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Cafe Society: HwaanYen is the cream of Phuket’s bursting bubble tea scene

Every now and again, I stray away from at­tempting to find the island’s best cup of cof­fee. A few months ago on a particularly hot day, I found myself wandering around town and came across หวานเย็น - HwaanYen – 甘い氷. I was immediately intrigued, pulled up a stool and asked for a menu.

By Amy Bensema

Monday 3 June 2019, 10:00AM

Located near the old bus station in Phuket Town, HwaanYen is a tiny tea room which serves a wide array of rich, creamy bubble tea varie­ties. If you are not familiar with bubble tea, it is a Taiwanese tea-based drink that is generally made of green or black tea and has flavours of milk and sugar. Bubble tea also has tapioca balls, which look like shiny, colourful pearls and have the consistency of a chewy, gummy candy. The drink is Instagram-worthy and goes down a sugary sweet treat.

In recent months, a large number of bubble tea rooms and shops have popped up around Phuket, giv­ing testament to the trendiness of the drink. I have tried most of these places, but in all fairness, I find HwaanYen to be the best due to their creative and ever-changing menu. Another reason I really like this place is that the bubble tea drinks are mixed just right. While the drinks are sweet, they are neither overbearing or cavity-inducing.

HwaanYen is tiny. The mini tea room is reminis­cent of a small street stall. The shop only has seating for four. The seats are tall stools that allow you to watch while your tea is being made. The tea barista here is friendly and has an inviting smile. Despite the slight language barrier, she does her best to make drink recommendations and let customers know what’s new on the menu.

The menu at HwaanYen is really creative and there are many bubble tea flavours to choose from. New delicious menu items include caramel fresh milk, premium choco marble and black choco. While these flavours are all really good, my favourite drink at HwaanYen is the mint choco. Rich and creamy, the drink is the perfect combination of mint and choco­late. The mint flavouring is really smooth and doesn’t leave any kind of strange aftertaste, which also gets two thumbs up from me!

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For those who aren’t big fans of bubble tea, HwaanYen has other drinks to choose from. There is traditional Thai tea and iced coffee as well as refresh­ing concoctions such as pineapple strawberry soda, lemon mixed berry soda and a fruity mangorita. Some of the more colourful drinks include the vibrant red and light blue mix of strawberry blue soda. The soda drinks at HwaanYen are essentially more creative va­rieties of Italian soda.

If you are in the mood for something different, I highly recommend you check – HwaanYen – when you are in Phuket Town. The drinks are vibrant and refreshing, and the mini tea room is super adorable.

HwaanYen is open daily from 10:30am- 6pm. For more information, head over to the tea room’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Hwaanyen

Written by Amy Bensema, Cafe Society is a monthly column which chronicles one girl’s search for the perfect cup of coffee. Have a cafe to recommend? Contact Amy via email at bensema.amy@gmail.com or follow her caffeinated adventures as @phukestagram on Instagram.



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