Thoughts on Bubble Tea?

I’ve had bubble tea a few times, mostly in Chinatown (Boston) and once or twice at a little cafe in Harvard Square… but I’ve never liked it. It always ends up tasting artificial to me, and I find the bubbles to be odd. Also, is it really even tea? I’ve seen a few green bubble teas, but mostly it’s all fruit flavors, and everywhere I’ve seen it, it’s always been a smoothie consistency. But I know there’s a huge following for it! So what am I doing wrong? Or does anyone else not care for it?

46 Replies
Azzrian said

We love it. There are so many kinds of bubble “tea” and I always make sure there is really TEA in mine! I had a matcha bubble tea that was to die for! My daughter gets a white tea and flavoring. The boba bubbles can be made terribly wrong at times. They should have the consistency of gummy bears. Some places will either use jello or run out of boba and use jello – I can’t stand jello personally.
You can get milk bubble tea, slushie bubble tea, etc and so on.
I hated the boba at first then got used to it and it is somewhat healthy I guess.
So now I like it but it has to be made well!
Some places totally over sweeten the bubble tea and the boba can also be overly sweet again it comes down to how they make it.
We found one good place to buy it and stuck with it although the last time we went a new girl made the tea and over steeped it.
We make it at home as well.

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momo said

I go to a shop that’s part of a worldwide chain/franchise called Quickly. I’m not sure if it’s Chinese or Taiwanese (the snack menu seems more Taiwanese) but everything there is really good. You don’t have to get it with the tapioca bubbles if you don’t want them.

It should definitely contain tea. Some shops have smoothies and the like too, but it should be pretty well marked when it’s actually a tea drink. If it’s too sweet, you can always ask them to not add so much sugar or flavoring. There’s a place by my school that has bubble tea that is NOT bubble tea at all, they’re frozen yogurt based smoothies with the bubbles in them, so you kind of have to know where to go. I felt so lied to by the people who told me OMG YEAH BUBBLE TEA ON CAMPUS! Nope. Using Yelp to double check is what I would do.

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Bubble tea is really more like super sweet iced teas with fruit flavoring. As for the boba, i liked them from the start, but many people never grew accustomed to it. It’s really more of a wet snack than a drink, if you ask me.

Despite all of the above, I actually quite enjoy bubble tea as an occasional indulgence, but I usually get the matcha latte version. My sister likes the green apple green tea.

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unfeasible said

I’m okay with bubble tea. Some of the flavor and tea combinations can be really awesome, like white tea with fruity flavors, etc. I find that the pearls get annoying after a while, when I just want to drink some tea, but it adds a new taste/experience?

My boyfriend really loves it, and he doesn’t usually drink it unless I coerce him to, so it’s got that going for it.

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Dinosara said

I don’t get bubble tea because I want a tea. I get a bubble tea because I love bubble tea! Most places should make it with tea as the liquid base (then add various flavor powders and syrups), but it’s not about the tea, for me anyway. It’s a whole separate thing! Maybe if I got some of the more “straight” flavors like the plain milk tea bubble tea, which I did get here in China, I would taste the tea more, but I like to get taro, or almond, or lychee. Even my tea-hating boyfriend likes bubble tea because you can’t taste the tea, heh.

And I definitely love the “bubbles” (boba)… they don’t have much of a taste, but they’re there to add texture. I agree with Mercuryhime on the “wet snack” idea!

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I buy bubble tea basically as a milkshake, not as a tea. Plus, if you’ve never ordered a Taro bubble tea, you need to. Oh. Man.

JC said

Man, I would basically seem like a copy/paste of your post. I agree completely. I love tea and I love bubble tea but I enjoy them in completely different ways. Bubble Tea is a milk shake/ refreshing change from any other drink I may find around.

I would love to make them home but so far the only one I’ve been able to reproduce is the Thai Ice Tea Bubble tea.

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Azzrian said

Yup Taro is AmaZING we have the taro powder and melon here at home.

Lucy said

Oh man! Where the heck did you get taro powder from? Let me guess.. online? I searched all over Vancouver and many asian food stores for the taro powder and they never have it! Brand recommendations? Taro is my favourite ever. Ever. Its something I have random cravings for. It reminds me of a malt in some ways..

I get that to!! malt, and marshmallow!!! or the cream from an oreo. Mmmm.
Sometimes I even get the fresh taro. soooo good

Lucy said

Yes Yes Yes!! I have never tried fresh taro but I definitely think I will have to. I tried poi one time though.. worst decision ever. I will assume that the fresh taro tastes nothing like this (as that is the second food I have ever come cross that I can’t physically force myself to eat.)

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I’ve (unfortunately) only ever had it once, and it was a watermelon-flavored one. It was pretty good, though. Its pretty huge around here but none of the places are nearby me or near a bus stop.

Azzrian said

Yeah Nick I feel ya there. We have to drive 20 minutes each way when we want our “fix”.

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Scott B said

I don’t think I’ve ever had actual bubble tea. The one Asian restaurant here that has boba just has them at the bottom of fruit freezes/slushes. Lots of sugar, don’t have them often, but I love the tapioca pearls.

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darby select said

I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet….remind me of caviar, little fish eggs in tea! LOL

That’s how I feel! I don’t know… I’ve had the bubbles, but they’re just… odd to me.

Kittenna said

Hahaha, have you ever eaten fish eggs? The roe I’ve had on sushi pops/bursts in your mouth, whereas the tapioca pearls and gelatinous and chewy. I can see the visual association, but texture-wise they’re entirely different :D

I’m a vegetarian, so I can’t say I ever have. XD

Plus, they don’t taste like fish eggs! Blech! ;)

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