Missing Boba From Home

For those in and around Gainesville, finding the perfect boba shop may be extremely difficult in a designated college town. It has its quirks and pockets, but the city of Gainesville lacks a fierce variety of tapioca goodness. In my past three years at the University of Florida, I have searched far and wide for a mean brew of tea and pearls. Although there are limited boba places, Gainesville boba still excels in providing quali-tea. Here are some boba stops to make when in Gainesville:

1. Kung Fu Tea

milk, tea, coffee
Jane Yeo

Although I admit I have probably only ever ordered four flavors from Kung Fu Tea, it shows how consistent the shop is in producing my favorite flavors. Depending on the day, I typically gravitate towards a milk tea when I want a sweet drink or a fruit tea when I am in dire need of cool refreshment. The boba is honey sweet and perfectly sized. My milk tea of choice is the Oolong Milk Tea - I love a strong brew.

I remember my cousin bringing me in my freshman year and recommending this tea; it still tastes like that very first time when I go now as a junior. When craving a fruity tea, the Lychee Black Tea quenches my thirst and includes real Lychee pieces. Additionally, Kung Fu Tea doubles as a restaurant named Cheers Cut, serving hearty portions of their signature Ninja chicken nuggets, fried oyster mushrooms, and more! Make sure to stop by this gem on the corner of 34th Street and Archer Road!

2. TeaStori

Jasmine Chi

Previously known as Lollicup and recently rebranded as TeaStori, the local shop doubles as a college student's wonderland. White brick walls, string lights, and polaroids embody the aesthetic appeal of such a shop. TeaStori doubles as a succulent store in the front, providing an immersive Gainesville boba stop.

Figurines from Totoro and other classic animations litter the shelves and succulent pots to add character (pun intended) to the store. TeaStori is known for its Thai tea, Rose Hibiscus tea, and their rainbow jelly. They also serve a delicious assortment of mochi ice cream and macarons - an endless source of sweet wonder. 

Jasmine Chi

3. Naga Tea

coffee, chocolate, cappuccino
Emma Davis

Located in downtown Gainesville, Naga Tea presents itself as a cute nook to study with friends. Its exposed red brick expresses Naga Tea as a homey place in the city, providing shelter from the cold (even though Gainesville is blisteringly hot for half of the year). Coming in one size only, the shop serves a simple list of milk and fruit teas. Some recommendations include the passion fruit tea with lychee jelly and their Tie Guan Yin with salt cream. 

Gainesville Boba

Whether you're just passing through or a UF student desperate for that bubbly goodness we have all grown to love, I can guarantee these three Gainesville boba shops will satisfy any boba craving. Every boba shop brings its own unique aesthetic and tastes to the table - let's take advantage of it while we are here!