Bubble tea, or “boba,” is giving coffee a run for its money for the title of America’s trendiest drink. This delectable combination of milk and tea contains soft tapioca pearls that can be chewed like candy. NYU students have been following this trend for a while, but the warm weather has been multiplying cravings for the refreshing beverage.
Don’t know where to find the best boba? Don’t fret. These fantastic bubble tea shops all around campus are ready for you to stop by.
Whenever you pass by 11 Waverly Pl., you’re bound to spy a super long line, leading to the latest boba hot spot, Boba Guys. Originally established in San Francisco, Boba Guys recently opened New York location came after the success of a pop-up store last September. Each beverage is made with the natural ingredients of real loose tea leaves from Tea People instead of powder, milk without non-dairy creamers from Battenkill Valley Creamery and fructose-free homemade syrups. Of course, tapioca is a popular addition. Some of Boba Guys’ signature drinks include the Iced Matcha Latte, Jasmine Milk Tea and Hong Kong Style Tea.
Kung Fu Tea
Next door to Boba Guys is a classic bubble tea hub at 31 Waverly Pl. with other branches throughout the boroughs. Kung Fu Tea offers a customizable menu, giving customers complete control over the amount of ice that goes into their tea as well as their preferred sweetness levels. Not to mention, all milk powder used to make the tea is dairy-free. A few of Kung Fu Tea’s bestsellers include the KF Milk Tea, Coconut Milk Tea and Winter Melon Milk Green Tea.
Vivi Bubble Tea
Vivi Bubble Tea, originally from Taiwan, can be found throughout the city but locally at 65 W. Eighth St. According to Vivi’s website, its bubble tea is made “strictly only using ingredients shipped directly from Taiwan.” Highlights include Taro Milk Tea, Cappuccino Milk Tea and Coconut Milk Tea.
Situated near Union Square on 209 E. 14th St., Gong Cha is bound to live up to your boba expectations. Similar to Vivi Bubble Tea, Gong Cha was founded in 2006 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It separates its menu into different series, which include the Coffee Series, Milk Tea Series, Slushes and even a Panda Series. A few creative drinks to try include Pearl Milk Tea, Panda Milk Foam Green Tea and Earl Grey Milk Tea with 3Js — standing for 3 type sof jellies : Pudding, Herbal and Pearl. In Taiwanese, the name Gong Cha in Taiwanese means “tribute tea for the emperor,” and once you’ve had a sip of this delicious bubble tea, there’s no doubt you’ll feel like royalty.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 24 print edition.
Email Sherah Ndjongo at [email protected]