Spilling the tea

Which boba shop is best for you?


photo credit: Maggie Volpi

Tea time \\ Boba tea enthusiast Maggie Volpi shares her experience with the sweet drink to help you discover the best fit for your taste.

writer: Maggie Volpi, Staff reporter

Invented in Taiwan in 1990 and popularized in America during the 2000s, bubble tea (also referred to as boba) has become an incredibly trendy drink as of late. The versatility of bubble tea has kept it relevant over the decades, and as the demand for it increases more cafes specializing in the drink have popped up as well. Eleven minutes from East are three boba shops within a mile of each other: Drip n Roll, Boba Lush, and Kung Fu Tea. If you’re looking for a place to stop after school for bubble tea, the decision for which place to patronize can be daunting. 

To make that decision easier, I’ve carefully evaluated a Thai milk tea (my go to drink) from each shop and will review the flavor, tapioca and price of each to give you an idea on the general drink experience you’ll be getting. 


Boba Lush:

For $4.35 you can get a medium milk tea with tapioca, which isn’t a bad deal. The color of the drink was a consistent bright orange, which is the typical color for Thai milk tea, and the cup was filled all the way to the top with drink. The first thing I noticed when I started drinking was that it tastes a lot like creamer; the drink was very sweet, and the flavor of the actual tea was very subtle. The boba was soft but chewy. Overall, if you enjoy very sweet drinks as opposed to more herbal flavors, this is the place I would recommend.


Drip n Roll:

A medium milk tea with tapioca is $4.00, the best price out of the places I visited. When you receive the drink the top is very light and the bottom very dark, meaning you have to shake it for it to achieve the signature orange color of a Thai milk tea. Almost a third of the cup is filled with boba, which is a nice bonus. This drink is less sweet than Boba Lush’s, but you can rest assured that it is still very sugary. The flavor of the tea comes through more than Boba Lush’s as well, but is in no way bitter. The tapioca has a great consistency: not too firm or soft, and just sweet enough to compliment the drink. This is my go to shop because of its good balance of sweetness to tea flavor. 


Kung fu Tea: 

This shop was the priciest: you can get a medium milk tea for $4.45, which isn’t too big of a gap from the others but should still be noted. Upon receiving the drink, you might notice that the color is considerably more gray than the orange of the others, and that would be because the ingredients are all natural with no added artificial colors and flavors. The drink is also a little foamy. This drink was very distinctly different from the flavors of the others: it was much less sweet, and way more herbal. The after taste was even slightly bitter. Personally, I prefer my milk tea to be sweeter, but if you’re looking for a more authentic tea flavor this is the place for you.


Each shop has a unique flavor to their drinks, but none are bad; they just all cater to different tastes. This was also just a review of one specific drink from each, and the menus are extensive. To sum up: Go to Boba Lush if you like extra sweet drinks, Kung fu Tea if you like very herbal drinks, and Drip n Roll if you want something in between.