LiHO – Gouda-Bye Gong Cha, #SayCheese to LiHo!
By Maureen, Alexis, Nat & Sean
“LiHO!” That’s the hokkien greeting you get from the ex-Gong Cha staff when you visit the new bubble tea outlet. If you have been a big fan of the Taiwanese bubble tea franchise, Gong Cha, you will realize that the brand has transformed. From June onwards, all 84 Gong Cha outlets will be replaced by homegrown tea brand LiHO. (Wahbiang, no more Gong Cha Milk Alisan Tea. SADNESS.)
LiHO is the first brand in Singapore to introduce a new concept takeaway drink here – Cheese Tea. This afternoon, the team tried some of the new offerings at Bedok Mall’s
Gong Cha LiHO!
LiHO’s specialty is cheese tea. The signature milk froth found in Gong Cha is now replaced with cheese froth! The Cheese Mango Smoothie ($6.90, $0.50 for additional pearls) is served with a specially-designed lid with a re-sealable spout. That way, customers can enjoy the cheese topping without having to break the plastic seal.
Like regular macchiato drinks, there’re 3 ways to enjoy this drink.
1) Gulp it down to enjoy the both the mango smoothie and cheese froth
2) Slurp down the cheese mixture first, enjoy the sweet mango smoothie thereafter
3) Mix it all up and enjoy the best of both worlds!
The drink is served with two layers – a thick and slightly salty cheese froth sits atop the fruity mango smoothie. The creamy cheese topping tasted like Gong Cha’s milk froth, albeit saltier. When enjoyed separately, it tasted like mango cheesecake. However, the consistency becomes similar to that of a mango milkshake if you give it a good mix. Some may love it for its novelty.
LiHO’s Royal Milk Guan Yin ($3.50 medium / $4.50 large) features a top layer of creamy milk froth that’s light enough for our palates, followed by tie guan yin tea at the bottom. The drink is slightly bitter and tartly, with a hint of sweetness. This is our favourite among the 3 drinks which we’ve tried.
LiHO also offers an assortment of fruit flavoured teas. Cool off with a cup of fruity Lychee Jing Suan tea ($3.30 for Medium, $4.30 for Large). The Jing Suan tea is a variety of the classic oolong tea, which has a mellow floral sensation with a slightly roasted aftertaste. The taste of the lychee further lends a refreshing texture to its floral counterpart.