Taiwan may be one of Asia’s most vegan-friendly destinations, but vegan bubble milk tea remains something of an anomaly – both on the island the drink originates from, and beyond. Nuttea, a brand founded in Taiwan in 2017, is on a mission to change that. House-made nut “mylk” and cream – blended every day – is used in all of its beverages, and in just a few years it’s already expanded to Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, the UK and Melbourne. Now, it’s Adelaide’s turn.

The city's first all-vegan “milk” tea cafe opened on June 19 on the corner of North Terrace and Austin Street – in the former site of another bubble tea spot, Teaser – opposite the Art Gallery of South Australia.

“I travelled to Taiwan, and even in the major cities – Taipei and Taichung – we never saw any vegan bubble tea or 100 per cent plant-based menus at any of the existing bubble tea shops,” Nuttea Adelaide co-owner Wai Yin Wong tells Broadsheet ahead of the shop’s opening weekend.

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“We actually came across the brand because of friends in Hong Kong … they were talking about Nuttea, and [how it was] this new plant-based, vegan-friendly, environmentally friendly bubble tea, and [then] we saw they were opening their first store in Melbourne. That’s how we got started with this whole journey.”

It was over dinner with friends (and now fellow co-owners) Andrew Tan and Darryl Chew that Wong decided to seriously pursue the idea. “We’re bubble tea lovers. We’re always going around and trying different bubble teas.”

The menu is largely the same as the Melbourne store, with nut mylk teas in flavours such as matcha, oolong and lemon; teas with nut cream including mango, Earl Grey and jasmine; plus smoothies, iced coffees and plain fruit teas without mylk. For toppings, there’s tapioca pearls and brown sugar jelly. “If you want something a bit more filling, we definitely recommend the chocolate nut cream with the earl grey tea,” says Wong.

The nut mylk is a blend of cashews, walnuts and macadamias, while the thicker nut cream includes hazelnut as the main ingredient. Fresh fruits are used wherever possible, including in the house-made sugar syrup: the team waters down raw sugar before blending it with plums (or other ingredients) as a base for their fruit teas.

Nuttea Adelaide
227 North Terrace, Adelaide
Tue to Sat 11am–8pm