BUBBLE tea is a delicious, refreshing treat that will leave you wanting more, and the good news is it's available at Hereford's Butter Market.

Bubble tea began in Taiwan in the mid '80s and has grown in popularity to become a worldwide sensation, fusing tea with tapioca pearls or popping boba and served cold in a tall cup.

Its Instagram-worthy aesthetic, often with maximalist, over-the-top colours, makes it the epitome of trendy beverages.

They look more like desserts than drinks, with a creative range of flavours and toppings to be seen in pictures online like tapioca, ice-cream floats and all sorts of fruits.

It turns out there is a stall in Hereford's Butter Market dedicated to bubble tea, called Nel's Bubble Tea. Intrigued by the concept, I went to try it and see what the bubble tea craze is all about.

Nel Bubble Tea offers a diverse range of options, including luscious fruit tea, sweet milk with syrup and less adventurous options like plain teas and coffees. There is certainly an impressive and innovative variety available.

I'm usually more inclined towards the latter, preferably with milk, one sugar and in a mug, so I asked for the stall owner Alex Basimska's expert recommendation for a more interesting tea.

Hereford Times: Alex Basimska of Nel's Bubble TeaAlex Basimska of Nel's Bubble Tea (Image: Rob Davies)

Alex recommended I try the raspberry bubble tea with blueberry popping boba. She filled a cup with cold-brewed jasmine tea and raspberry syrup, before adding blueberry popping boba balls. 

She then sealed the mouth of the cup with plastic and invited me to stab the extra-wide straw through the seal. 

On the first taste, the tea had a delightful blend of flavours and was refreshing and sweet.

The feeling of sucking up the popping boba was not something I had prepared for. But once you get used to it, the balls add another layer of flavour to the drink and an interesting texture unlike any other drink I've tried. 

They were essentially exploding blueberry-flavoured bubbles filled with juice.

If you really want to push the boat out, you can also top your tea with grass jelly, coconut lychee jelly or fruit star jelly, or opt for flavours like butterfly pea, matcha, ginger, sesame, or red bean.

Nel Bubble Tea is stall 57 in the Butter Market, surrounded by other delicious food and drink stalls including crepes, breakfasts and even chimney cakes. 

Nel Bubble Tea is open from 9am to 5pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and has an average rating of 4.8 stars on Google reviews.

If you're peckish they do serve bubble waffles as well as drinks. The waffles come in flavours like banoffee, Nutella, Oreo and even cheese. They have ice cream, fresh fruit, sauce and sprinkles that you can add on as toppings.


The bubble tea trend is certainly a different way to enjoy tea, and you should give it a try if you haven't already, even if only for the pretty colours.

I can already feel myself craving another bubble tea fix.

For me, it's far better than PG Tips.