For those who haven’t taken the time to do the Googling themselves, bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink that became popular in the 1980’s and again in recent years. At its simplest, it is a tea drink flavored with milk, or sometimes a more fruity flavor, with boba added as a topping.
Boba is made from tapioca starch and is routinely flavored with brown sugar, so it’s more of a texture experience than a taste one. Good boba will be soft on the tongue, yet chewy thanks to the nature of tapioca starch. However, if boba just isn’t your style, many tea shops offer a variety of different toppings with a more flavorful punch like coffee jelly, popping bubbles, or even pudding!
Ok, so now that you’ve got a basic idea of what bubble tea is, where can you get your hands on some of the yummy goodness? You’re in luck, because there are five favorite places that I go whenever I am craving a good cup of bubble tea.
VIVI’S BUBBLE TEA | 2408 N. High St.
This adorable tea shop has it all: a great variety of tea, adorable aesthetic, board games for you to play while you sip, and a punch card system to keep you coming back. (They surely have got me trapped.)
My favorite drink: Signature Flora Tea with either Forest Berry or Rose flavoring alongside some classic boba topping. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and get their Aloe Jelly topping instead.
THE BREWED LEAF | 2060 N. High St.
This shop is a hidden gem. Located in the Ohio Stater Mall just off of Woodruff and High St., it’s easy to miss, but not one that you’re gonna want to pass up!
My favorite drink: Brown Sugar Milk Tea with boba and Sea Salt Cheese Cream.
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CHATIME | 2060 N. High St.
This is a world-wide chain of bubble tea shops, and it shows because of how much variety they have on their menu. If you’re not too keen on the idea of boba and wanna get some simple tea to try out first, I’ve gotta point you in their direction. (Also found conveniently in the Ohio Stater Mall!)
My favorite drink: Hawaiian Fruit Tea with boba topping.
MILLIONS OF MILK | 1990 N. High St.
Conveniently located next to Buckeye Donuts with a quality menu, if you need a bubble tea fix before heading onto campus, then give Millions of Milk a try for a quick in-and-out.
My favorite drink: Taro Milk Tea with boba.
ZEN CHA TEA SALON | 982 N. High St.
This quiet tea shop is located in the Short North, and it is worth the trip out. With the company of some high quality authentic tea, it’s the perfect environment to sit and study if you need a break away from campus.
My favorite drink: Honey Peach Tea with boba.