How to order bubble tea in Chinese
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How to Order Bubble Tea in Chinese

Do you love boba tea but lack the vocabulary to order one? Here is the perfect guide for you! 

First, “bubble tea/pearl milk tea/boba” is called zhēnzhūnǎichá. zhēnzhū means pearls and refers to the tapioca pearls; nǎi means milk and chá, tea. 

To order something anywhere, you can start with: 

您好nínhǎo,请qǐnggěilái: Hello, please give me …

您好nínhǎo,麻fangěilái: Hello, please give me …

您好nínhǎo,我(想)xiǎngyào: Hello, I’d like/I’ll take…

您好nínhǎo,我xiǎngdiǎn: Hello, I’d like/I’ll take…

Bubble tea flavors:

  Original 原味 yuán wèi    
  Strawberry 草莓 cǎo méi
  Black Sugar 黑糖 hēi táng
  Taro 香芋 xiāng yù
  Mango 芒果 máng guǒ
  Lychee 荔枝 lì zhī
  Peach 桃子 táo zi
  Matcha 抹茶 mǒ chá
  Red beans 红豆 hóng dòu

Types of tea:

  Green Tea      绿茶 lǜ chá       
  Black Tea       红茶 hóng chá
  Oolong Tea     乌龙茶 wū lóng chá
  Jasmine Tea             茉莉花茶 mò lì huā chá       

A strawberry green tea would be 草莓cǎoméi 绿茶lǜchá

Although bubble tea shops already have their ready-made drinks with fancy names, this chart can help you understand the most common words on the menu! 

At The Alley for instance, they have 热带rèdàibái香绿xiāng lǜ, literally Tropical White Scented Green, for a Passionfruit Green Tea, how classy! 

Drink size: 

  Small    小杯 xiǎo bēi 
  Medium      中杯 zhōng bēi 
  Large 大杯 dà bēi 

The measure word would be 杯, since the drink is in a cup; so a bubble tea is 一杯yìbēi珍珠zhēnzhū奶茶nǎichá, but is also correct.

Example: yào(一杯yìbēi/一个)yígè黑糖hēitáng珍珠zhēnzhū奶茶nǎichá, 中杯zhōng bēi

You can also say: yào一杯yìbēi中杯zhōng bēi黑糖hēitáng珍珠zhēnzhū奶茶nǎichá

And then, you just need to specify the toppings at the end, by saying jiā + topping = with…

  Tapioca Pearls                 珍珠 zhēn zhū
  Taro Pearls 小芋圆 xiǎo yù yuán
  Coconut Jelly 椰果 yē guǒ
  Red Beans 红豆 hóng dòu
  Popping Boba 爆爆珠/波珠 bào bào zhū / bō zhū
  Jelly 果冻 guǒ dòng
  Grass Jelly 仙草冻 xiān cǎo dòng
  Aloe Jelly 芦荟 lú huì
  Pudding 布丁 bù dīng
  Sea Salt Foam 奶盖 nǎi gài

Temperature: 

  Cold             冰的  bīng de
  Warm 常温 cháng wēn
  Hot 热的  rè de

Amount of Ice: 

  Ice       加冰  jiā bīng 
  Light Ice     少冰 shǎo bīng
  No Ice 去冰 qù bīng 

Sugar level:

  No Sugar 不加糖 / 无糖 bù jiātáng / wú táng
  Regular Sugar                  正常甜 zhèng cháng tián
  Little Sugar  微糖 wēi táng
  Half Sugar 半糖   bàn táng
  Extra Sugar 全糖 quán táng

Now that you have all the vocabulary, all you have to do is to list the information one by one.

Example: 您好nínhǎo,请qǐnggěilái一杯yìbēi黑糖hēitáng珍珠zhēnzhū奶茶nǎichá,中杯zhōngbēi,加jiā珍珠zhēnzhū,加jiābīng,不加糖.jiā táng谢谢!xièxiè 

Hello, please give me a brown sugar bubble tea, medium size, with tapioca, with ice, no sugar. Thank you!

Finally, if they didn’t give it to you, you can ask for a straw: 吸管xīguǎn

(请问)qǐngwèn可以kěyǐgěi吸管xīguǎnma? 谢谢。xièxiè (Learn other ways to Express Gratitude)

May I ask for a straw, please? Thank you. 

And if you don’t know what to take, you can still ask: nín推荐tuījiàn什么shénme?, what do you recommend? 

Now, you’re a master of ordering bubble tea!

Menu for reference:

the alley menu

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