Junior Lainey Morris drives over to Bobapop in Kentlands as soon as she gets to her car at Frost after school. She has been waiting all day to finally have her mango green tea with black pearls. Morris said she can’t think of anything more appealing than eating chewy tapioca balls. Based on the lines of customers at Bobapop, others are enjoying this new type of drink as well.
Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Tainan and Taichung. The drink contains types of tea, flavors of milk and sugar. There are also toppings that people can get such as tapioca balls and fruit jellies.
The two most popular places to get bubble tea in this area are Bobapop, which is located in the Kentlands and Kung Fu Tea, which is located in Rockville.
At Bobapop customers can choose between milk tea, fresh tea, fruit tea, milk foam tea and slush with a choice of nine different toppings. Then the customer gets to customize the percent of sugar and ice they would like in their tea.
The Kung Fu Tea menu includes the choice of a classic tea, milk tea, slush, punch tea, yogurt tea, milk, espresso and snow cream with a choice of 11 different toppings.
At both bubble tea locations one of the main appeals is the many choices. Customers are able to pick from a variety of drinks and toppings. “I think bubble tea is amazing because there are so many options to choose from and I love being able to customize my tea to my liking,” senior Kayla Hill said.
Initially, people might be skeptical of drinking tea with chewy bubbles. However, after just one sip they become loyal customers and bubble tea enthusiasts. “I was not sure if I would like it but then I tried the Boba milk tea with black pearls and became obsessed with it,” senior Margaret Christovich said.
The bubble-like pearls, which define the drink, are marble sized balls of tapioca. According to Mic, an online magazine, the bubbles are usually black but can be white or transparent. They get cooked in boiling water until they are soft and then are put into a syrup mixture to become sweet and chewy.
Bubble tea is delivered in a unique way with a seal over the top. The customer pushes a wide straw through this seal. The seal prevents leaking and enables the customer to enjoy every last bubble. Junior Peter Pietri prefers Kung Fu Tea over Bobapop. “Kung Fu Tea’s bubbles have a more honey-like flavor and sweet aftertaste, which makes it a lot better,” Pietri said.
Both Bobapop and Kung Fu Tea provide the option of ordering online. Customers can choose a time to pick up their drink to make to avoid lines and make it easy to grab a tea. “I usually order my drink as I am leaving school and by the time I get to Bobapop it is ready for me,” junior Brooke Simon said.