What is Boba/Bubble Tea?
Boba tea (also known as bubble tea) is a type of tea that first became popular in Taiwan. It’s made by mixing a tea base with toppings such as small, chewy balls of tapioca known as “boba” or “pearls.” The tea is then shaken to fully mix it and served with extra-wide straws.
What are the Most Popular Boba Tea Flavors?
Boba tea is extremely versatile. You might be disappointed if you’re looking for Southern-style sweet tea; this tea is concentrated, flavorful, and comes with a lot more flavor options. You can opt for a black tea, green tea, or oolong tea blend. From there, you can decide if you want a straight fruit tea–think options like lychee, mango, rose, and winter melon–or a milk tea, which, despite its name, will most often be made with a non-dairy creamer (if you prefer genuine milk, you may want to ask for “fresh milk”). Milk teas will often include fruit tea flavors but also offer options such as brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, and coffee.
Then, there are the toppings. You can opt for no toppings, of course, but if you want the full boba experience, you can go with the classic tapioca pearls sweetened with honey or brown sugar. You can also try crystal boba, which is a clear version made with agar agar. Order the fruit-flavored popping boba of your choice and enjoy little bursts of fruit flavor in each sip. There are also flavored jellies, seeds, and foam toppers to choose from. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a cheese foam topping on your tea. You’d be surprised at how pleasant the combination can be!
To give you a sense of where to look, we’ve put together a list of the best places to get boba tea in Houston.
Where Can I Get the Best Boba Tea in Houston?
Sharetea is anl boba place with a location in Houston’s Asia Town and another in Sugar Land. The fruit teas are refreshing and chock full of fresh fruit–try the kiwi fruit tea with aiyu jelly for a perfect blend of sour and sweet. For hot days, check out the selection of Ice Blended options. You’ll get a scoop of ice cream blended into your milk tea for an extra-creamy treat. Coffee lovers will especially enjoy the coffee ice blended. They’re always generous with the boba, too, which can’t be overlooked.
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd Ste E213, Houston, TX 77036
2. Ding Tea
Ding Tea is great at keeping up with the latest trends. They’re especially known for their delicious brown sugar boba, but they’re also happy to serve you up some whipped coffee or Hokkaido milk tea. Of course, if you’re more interested in green tea, they have a tasty jasmine milk tea and a good lychee green tea blend, as well. The rounded shape to their cups makes them stand out visually, and you can tell from the photo-friendly decor when you walk in that they’d love for you to snap a picture of your drink for social media. Of course, though, what boba place wouldn’t?
Where: 9600 Bellaire Blvd #138, Houston, TX 77036
3. Gong Cha
Gong Cha is another place located in Houston’s China Town area–with another location in Katy Asian Town–and it’s popular for its freshly brewed tea and freshly cooked tapioca. Every four hours, they make a new batch. This is a definite plus–old boba is very unappetizing. Guaranteed fresh boba means a consistently positive experience. Their claim to fame is their “dirty” series: a lineup of menu items where they add brown sugar syrup around the outside of the cup for extra richness and sweetness. Try a dirty brown sugar milk tea, check out a taro slush, or try a lemon winter melon tea. Some fun topping options include oreo crumbs, red bean, pudding, and basil seeds.
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd C 318, Houston, TX 77036
4. Hella Bubble
Hella Bubble wants to spell out its purpose pretty plainly with its name. As places to get boba tea in Houston go, this one prides itself on really packing in the boba. You can also expect flavorful drink blends that can stand up to the additional toppings without being overwhelmed. Their standard house milk tea blend is well-balanced, not overly sweet, and plenty strong. The mango green and passion fruit green tea is another standout for a nice, fruity tea blend. The milk foam is a favorite topping here. Keep in mind, foam toppings come with a special lid and a higher charge than the average topping.
Where: 2400 Mid Ln #110, Houston, TX 77027
5. Nu Ice & Drinks
Although Nu Ice & Drinks is best known for its shaved ice desserts, you really should give their boba a try, too. You might like the paradise tea, which includes mango, passion fruit, and pineapple. You can also try unusual flavors like the blueberry black tea, the peppermint milk tea, or the root beer boba float. Plus, boba shops are excellent places to get fresh fruit juice. If it’s in season, try a glass of fresh watermelon juice. It’s incredibly refreshing. Don’t forget, too, that you can grab some shaved ice while you’re here!
Where: 5901 Westheimer Rd #B1, Houston, TX 77057
6. 7 Leaves Cafe
7 Leaves Cafe is a California import with the motto “Naturally Delicious.” It stands out from the other top places to get boba tea in Houston because they’re almost all large franchises from Taiwan. Its other main feature is that it heavily emphasizes the importance of fresh or natural ingredients. The menu is a bit smaller than the average boba place has to offer, but what drinks they have are well-liked. Standouts include the mung bean milk tea, the jasmine sea salt milk tea, and the strawberry hibiscus tea.
Where: 8910 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77063
7. Zero Degrees
Zero Degrees brings together a delicious fusion of Mexican and Taiwanese flavors, both in its drink menu and its food menu. Colorful, fruit-filled, and spicy options are the norm here. Try the spicy watermelon drink, the ube milkshake, the coffee horchata, or the thai milk tea. While you’re at it, check out the garlic butter fries, the elotes, or the garlic noodles for a teatime snack.
Where: 10603 Bellaire Blvd b101, Houston, TX 77072
8. Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea is a solid, steady go-to for all kinds of boba staples. From the signature milk tea–an earl gray blend–to the mango green tea, to the wintermelon milk tea, you know you can find the classics here. On top of those, Kung Fu Tea has some excellent caffeine-free drinks, such as the rosehip lemonade and the longan jujube tea. You’ll get to choose from a full variety of toppings, too, including boba, red bean, herbal jelly, and foamy milk caps on top of the drinks. This also happens to be a great place to go for boba tea in Houston simply because it does an excellent job of labeling allergens.
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd #222, Houston, TX 77036
9. Tea Top
If you’re in it mostly for the tea, Tea Top may be the boba place for you. You’ll get a full range of oolong options here, as well as some good green and matcha options. Their signature Alpine green tea is something that brings customers back again and again. The grapefruit green tea is known for being fresh and flavorful. Try the rainbow popping boba for some added color and pizazz. Grass jelly and coconut jelly are some other common toppings here. Don’t be afraid to adjust the sweetness to your taste; the staff is happy to make the drink just the way you want it.
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd E203, Houston, TX 77036
10. Muse Tea
Do you want your tea to be pretty as well as tasty? Muse Tea is all over it. There’s hardly a drink on the menu that doesn’t have a delightful color scheme. The galaxy lemon tea and lychee rose tea are both standouts. You can also check out the smooth matcha series or the coffee menu. The shaken fruit tea menu item is perfect for people who want to try different fruit combinations because you can pick any two fruit flavors from a list of six to mix and match. As snack options go, it’s hard to beat the kimchi fries with shredded cheese, spicy mayo, and bacon bits.
Where: 1809 Eldridge Pkwy #109, Houston, TX 77077
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