Bubble Tea in the Triangle: A Guide
If you’ve never tried bubble tea, now is the time.
Bubble tea, boba, pearl milk tea, boba milk tea, boba tea, boba nai cha, tapioca tea–there are lots of names for the same delicious drink made from tea, milk, ice and sproingy tapioca pearls. If you’ve never tried it, it’s a delicious, refreshing drink for these crazy-hot days with virtually endless options including adding fruit, using non-dairy milks and other fun add-ins like flavored jellies. Expect a really fat straw so you can slurp up those pearls! If you’re a bubble tea aficionado or a novice, you’ll find something to enjoy at one of these Triangle bubble tea spots.
Six milk choices, over 20 fruity flavors and nine types of popping boba pretty much means that you could get a different drink every single day for a long time at this spot in the Bedford area of North Raleigh. Sandwiches, salads, biscuits, quiche, gluten-free macarons and more round out this something-for-everyone type of place. 3607 Falls River Ave., Ste. 150, Raleigh
Beans & Bubbles
Their take on horchata is remarkable and the mango butterfly fresca is pure fruity deliciousness. Pair your drink order with one of their Asian-inspired desserts like a brown sugar boba cream puff or chocolate hazelnut mochi donut. Online ordering is available. 12102 Bradford Green Square, Cary
Brecotea just opened on July 31, but they already know what they’re doing. The Orchid Oolong Milk Tea is as pretty as it is delicious. Don’t let the mention of red beans in some of their options scare you off, they’re sweet. Online ordering is available. 1144 Kildaire Farm Rd., Cary
Bumble Tea’s menu spells out exactly how to order: 1. Choose tea, smoothie or coffee 2. Specify the sweetness level you’d like 3. Decide how much ice you want and 4. Pick boba, jelly or pudding as your topping. I challenge you not to smile when you see their “Hello Kitty Special-Tea” with guava, mango and strawberry – it’s really pretty. Follow their Facebook page as they frequently post specials. 3221 Avent Ferry Rd., Raleigh
I can’t imagine ordering anything other than Cha House’s Pink Lady – housemade strawberry purée stirred into scratch made limeade. Sweet, tart, refreshing, all the things you need in August in North Carolina. Chapel Hill, Raleigh
Kung Fu Tea has the perfect tool to choose your drink: a spinner wheel! If you’d rather not leave a choice that important to chance, their large menu is organized and easy to navigate. Download their app and get a free drink on your third visit. 966 High House Rd., Suite 124, Cary
Kung Fu Tea
It might be tough to decide between MILK LAB’s bubble teas and their rolled ice cream. My friend Galina swears by the grapefruit tea, and she really knows what’s up. The rainbow fresh fruit jasmine tea is seriously refreshing. Cary, Durham
With well over a hundred teas, slushes, juices, milk teas, coffees and other beverages, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. As for guidance and staff can help steer you toward something you’ll love. I’ve been curious about their many “Flirty Milk” choices, but I’ve happily stuck with the green apple milk tea with strawberry popping boba. Online ordering is available at the Durham location. Chapel Hill, Durham, Morrisville
Sipcha is another choice that offers teas as well as rolled ice cream. The menu is filled with creatively-named drinks like “Dragon in a Bottle” and “Honey You’re Sweet,” so you can’t really go wrong here. Online ordering is available. 1011 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Apex
Besides the wide variety of options of bubble teas, their selection of French-Asian inspired baked goods is impressive. Inside Hmart located at 1961 High House Rd., Cary
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