B-Tsai Dessert House
Update: This location has unfortunately closed.
Before leaving Edmonton back in June, I noticed that a new Bubble Tea House was set to open beside Orignal Joe's on 109 St. We managed to go in and talk to the owner, who was in the midst of completing renovations. He told us that this location was a branch of his very popular Bubble tea store in Calgary (of the same name - B-Tsai Dessert House). He was very excited and encouraged us to come back when it opened.
Some friends of ours in Calgary had taken us to B-Tsai Dessert House when we visited Calgary and I recalled enjoying the Blackberry juice Bubble Tea (made purely from blackberries with no other additives or extra sweeteners).
So upon returning to Edmonton in August, I was excited to try their bubble tea. We went on a Saturday afternoon around 2pm. The store is painted in modern colours and highlighted by red borders, silver accents, and completed with a granite counter for their serving area/bar. It seems like the bubble tea restaurant scene in Edmonton has vastly upped its game since I moved to Edmonton in 2006!
Their laminated menus are extremely visual, depicting the various beverages and options you can order. This chart helps you determine the price for all the fruit combinations you might want to try. For instance, if you want to order a pineapple and coconut drink you select the first fruit horizontally then find the second fruit in the vertical column and where the column and row intersect is the price (e.g. $6.50).
Unfortunately, they ran out of blackberries that day so I ordered the small mango juice ($5) with tapioca ($0.50) while my friends ordered a small blueberry-raspberry juice ($7.00) with bubbles and avocado milk ($6.50) with bubbles ($0.50).
In terms of taste, all the drinks were fresh with no frozen chunks or weird after tastes. The blueberry-raspberry juice had a heavier blueberry component to it rather than a 50/50 ratio while the avocado milk was the perfect blend of avocado and milk. My mango juice was refreshing as well. Not too sweet or icy.
I would definitely recommend trying out their bubble tea mainly for their fresh fruit combinations. The price point is a bit expensive when compared to other bubble tea shops in Edmonton (e.g. Dream Tea House just off Whyte Ave sells fresh fruit bubble teas for around $5.75). However, the big difference Dessert House (aka B-Tsai in Cantonese) has is their chinese desserts and snack selection. They offer up desserts such as mango tapioca with fruit, sweetened black sesame pudding and other items reminiscent of those found in Hong Kong or in Toronto or Vancouver's bubble tea/dessert houses. The Dessert House also has grilled items but on my last visit the grill was not functioning. I have yet to try their desserts and snacks as I was focused on their bubble tea this visit. I look forward to going to Dessert House when my next craving of bubble tea or snacks arise! Hopefully, their grill will be working soon!
The Dessert House