CUPPO BUBBO- Herne Hill’s Newest, Biggest Hit! Sia Pathak JAGS

This month, Herne Hill’s first bubble tea shop opened, Cuppo Bubbo, and I went along to interview Adam, the shop’s manager, to ask a few questions about his new business. ‘I have lived in Herne Hill for more than 23 years now. But for me, I always had to go out of my way to get bubble tea, there’s never somewhere good around here, so I thought I should bring something new to Herne Hill!’

What is bubble tea? ‘Bubble tea was invented in Taiwan around 30 years ago. They decided to put tapioca pearls, in black tea.

The idea was to drink it in a big straw, so you could chew the bubbles and drink the tea. Over time, this developed into the different flavours that we see today.  We want to bring an authentic, novelty experience, but we want it to be as accessible as possible, especially in this area, where a lot of people haven’t had bubble tea’ How have you found opening post-pandemic?

‘This was our project during COVID. I’ve done a lot of work on how we import and export food, it took a good year to get in contact with suppliers and sort all that out. Then we were hit with the shipping disaster, with the Suez Canal blockage, and finally when the products got to the UK, there was a lack of truck drivers!

A few weeks later, we got a truck driver and a truck, but at 6 am in the morning, he called me to say he hadn’t got any fuel! Whatever you saw and heard in the news, was affecting us.  We opened a month or two later than planned because of the various delays’. Cuppo Bubbo is a small, independent, local business!

‘Because this is our brand, and we’re a local, independent shop, we can do what the community would like. Especially when you look at all the big bubble tea chains, they don’t get a say on what things they sell, on what flavours they offer, on how they lay out their shops. But because we’re independent, we can do all of that, and its the fun part of the business.  It’s good to see that people keep coming back, and are moving through the menu.’

Plans for the future? ‘Soon, we can start with Deliveroo, and then we can do some more food items, for example sushi. We hope to be able to use our space for events, for example, make your own bubble tea sessions, or birthday parties.

Currently we have a peak in the afterschool time, but during the day, we have the space and capacity to start events, not even necessarily bubble tea related. For example, if someone wants to teach a class, or hold a book club here. We want it to be a hub for the local community, and because we’re an independent local business, we have the freedom to do all of that’. For all the tree huggers…

Cuppo Bubbo is eco friendly AND good quality!!! Adam explained, ‘what was very important to us, was picking environmentally friendly cups and straws. It was important that they were good quality, as well as sustainable’.  Both the cups, and the straws are recyclable, or you can rinse the cup at home, and bring it back next time you visit!

Cuppo Bubbo is a truly amazing business, when you walk in, it feels warm, and welcoming, and the staff are so kind. The space is beautifully designed, and would be perfect for any event. And of course, their bubble tea is amazing!

Thank you so much to Adam for allowing me to interview him, and to everyone else in the team, thank you for the bubble tea. I highly recommend stopping by at Cuppo Bubbo, any time you are in Herne Hill! Website:

(full menu is attached)