MIUCHA might be one of the most photogenic places in Philadelphia. While the storefront is located in the Chinatown district only blocks from the likes of the famed Ken’s Seafood and Banana Leaf. The interior is baby pink with white orb lamps, circular mirrors, and an entire wall of grassy green fabric. It is spacious inside, with plenty of area to sit and sip in the back. MIUCHA opened just a few months ago, but already has a following. “The place is popular with students. Especially high schoolers after class,” remarked Samuel Sze, who works at MIUCHA.
I visited at 3 p.m. on a warm Saturday afternoon. Inside, a girl posed for a photo against the pastel backdrop, along with her matching drink. MIUCHA specializes in freshly–made tea drinks with quality ingredients like Uji matcha imported from Japan. According to Samuel, their most popular drink is the King of Tea, an oolong tea topped with sweetened foam. The drinks are highly customizable, from the add–ins to the sweetness to the ice level. What differentiates MIUCHA from campus bubble tea shops like Ochatto are the creative toppings. MIUCHA offers marshmallows and crispy jelly for 50 cents extra and sea salt, matcha, taro, or cheese cream foam for 75 cents extra.
I ordered the Marshmallow Milk Tea topped with cheese cream foam ($4.60). The foamy topping is a popular choice for bubble tea traditionally and has recently caught on in the US. While cheese and tea might not be the most likely combination, the flavor is more like a cheesecake than a cheese plate. The drink is a pretty pale pink, with a heavy handful of mini pastel marshmallows on top. I expected it to taste like Lucky Charms cereal milk, but I was delightfully proven wrong. Despite the sugary name, the milk is surprisingly light, allowing for the sweetness of the foam and tiny marshmallows to take center stage. The drink is a delicious, yet not too decadent, treat.
Ethan, who was responsible for capturing these beautiful confections, opted for the colorful Mixed Fresh Fruit Tea. Sadly, the amount of fruit pieces did not live up to the menu picture, which depicts plenty of cubed fruit mixed in with the beverage. However, the drink made up for it in sweet flavor. “It is like juice,” Ethan said. For $4.35, the MIUCHA does not pull a Starbucks and put too much ice in the drink. The cup is fully filled with tea so you get the most for your money. (Pro Tip: This would make a killer cocktail if you find yourself in Chinatown without a mixer.)
After the drinks, I treated myself to the Matcha Ice Cream Egg Waffle ($7). The giant dessert came complete with an Oreo, two poke sticks, chocolate syrup, and, of course, rainbow sprinkles. While there is nothing special about the ice cream, the egg waffle itself was amazing—crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, and not too sweet. Unlike traditional waffle cones that get soggy as ice cream melts, the egg version tastes even better when the liquid soaks into the waffle’s bubbles.
I left MIUCHA with a mild sugar high, but not a full–on sugar coma. MIUCHA is well worth a trip downtown and not just for the pictures. Whether you are studying (they have free Wi–Fi) or hanging out (they have cards and Jenga), MIUCHA is the perfect spot to stop for a cold treat on a warm spring day.