bubble tea/boba, so we often (pre-pandemic) go out for bubble tea together and compare notes a lot; I’ve been in close contact with her since the shut down but until this week I hadn’t seen her for over two months. In fact, the last day I saw her was my birthday in March because that was the last day our office was completely open before everyone (but the lab team) started working from home…

She had to stop by the office earlier this week to pick some stuff up from her desk though, and so we had a good distanced chat (it was so nice seeing her in person!) and she dropped off some matcha candies she’d picked up over the last two weeks as well as this instant bubble tea mix from a bubble tea shop very close to her house.

In the past, she’s shared instant milk tea/bubble tea with me before and to be completely honest they are usually BAD; but I still appreciate the share! I love trying different things, even if I don’t end up liking them. You still learn from the experience, after all.

This seems to be trying to replicate the “Royal No. 9” from The Alley’s core menu – which is a blueberry milk tea. I’ve actually had that one before, so I can draw some comparisons between the two. Obviously I don’t expect them to be the same; there’s a huge difference between milk tea made fresh in house and what you can get in an instant bag format. What surprised me though was actually though I thought this was more flavourful, which is the opposite direction I would have predicted? With that richer blueberry and black tea flavour, however, came a TON of sweetness that I wasn’t into so I’m not sure that the trade off was totally worth it? However, it wasn’t even close to falling in the camp of being revolting which is a huge step up from most of these types of instant milk teas that I’ve tried.

Would I buy it for myself? No, I’ll stick to the fresh thing. I see the appeal though!

VariaTEA

I didn’t know The Alley did instant tea bags.

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Black Tea version of The Alley’s “bubble tea popcorn” series…

See the other tasting note, Golden Oolong Popcorn, for more context.

Visually, this looks distinctly different from the other flavour – more of a brown powder coating to the popcorn with some speckles of a darker brown/black within the powder. It matches the colouring of black tea powders I’ve seen/own.

In terms of taste, it’s obviously not grassy like the oolong was – more of a flatter, malty flavour with a hint of cocoa powder type quality to it. Still sweet and buttery in the same way the other option was, and that brings some layering of flavour to the experience. It’s tasty/snackable, but without that buttery sweetness I think just the black tea powder/popcorn would feel a little dull as a combination.

The oolong works better, IMO.

Nattie

Oh, fun!

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So I first had this (and the other flavour) MONTHS ago at the start of the year, and at first I just put off writing the tasting notes because I was lazy and then because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write a food tasting note or not even though I’ve done it in the past…

So, I tried to forget about it and just move on but every time I have a back up of queued tasting notes I just can’t help but think about how I really should write about these too. So I’m just fucking doing it today so I can get them out of my head!

This, and the black tea counterpart, are basically prepackaged bags of popcorn sold by this bubble tea company that are coated in a tea powder based topping. I actually liked both of them a lot, but this was the one I preferred. In terms of colour it’s a pretty green shade of tea powder and it actually looks a lot like matcha. I’ve seen ground oolong powder before and for a greener oolong it is pretty similar in colour though. What I find interesting is that, going off memory, the black tea packaging specifically listed black tea powder in the ingredients but I believe this one just listed “tea powder” so it could potentially be matcha or a combination of matcha and oolong powders…

The taste is good – very matcha like in that it’s a more umami forward vegetal/grassy type flavour. It’s also pretty sweet, and very buttery. Easy to snack on, deceptively caffeinated, and quite yummy!

Martin Bednář

Oolong flavoured popcorn? Weird, but why not?

tea-sipper

Odd concept I’ve never heard of before!

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85

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to log in to this website that I’ve forgotten most of the teas I’ve tried in the past several months.

This is what I’ve been drinking recently because I received a box on my birthday. The artificial flavouring is apparent, but it’s not the worst instant milk tea I’ve tasted. I can’t – or won’t – go out to get bubble tea during this pandemic, so this is satisfactory. The blueberry flavor milk tea is supposed to taste like The Alley’s in-store Royal Milk Tea.

Flavors: Blueberry, Milk

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 45 sec 30 g 32 OZ / 946 ML
Nattie

Glad you managed to log in eventually! I stay logged in now because of all the issues I’ve had with it in the past.

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The was the second bubble tea flavour that I ordered during my inaugural trip to The Alley, and it was the recommendation of a friend who knows I have a special fondness in my heart for blueberry flavoured things. It is, essentially, a subtley blueberry flavoured milk tea.

Firstly, I ordered mine with pearls (because what is a bubble tea without pearls!) and I have to say that the regular pearls were leagues below the Deerioca pearls. I wonder if you can order the Deerioca pearls in drinks not on the Deerioca menu? If you can, that would be a complete game changer for me…

The tea itself was really nice though – very creamy and smooth and not overly sweet, with a very subtle but enjoyable hint of blueberry in the finish. I think it was actually the perfect amount as well; not overly present or sugary/cloying and it let you appreciate the quality of their black milk tea base as well. I’d definitely order this one again!

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drank Matcha Deerioca by The Alley
10735 tasting notes

Something that I had over my staycation!

The Alley is a bubble tea chain that opened its first location here in Montreal last summer, but it was so crazy when it first opened that I put off going. I finally took the time off to check it out with a friend, though – it took all my effort to not order like eight things from the menu because they have a lot of unique specialty drinks. However, I ultimately settled on the two drinks from the menu that I was most curious about…

The first was this Matcha Deerioca! The “Deerioca Series” is a small section of their menu that uses a special kind of tapioca pearl, that’s slow “cooked” in brown sugar until the pearls have a really unique and distinct chewy/tacky type of texture, and a deep molasses-y brown sugar flavour. I think it’s probably the most famous drink from The Alley so I felt like I just had to try it.

I went with the matcha because my other drink I ordered was a bit more simple/plain so I wanted something more visually eye catching and flavourful. I ended up having really mixed feelings about it – I found the matcha portion of the drink really bitter and oceanic, but the pearls… Oh, the pearls!! They were so good. Legitimately the best tapioca pearls that I’ve ever had in a bubble tea. The brown sugar was so good, and thankfully offset much of the bitter matcha, and they were deliciously chewy. Everything I had hoped for an more!

Like, I legit want to try everything on the Deerioca menu now – just as an excuse to have more of those amazing pearls.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9NC_hEg7pF/

TeaDrinker123

I should have known the famous Roswell Strange would try this, before we got one here.

Roswell Strange

Famous? Hardly not – but definitely willing and excited to try everything ;)

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