Time to spill the tea on the newest bubble tea joint in the capital. The Alley, a Taiwanese chain, is targeting discerning tea drinkers with a high-end location on Sussex.
The Alley’s bubble teas highlight handcrafted tapioca pearls, roasted tea bases (no powders here), and house-made organic sugar cane syrup.
That trio of ingredients has been the tea shop’s recipe for success, with The Alley expanding rapidly despite the competitiveness of the bubble tea market. Launched in Toronto in 2016, it now has well over a dozen locations east to Montreal, as well as in Calgary and Vancouver.
Fans swear by The Alley’s tapioca pearls, which are slow cooked in a brown sugar syrup till they’re soft and just the right kind of chewy with a distinct sweetness.
And Instagrammers love how photogenic the regular teas are (though for a real hit of colour to your feed, check out the Aurora Series, with their layers of bright and fruity hues).
Lulu Fresh Fruit Series: Summery options include the Snow Strawberry LuLu with peach oolong ice tea and fresh strawberries, as well as the Orange LuLu with oolong ice tea with passion fruit and orange pieces.
Milk Tea Series: Enjoy them hot or cold, the milky tea bases include Earl Grey milk tea, jasmine green milk tea, and Assam milk tea.
The Alley Original Brewed Tea Series: For the purists. Think cold or hot teas brewed with Royal No. 9 black tea, Assam black tea, jasmine green tea, or Iron Goddess tea.
The Alley Specialties: Those with kids in tow might want to introduce them to the bubble tea world with some sweet brain freezers. Try the Kiwi Slush (a kiwi and passion fruit blend) or an Oreo Devil Slush (a teeth-killing concoction that includes crushed oreos, whipped cream, and pudding).
Address: 513 Sussex Dr.
Hours: Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Hot Tip #2: Watch for the specials! The Alley often changes things up with limited-edition specials. Hoping their crunchy milk tea series (which debuted in other Canadian markets this past May) makes it to Ottawa — think sweet, milky bubble tea topped with crunchy butter crisp. Caffeine rush meets sugar rush — perfect for those afternoon office doldrums.