Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is a drink you can enjoy year round with an endless variety of different flavors and toppings. By selecting the right combinations, you will be able to enjoy new tastes and textures with every visit — or you can always stick to one or two of your favorite drinks if you are too afraid to try new things like myself.
For University students, the two bubble tea shops within walking distance are Kung Fu Tea and Möge Tee. Although they both sell bubble tea, they both offer a unique experience as they sell distinct flavors, toppings and sizes. In light of these differences, I highly recommend trying both to find out which combinations work best for you.
Upon arrival, ordering at both places might be a little intimidating as the menu is filled with different sections and options. Hopefully, this article will help make the ordering process easier and help you discover your favorite drink!
To start off, Kung Fu Tea, also known as KFT — which is my personal favorite between the two — is located at 1001 W Main St near the University Hospital — a little further than Möge Tee from Grounds. KFT is available for takeout and delivery, and they just recently opened their indoor space, where you can sit, study or play free board games or cards with your friends.
Similar to other bubble tea shops, you get to choose your drink, toppings, size, ice level and sweetness level. Basically, everything at KFT is customizable. First, choose between their two sizes — medium and large. Next, people usually opt for either a punch — which is essentially a fruit tea — or a milk tea base and then choose a specific fruit tea flavor, such as the Lychee Black Tea or a specific milk tea, such as the Honey Oolong Milk Tea.
After that, you have the option to choose your ice and sweetness levels. Ice levels are regular, less, no ice or warm. Sweetness levels are extra (120 percent), regular (100 percent), less (70 percent), half (50 percent), little (30 percent) and zero. KFT also sells their teas hot, which is a good option when you crave a warm drink in the winter.
Finally, the last step is to choose your toppings or no toppings at all. Their toppings include pudding, tapioca — which are the black chewy bubbles usually found in bubble tea — nata jelly, red bean, coffee popping bubbles, herbal jelly, grape popping bubbles, aloe and mango popping bubbles. Some drinks, like the Mango Green Tea and the Peach Oolong Tea, already come with their own toppings — the former has mango jelly and the latter has peach bits. Besides the already included toppings in some drinks, toppings can be bought at extra charge.
Although any drink can be purchased year round, I personally find that milk teas, iced or warm, go best with the fall and winter seasons, while the more refreshing fruit punches best fit summer and spring. My go-to drink in the colder months is a medium Oolong Milk Tea with nata jelly, less ice and 70 percent sweet. In warmer months, I switch it up and go for a medium Mango Green Tea with bubbles — instead of the mango jelly — and the same level of ice and sweetness. Some honorable mentions are Mango Snow with bubbles and Winter Melon Milk Green Tea with bubbles as well.
A new bubble tea shop, Möge Tee, opened this year and is located on 109 14th St. NW near Poke Sushi Bowl and Christian’s Pizza. A quick walk from Grounds, Möge Tee is perfect if you want unique drink flavors or something different than KFT. Möge Tee is available for takeout and delivery, and contrary to what Google says, their indoor space is open to sit, study and drink with your friends.
Unlike any other bubble tea places I have been to, Möge Tee stands out for its specialization in a cheese foam fruit tea. It might sound weird or unappetizing at first, but the slight saltiness of the cheese foam and the sweetness of the fruit tea balance each other out, and the drink tastes like a fruit cheesecake. According to the menu, without the cheese foam, the fruit tea is vegan friendly.
They also have a variety of other drink selections to choose from such as fruit tea, milk swirl, fresh fruit yakult, tofu pudding and Super Parfait. Despite having similar names, the cheese foam fruit tea and fruit tea have different consistencies — the former is thick with a smoothie-like consistency, while the latter is more watery. What I find interesting is that they use actual fresh fruit in their fruit teas and other drinks. For example,the Cheese Foam Mango Fruit Tea includes fresh mango slices, and the Super Fruit Tea is garnished with fresh citrus slices and watermelon. If you’re feeling inclined to go all out, though, the Strawberry or Mango Super Parfait may be the choice for you. These towering drinks are served parfait-style with layers of fresh fruit in a fruit-flavored milkshake base.
After choosing your drink, you have the option to choose your ice and sweetness levels. Ice levels are zero, light (50 percent) and regular (100 percent), and sweetness levels are zero, light (30 percent), half (50 percent), less (70 percent) and regular (100 percent). Möge Tee has medium and large options for some selections — Uji Matcha, Cheese Foam Tea, Bubble Tea, Milk Swirl and Tofu Pudding — while Cheese Foam Fruit Tea and Fruit Yakult only come in large sizes.
The last step is to choose your toppings or no toppings at all. Their options are herb jelly, red bean, coconut lychee jelly, chewy regular bubble, aloe, pudding, oreo, creme brulee, white bubble, tofu pudding and cheese foam. Depending on the toppings, additional charges differ from 65 cents, 75 cents and 80 cents.
My go-to drinks are the Cheese Foam Mango Pomelo, which comes with its own toppings and fresh pomelo, and the Cheese Foam Berry Tea. Unlike KFT, I haven’t been to Möge Tee as often so I lack the experience to give a solid opinion when it comes to what drink flavors and toppings to get. However, out of all the different drinks I have tried, every single one of them was fresh and refreshing — I have not been disappointed.
On most days, I have to control myself to not buy more bubble tea than my bank account can afford. Although it depends on the size, toppings and type of drink, my typical KFT order costs about $5.51, and my typical order at Möge Tee costs around $6.75. One of my favorite things to do this semester is buy a treat from either KFT or Möge Tee and drink it at the Rotunda with friends. I get to both spend quality time with good people and enjoy one of my favorite drinks — I highly recommend it. Bubble tea is good on its own as dessert, but it also pairs well with different foods, such as picnic foods. To destress after finals week, find a combination that works for you and treat yourself to a highly addictive drink.