If there's one thing the Taiwanese and Singaporeans have in common, it's our love for bubble tea — Singapore's cravings for the sweet treat has caused snaking queues in the midst of the pandemic and even resulted in a fight or two.
And joining the crowd of bubble tea brands here is AtTea, founded by Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao.
Launched to a roaring success in Taiwan last May, the brand recently opened its first Singapore outlet on April 27 at Tiong Bahru Plaza.
In the same building alone are competitors Koi, LiHo and PlayMade, but Jam tells AsiaOne over an email interview that he's not fussed about it.
"I'm not here to compete with other people," the 34-year-old says.
"I just hope to share something which I enjoy with everyone, be it good food that I like, or whenever I drink a tea that tastes good."
You might see Jam at AtTea's Singapore outlet soon
True to his word, AtTea's menu consists of a selection of teas which Jam has personally tasted and approved — he tells us his favourite is the Cream Cheese Foam Jam's Oolong Tea ($6.30).
Jam's touch extends to the outlet's decor, which was designed to mirror that of AtTea's Taiwan outlets, says Lim Jee Shing, the general manager of Bao Concepts, the company which brought the brand in.
The quote "I am not picky, I just know what I want", reportedly coined by Jam, spans an entire wall, and the whole outlet is bathed in an attention-grabbing orange hue — the singer's favourite colour.
With the pandemic going on, it will be a while before Jam can visit, but he says he is looking to arrange a trip here "as soon as possible".
By the time he swings around though, he might have more than a few outlets to visit — Lim confirms that AtTea hopes to open "five or six more outlets" within a year.
But paying a visit to his brand isn't the only thing on Jam's itinerary once travel here is possible.
"The next time I go to Singapore, the thing I want to do most is, of course, hold a concert," he says.
The Singapore stop of his encore tour, Mr Entertainment, was originally planned for last April at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, but was eventually cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation.
Of course, the foodie says he also can't wait to enjoy some "good food" here and listen to some live jazz music.
Our top picks from AtTea
Cream Cheese Foam Jam's Oolong Tea ($6.30)
This distinctive, smoky tea is topped with a smooth cream cheese foam. Jam's said to love the foam so much, he asks for extra every time he visits an AtTea outlet in Taiwan.
Sugarcane Flavour Black Tea Au Lait (from $3.90)
This black tea hailing from Taiwan's Nantou County is sweetened with sugarcane and is perfect for tea lovers who don't want something too sinful.
Genmaicha Jam's Oolong Tea Au Lait ($6.70)
With a toasty, nutty aroma and the crunch of puffed rice, this is one of the more unique drinks we tried.
Once Upon A Milk Tea With Pearl (from $4.60)
This is a classic milk tea with a hint of malt, a must-try for any milk tea fan.
Although the Taiwanese are partial to soft pearls, the pearls at AtTea's Singapore outlet have been adjusted to be more chewy to suit local preferences, we hear.
Fragrant Lychee Rose Tisane ($6.90)
Juicy lychees are served with rose tea. This drink is definitely the prettiest of the bunch thanks to its violet hue. It's also the most refreshing.