Happiness comes in many forms — sometimes it is a quick cup of Joe, a fruity tea, and oftentimes it may even be bubble tea with a generous scoop of tapioca pearls, more commonly known as Boba. The hype surrounding this incredibly popular drink can be quite tempting, and Jersey City is filled with options for all bubble tea enthusiasts. Pick one of the many milk, syrup, and boba options, pair this with a vibrant atmosphere, and friendly staff, and it’s an ideal day out. Luckily, one need not travel too far to experience it all. The newest spot in the scene is Créme Brewtique, an alluring cafe + bubble tea spot located at 558 West Side Avenue in Jersey City. The Hoboken Girl chatted with the owners to learn more about their journey, the inspiration behind the menu, and what locals can expect in the coming months. Read on to learn more about Creme Brewtique, a cafe and bubble tea spot in Jersey City.
How It Started
Créme Brewtique is a women-owned cafe that opened in May 2023 and focuses on coffee, bubble tea, and lunch bowls. Mara Alcantara, Angelika Uy Niera, and Alyzza Uy are the powerhouse trio behind the cafe. The three have been friends since high school and often spoke of having a business together. However, over the years, different priorities in each one’s life often got in the way, and the entrepreneurial lens took a backseat.
As luck would have it, 2023 would be the year that would serendipitously manifest their vision. “We were on the lookout for a space, and out of nowhere, the space that is now the cafe was available for takeover. Three of us happened to find ourselves in the same mindset mentally and financially, and jumped on the opportunity,” Mara said.
This trio is also supported by the little helper elves in the form of their younger sisters. Andrea Uy-Manalo, who has years of experience being a barista, brings in coffee expertise and is also the manager of the cafe. Marga Alcantara-Nalam is the creative bee and is responsible for handling all the social media content. The famous five would be an accurate description of how woman helps run the business. The name of the cafe is unique, quirky, and fits just right. “We would all huddle up in the cafe every evening and throw out a bunch of names that we liked. Powered by caffeine and lots of bubble tea, we landed on Creme Brewtique. Like a boutique, we offer various curated items on the menu, with coffee being a highlight. The name felt meaningful, and would help us build the right brand image,” Marga said.
About the Cafe
The interiors at the cafe are a visual treat. With its candy-colored hues across the walls, whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed table tops, and a gorgeous floral backdrop with pink velvet chairs, Créme Brewtique is more like walking into a Pinterest post than a neighborhood coffee shop. Fun fact: Every little detail inside the cafe, the colorful ceilings, adorned tables, or even the seating cushions, is a DIY project by the owners themselves. The more time spent here, the more one realizes the attention to detail and outpour of love, sweat, and tears that has gone into making this tiny cafe the cozy space that it is. Be it a solo outing, friendly catch-ups, or when looking to impress out-of-town friends with Instagram-worthy drinks, this spot would do the task justice.
Every drink item on the menu is a result of the team’s creativity and experimentation. “We would all get together and have Alyzza create a blend of flavors that we’d all try and vote for our favorite. So every single item on the menu is tried and tested” Mara said. What sets this cozy little shop apart is the commitment to quality and attention to detail on what’s being prepared. Aside from the standard ingredients such as milk, sugar, jelly, and tapioca pearls, the team experiments with various flavors such as cheese foam, edible glitter, goldcarat sheets, and edible flowers. The result is a refreshing drink that is photogenic, and fun and keeps locals coming back for more. While the options can get overwhelming, the staff here is always sporting cheerful smiles and are more than helpful when it comes to recommendations and suggesting fan favorites such as the Pink Berry Milky Way made with strawberries, strawberry jelly, and whipped cream, topped with a house-made popsicle and garnished with edible glitter and flowers.
As for the food, the popular item on the menu is the rice bowls, which are a colorful assortment of rice, kimchi coleslaw, gyoza, and meat drizzled with some mayo and hot sauce creating a scrumptious, wholesome, and hearty meal. The cafe offers fresh pastries from Balthazar Bakery in New York and some Filipino exclusives such as the corn beef pandesal (a Filipino fresh-baked pastry filled with meat) or the sylvanas which is a dessert that comes in three flavors — Oreo, mango, and original, and is a delightful indulgence to start the day.
Being the first of its kind on West Side Avenue, the team shares that the outpour of love and support from the community has been a heart-warming experience. In the coming weeks, locals can expect to see more seasonal items on the menu with some holiday specials and promos. The cafe will soon be making an appearance at the Journal Square Green Market events, so follow it on Instagram to stay tuned for the latest updates.