Hi! We’re Sara and Evan, two besties who crossed paths during a required math class (no fun) and united through our love for writing, but more importantly, boba! Join us as we recap our adventures finding the best boba around BU’s campus. You may be as surprised as we were about which were our favorites, and which didn’t quite hit the spot. Before we begin, here’s a bit about us and what we were looking forward to.
Sara: I’m from Boca Raton, Florida, where bubble tea is practically nonexistent. When I’m in Boston, I’m always in the mood for a great oolong milk tea or brown sugar milk tea.
Evan: I’m from Chicago, and just as Sara mentioned, it is super hard to come by great bubble tea when I’m home. My go-to is always something fun or fruity – I love to mix things up.
Our first stop on our bubble tea tour was Tiger Sugar, which recently opened its first Massachusetts location in Allston, and students are raving about it. The shop is super tiny inside, explaining why the line is out the door most days during rush hour.
Sara: I ordered a brown sugar milk tea with pearls, and it was amazing! The bubbles were different shapes, and the right balance of chewy without being sticky. I think it definitely lived up to the hype!
Evan: I was super excited to hit up Tiger Sugar – especially after seeing all of the attention on social media. My drink was super yummy and had the perfect amount of sweetness. I also loved how they combined mini pearls with larger ones. I hadn’t seen anything like that before!
Our second stop was TBaar, located in South Campus on beautiful Beacon Street. It’s super cute and cozy inside, and the front patio outside is a great place to catch up with friends and people watch – especially on a nice day.
Sara: I ordered a brown sugar milk tea. The tea itself was sweet, but tasted a bit like coffee (I wasn’t too opposed). The drink was cold and the bubbles were warm, which brought the temperature of the drink to lukewarm, which I wasn’t a big fan of.
Evan: At the barista’s recommendation, I ordered the green jasmine milk tea with pearls. I was pretty disappointed – the pearls were not a great texture and lacked flavor, and the drink tasted bitter as if the tea leaves had been burnt. I would have loved for there to be a bit more of a balance in flavors and sweetness between the tea and pearls, but sadly, there was not.
Our third stop was Gongcha. Gongcha has three locations in the Boston area, and we stopped by the Allston location. Inside, the shop is very modern and would be a great study spot post-COVID-19. Bonus points for their wall of best sellers!
Sara: I got the Oolong milk tea, and was impressed. It was sweet, but not too sweet.
Evan: I got the mango yakult tea with lychee jelly and it was super delicious! It was so flavorful and not overly sweet. The jelly was a great choice of topping and felt very tropical, too. Also, the small chunks of fresh mango at the bottom were a pleasant surprise!
Our fourth stop was LimeRed, a Massachusetts-based teahouse with one location in BU’s West Campus. The teahouse has a very modern, earthy feel, with a super Instagrammable plant wall and exposed wood.
Sara: I got the oolong milk tea, and was honestly disappointed. My drink tasted (and looked like) regular milk, and the bubbles weren’t all cooked evenly. I wish my drink had more flavor, and that the tapioca balls were consistent.
Evan: I was super excited to try their matcha strawberry milk with strawberry popping pearls, especially after seeing everyone in West Campus walking around with their LimeRed cups. Like Sara, my drink tasted pretty off, almost like grassy milk. For $7.00, I would have hoped my experience went beyond the cute space inside.
Finally, our last stop was KungFu Tea. With multiple locations across the world, we stopped at what was most convenient: the Kung Fu Tea in Super88 Market in Allston. Unlike the other tea bars, Kung Fu Tea sits in the food court of Super88.
Sara: I got their oolong milk tea, and it was very good! Sweet, but not too sweet. The tapioca balls tasted a bit earthy to me.
Sara: My favorite of the five was Tiger Sugar, but Gong Cha is a very close second!
Evan: Gong Cha was definitely my favorite, and while LimeRed was my least favorite, their space inside was super cute and fun. Tiger Sugar was a close second on my end, but only because I really like fruity flavors more.
Did we miss your favorite bubble tea spot? Let us know where we should head next in the comments below!
All photos provided by Sara and Evan
Evan Brown, Staff Writer
Evan Brown (she/her/hers) is a current sophomore in the College of Communication studying public relations with minors in public health and theatre performance. Born and raised in Chicago, she has always had a passion for exploring the world around her. When she’s not playing the role of Gemma on BUTV10’s longest-running soap opera, Bay State, or creating new content for BU Dining Services’ social media platforms, she can often be found eating ice cream or playing with her dog, Lou.
Sara Segal, Staff Writer
Sara Segal is a junior in the College of Communication studying film & television with a minor in advertising. This is her first semester writing for The COMmunicator. Originally from Boca Raton, FL, Sara enjoys exploring the city of Boston. When Sara’s not writing, she’s producing Pop Showdown on BUTV10, working as the social media manager at the Student Activities Office, and mentoring first-year students at BU.