Primary Flavors

Photograph by Matthew Bromley

Bubbles in Paradise Think of bubble tea as the Hello Kitty of beverages. The trendy Asian drink is as frivolous and fun as the perennially popular Sanrio character, with the same power to appeal to your inner adolescent. The main ingredients in bubble tea, also known as shaken tea or pearl milk tea, are black tea, milk, and ice. The bubbles are balls of tapioca (usually made from cassava root) that fill the bottom inch or so of your glass. After these “pearls”—which resemble blueberries in size and sometimes in color and which taste a lot like Gummi Bears—mingle with the ice a bit, they get nicely chilled and firm. That’s when they’re just right for sucking up through a fat straw. Add a flavored syrup, from almond to mango to taro root, and you’re in business. Ready to try bubble tea? Here are a few places that serve it, with their main locations: Momoko (705 W. Twenty-fourth, 512-469-0232) and Pango Tea Bar (718 Congress Avenue, 512-478-8899) in Austin; Java and Cha Company (1820 Coit Road, 972-519-8445) in Plano; Taiwan Cafe (300 Terrace Drive, 972-238-8916) in Richardson; and Star Snow and Ice (9114 Bellaire, 713-771-6868) and Suzhi Teahouse (11209 Bellaire, 281-988-8813) in Houston.

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