The Alley, located at Commerce Gate, is a new player in the Markham bubble tea game. It’s priced higher than your average bubble tea shop due to its different drinks and deerioca (handmade tapioca with flavours like strawberry and black sesame). However, I wasn’t too impressed with my experience there.
Much like most Markham bubble tea places, The Alley can get pretty busy. This is definitely not the place for something on the fly. Be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes during high traffic times (ie. after dinner, late at night, or weekends). There are about 11 seats and the space is small so it is definitely not the ideal place to meet up with friends.
We got the Royal No. 9 Milk Tea, Sweet Dew Oolong, and Iron Goddess (pictured from left to right). I didn’t get the chance to try the deerioca due to the fact it is only available on limited times on the weekend, but I did like the texture of the regular tapioca.
I personally enjoyed the Royal No. 9, because it had a hint of blueberry alongside rich tea taste. Depending on when you go, they may offer you a sample. I was under the impression that the Sweet Dew Oolong would be a flavourful, fusion drink of some sort. However, to our surprise, it simply tasted like Oolong tea with ice, which is definitely not my cup of tea. Finally, the Iron Goddess, which is their signature oolong milk tea, tasted decent for the first few sips, but left an unpleasant, ashy aftertaste. I would not recommend it.
They only allow deerioca with certain drinks after 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, ie. only jasmine green tea with a particular deerioca. While this may allow a truer taste of the flavoured tapioca, it hardly seems worth it to pay such a steep price for a regular green tea. Overall, based on my sub par experience and the fact that the quality does not reflect the price, I won’t be returning to The Alley in the near future.
505 Hwy 7 #16
Sun-Thurs 11:30am – 11:30pm
Fri-Sat 11:30am – 1am
Stone & Fern is a travel and lifestyle blog started by friends who have a passion for exploring cities, capturing moments, and trying new food. This is part of our Cafes of Toronto series.