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Hot bubble tea, anyone? Emma serves both hot and cold versions of bubble tea made with ingredients flown in from Japan – mm
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Hot bubble tea, anyone? Emma serves both hot and cold versions of bubble tea made with ingredients flown in from Japan

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SINGAPORE – If you are looking for a respite from the usual Taiwanese or Chinese bubble tea brands, you might want to try Japanese brand Emma. 

Within just the last few years, Japan has been riding a huge tapioca wave, with bubble tea shops popping up left and right. Emma is one of the brands in the market, reportedly seeing long queues for their drinks in Japan every day. 

It currently has two outlets in Singapore, at Plaza Singapura and 100AM shopping mall. The Plaza Singapura outlet is their first store outside of Japan. 

Hailing from Okinawa and started in 2018, Emma just launched their Kuromitsu Tea Latte series – Hojicha, Sencha and Kurogoma (black sesame).

Kuromitsu means “black honey” and is a popular Okinawan brown sugar syrup that is frequently used in many Japanese sweets. This brown sugar syrup lends a natural sweetness to Emma’s drinks. 

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Hot Kuromitsu Kurogoma (black sesame) Latte with brown sugar tapioca pearls ($5.50). (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

I did not know that bubble tea can be a hot beverage, so I was excited to try. I ordered the hot Kuromitsu Kurogoma Latte ($4.50) and added the brown sugar tapioca pearls (additional $1). 

It was not such a good idea after all. 

As a heads-up, anyone may scald himself or herself with the hot drink trying to get to the pearls at the bottom using the straw.

The black sesame drink may be a bit jelak for other people but I actually like the thickness of it. It is very flavourful, frothy and warms my palette. 

Fun fact: Each cup of Kurogoma Latte contains over 6,000 pieces of sesame seeds, which explains the nutty flavour.

I would suggest you to get the cold version ($4.80) if you would like to have it with the brown sugar pearls. 

Left to right: Cold Kuromitsu Sencha Latte with brown sugar pearls ($5.80) and cold Kuromitsu Kurogoma Latte with brown sugar pearls ($5.80) (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Next, I tried the cold Hojicha Latte ($4.50 for hot, $4.80 for cold) and Sencha Latte ($4.50 for hot, $4.80 for cold) from the same Kuromitsu Tea Latte series. 

Left to right: Cold Hojicha Latte with brown sugar pearls ($5.80), cold Kurogoma Latte with brown sugar pearls ($5.80) and cold Sencha Latte with brown sugar pearls ($5.80) (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Hojicha is different from the other Japanese green teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, whereas most Japanese teas are steamed. I can definitely taste the sweet and roasted notes of the Hojicha Latte. 

For the Sencha Latte, it is refreshing and light, and makes for a perfect after-meal pick-me-up.

The outlet also offers Emma’s signature gravity-defying soft serve cones. I opted for the Emma Soft Mix ($4.00), with beautiful swirls of black sesame and Hokkaido milk soft serve and totally Instagrammable for your feed.

Soft Mix ($4.00), with beautiful swirls of black sesame and Hokkaido milk soft serve. (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Defying gravity. (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

It is rich, creamy and firm. Other flavour options include strawberry ($4.20), matcha ($4.20) and chocolate ($4.20). 

I tried holding the soft serve cone upside down for an Instagram photo and it holds its own!

You can also customise your soft serve in a cup, with your ideal base (crushed Oreo, Waffle or Cereal), soft serve flavour (Hokkaido Milk, Black Sesame or Mix), sprinkle (Matcha, roasted soy bean flour Kinako, Cocoa, Nuts or Genmai for that brown rice flavour) and extra topping (Tapioca, Red Bean, Matcha Mochi or Kuromitsu Mochi for an additional $1). Alternatively, you can choose from their recommended combinations. 

One of their recommended combinations: Signature Emma Soft Serve with crushed oreos as the base and matcha powder sprinkled on top ($3.80). (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Kurogama (Black Sesame) soft serve with waffle base, genmai bits, brown sugar tapioca pearls and matcha warabi mochi. (PHOTO: Sheila Chiang/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

The new drinks and soft serve are part of Emma’s revamped menu and will be available from 28 Nov so you can visit their two outlets to try out these decadent treats.

Emma is located at Plaza Singapura, #B2-45 and 100AM, #02-10. 

Open daily from 11:00am – 9:30pm 

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