Updated: Oct 25, 2018
For those post-dance class emergencies when you need to have an ice-cold reviving from the sweaty depths of hell.
Boba. Bubble Tea. Pearl Milk Tea. Tea with Tapioca. You might call it different names but if you’re a dancer in the community, chances are extremely high that you’re addicted to you’ve tried, or at least heard of this drink before. Originating from Taiwan and popularized by various Asian communities, bubble tea is now consumed world-wide by all who enjoy the refreshing taste of iced tea, usually paired with milk and sugar, topped with a variety of tapioca balls, fruit/grass/herbal jelly, popping boba, and/or puddings.
It’s a bit of an unofficial, but ritualistic, trend for the dancers here to hang out pre-/post-class to grab a drink or two with some food -- a trend that possibly derives from deeper social roots. But anyway... On to the fun part!
I’ve put together some popular spots & drinks recommended by our community members:
Top 3 on the list were Gong Cha, The Boba Guys, and Kung Fu Tea. Given the popular chains they are, you’ve probably heard of them. But in case you’re in the ever-happening dilemma of having to choose the right one amongst the millions of combos available, check some out below!
Gong Cha means “tribute tea for the emperor”. Started in 2006 in Taiwan, Gong Cha has now expanded all around the world. Gong Cha’s distinguishing feature is that they use freshly brewed tea with freshly cooked pearls every 4 hours to ensure quality.
Founded by 2 friends in 2012 who bonded over their love for boba milk tea - a love which transcended beyond their cultural barriers - The Boba Guys aims to serve the highest quality bubble tea using Grade A ingredients. This chain had the highest frequency of people saying to me: “Don’t sleep on it!”
Kung Fu Tea started in the melting pot of Queens: Flushing itself. The founders Michael, Ray, Allen, and Sean created this brand with the purpose of bringing the taste of Taiwan to New York. Now they are located all over the world, and in my humble opinion, their bubbles are incomparable to any other.
CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice was founded in 1997 and has since spread all over the world with a variety of fresh tea, milk tea, yogurt drink, coffee, and more based on seasonal fresh fruits. When you go to CoCo’s, you see some interesting and curious drink names such as 2 Ladies, 3 Guys, and Lemon King.
First opened in 2013, Pa Tea is a family-owned business striving to showcase the authenticity of Taiwanese bubble tea. “Pa Tea” is derived from the concept of “It’s Party Time” and brings all levels of fun with different customizations of bubble tea -- even temperature! If you’re feeling extra fun, Pa Tea is one of the only places around here that not only comes in size: Giant, but you can even add some ice cream to your milk tea. If that’s not enough ice cream for ya, check out their sister store "Bar Pa Tea” for tea-flavored soft serves w/ bubbles!
As one of the best tea manufacturers of the East, their goal is to promote the art of Chinese tea to discriminatory consumers worldwide. They are not only a bubble tea store, but also sell a great variety of authentic Chinese tea, as well as tea equipment, snacks, and herbs.
Some of the popular hotspots for the NY/NJ Dance Community! Here you will find teams all over the tri-state practicing, hosting workshops, and sessioning/jamming.
Studio Address: 380 Broadway # 5, New York, NY 10013
Studio Address: 5th Floor, 890 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Studio Address: 280 Broadway, New York, NY 10007
Studio Address: 500 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Studio Address: 44-02 23rd St, Long Island City, NY 11101
Wondering what kind of cool things go down around these studios?
Be sure to check out the 'Community' page for calendar updates!
That’s it from me for now folks, happy dance & boba hunting! :D
**Special thanks to everyone who shared their favorite boba spots & drinks with me,
and shout out to Crystal “Chi Chi” Fong for the extra recommendations!**