WITH two new bubble tea businesses soon set to open in the city centre a shop claiming to be Oxford’s original way to sample the Taiwanese speciality is celebrating a top hygiene rating.

Formosan Tea Bar, tucked away just off High Street, was given the five stars following an inspection by Oxford City Council's health team on July 19.

Manager Mark Wells said the business, opened in 2012, was committed to high standards and took three months to properly train new staff.

He added: "We don't do it just for inspections but it is nice to be recognised for our hard work."

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Bubble tea is also known as boba and has adopted the name because of the chewy tapioca balls which are brewed into the milky or fruity tea mixture.

Increasingly popular, chain Bubbleology announced last month it would be in Oxford, right on Formosan's doorstep on High Street.

Earlier in the month plans were also revealed to open another cafe were revealed for Gloucester Green.

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But Mr Wells said there was a 'tremendous' difference between what they had to offer and Formosan.

He said: "I think a lot of other bubble tea places serve a more westernised version and we focus on traditional, high-quality natural flavours like honey and lemon."

He added he wasn't worried Bubbleology would draw away customers, explaining: "It was a little odd to hear they would be so close but we do very different things. Our customers are very loyal and have been coming to us for years. We're not really a place you stumble across because we're tucked away but those who go looking for us are pleased about what we do."

The business' website says it is 'the first and only tea bar of its kind' and that they 'revive the former glory of healthy, authentic bubble tea'. It goes on to explain: "We carefully source all of our tea leaves directly from the world’s best tea-farming regions, in Taiwan.

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"Based on the Chinese tea ceremony developed over thousands of years, we’ve adopted a meticulous brewing process to bring out a finely balanced taste."

It added: "With just a handful of expertly chosen variations to choose from, we ensure that every cup is made to perfection."

A pleased customer wrote in a review on the shop's Facebook page: “A beautiful and calm place to be, the tea is amazing never had bubble tea before.

"The staff are great talked me through the teas with samples. It is tucked away but if you drink tea come visit and be amazed.”

Visit formosan.co.uk.