Bubble tea popularity remains high for drink’s originality, convenience


Photo by Carter Jones

Senior Nideesh Shanmugam-Bhuvaneswari enjoys a bubble tea from Kung Fu Tea at Rio shopping center.

Bubble tea has grown considerably more popular in the past few years as more locations in the DMV have popped up. The drink first originated in 1980 from a small tea stand in Taiwan and since then bubble tea stores have been opening up all over the world.     

Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink made with tea or other flavorings. There are various flavors and additions you can put in your drink. Tapioca pearls, for instance, are small spheres that are often a popular addition to the drink. People drink bubble tea at any time of the day, and it is not uncommon for it to be enjoyed multiple times in a day. “Boba is my favorite drink. There are times where I have to swing by and get my second one of the day because it is too good,” sophomore William Jong said.

A less known but still admirable tea place I like to go to is a place called Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea.”

— Nicole Jezek

One popular bubble tea restaurant is Kung Fu Tea. The chain has numerous locations and the service is fast and exceptional. There are also smaller, lesser known stores that still offer quality bubble tea. “A less known but still admirable tea place I like to go to is a place called Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea,” senior Nicole Jezek said.     

The Taiwan Bubble Tea Festival was an event that occurred on Sept. 21 in Rockville Town Center. It consisted of different vendors selling bubble tea as well as other Taiwanese snacks. Entertainment was performed at the event as well, featuring local Taiwanese bands and performers.  

The festival attracted a large crowd. As the love for bubble tea has grown, more people have attended and participated in the festival. “Unfortunately after waiting in a long line for bubble tea, toward the end they had completely sold out,” sophomore Danielle Ram said.     

The types and the flavors of the tea vary with the kind of store you go to.  Creativity is encouraged when ordering. However, preferences lead others to stick to what they love. “I really only like the fruit-flavored bubble tea with popping bubbles. My order doesn’t change from there and I am not a huge fan of bitter tea,” freshman Bianca Diamond said.

In the end, the convenience that bubble tea offers makes it a top choice for refreshments. “Sometimes after soccer practice with my friends, we like to swing by our nearest store and grab a tea to go. It is always refreshing after a hard day,” Jezek said.