Ever since bubble tea made its way from Taiwan to the Western hemisphere, bubble teahouses have been popping up on street corners all over America. Bubble tea (also known as boba, pearls and tapioca) got its start in the 1980s when its inventor decided to pour tapioca balls into a simple glass of iced tea, and has since evolved into more unique drink creations. From boozy boba to potted plant milk teas, these eight unique bubble tea drinks will never let you look at your basic milk tea the same.
1. Green Tea Heineken Bubble Tea at Boba 7
If only celebrating your 21st meant turning up with these boozy boba drinks. The Green Tea Heineken at speakeasy Boba 7 is a frothy combo of beer and green tea, with delicious honey boba encircling the bottom of the glass. Justify downing a couple glasses of this boozy boba drink by saying that the green tea has a lot of antioxidants.
2. Self-Serve Boba at Class 302
Whoever came up with self-serve tapioca deserves a Nobel prize. Class 302 is a teahouse decorated to look like your elementary classroom, if your elementary classroom’s walls were lined with delicious boba tea drinks. After you fill your cup with your drink of choice, you can add a variety of jellies and tapioca pearls, fro-yo style. Here’s hoping that a self-serve tapioca trend sweeps the nation just like the fro-yo craze did.
3. Glass Bottle Boba at Plentea
Drinking from a mason jar might be considered to be the trendiest thing to do right now, but it pales in comparison to drinking from a Plentea glass bottle. These hip glass drink vessels are what draws a lot of people to Plentea, but the quality of the various teas lives up to the teashop’s hype. Whether you get a fruit tea or milk tea, make sure to bring back your bottle and get 10% off (or keep the glass for yourself because they are just that cute).
4. Cotton Candy Bubble Tea at Wow Bubble Tea & Snacks
Boba tea doesn’t get sweeter than this. Save yourself a trip to the carnival and head over to Wow Bubble Tea & Snacks, where you can top any bubble tea of your choice with a whimsical cloud of puffy cotton candy. While it is said that eating this cotton candy confection can get kinda messy, it is guaranteed to get you like, a million likes on the ‘gram.
5. Boba Cereal Shakes at Boba Tea Lounge
If you never slurped up the leftover sweet milk from your bowl of cereal as a kid, you weren’t doing breakfast right. Luckily, Boba Tea Lounge’s cereal milkshakes can give you a second chance to experience the glory of cereal milk and add in deliciously chewy tapioca pearls into the mix. From Apple Jacks to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, you can pretty much get any cereal you want turned into a cereal boba shake — and this time, your mom can’t tell you it’s too sugary for you to have.
6. Loose-leaf Milk Teas at Boba Guys
If you’re serious about bubble tea, you know that Boba Guys is destroying the boba game. Why? Their mission is to serve the highest quality boba you’ll ever have by using loose-leaf teas instead of powders and their own house-made syrups. Not only do they serve up one of the purest bubble teas you’ll ever have, they’ve got premium, unique flavors like lychee green tea and rose black tea.
#SpoonTip: As good as their tapioca is, Yelp users say that putting some of their delicious almond jelly in your drink is a must try.
7. Sea Salt Iced Coffee Boba at Almond Haus
Say goodbye to your Starbucks iced coffee and say hello to Almond Haus’s own Sea Salted Iced Coffee with boba. Coffee drinks are a commodity at any teashop, but what separates Almond Haus from the pack is their Vietnamese coffee topped with a delicious sea salt cream. Stir in the cream with coffee for the perfect sweet and salty caffeine combo.
8. Potted Plant Milk Tea at Tea Papa
Presentation is a major key for this green boba drink. Tea Papa’s potted plant milk tea is a floral, green milk tea topped with whipped cream and Oreo “soil.” This #kawaii drink’s presentation and size are both larger than life, so feel free to share with a friend you love.