Battle of the dishes: Bubble Tea

%{[ data-embed-type=”image” data-embed-id=”57150c5f89121ca96b964f9f” data-embed-element=”aside” ]}%Bubble tea is a bit of a tough sell in Kansas City. Exhibit A? The bluetooth-enabled collared shirt behind me in line at Tea Drops’ downtown shop.

“What’s in bubble tea?” asks Bluetooth.

“It’s a tea drink with tapioca balls,” begins the barista.

“Just stop right there,” says Bluetooth, who proceeds to order a black tea.

Apparent texture obstacles aside, bubble tea shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.

The bubbles in bubble tea are “boba” — chewy tapioca balls that rest at the bottom of the drink, which can either be tea or milk-based and typically is sweetened with fruit flavoring or juice. Drinking it is a bit of a game, because it’s served with an oversized straw to allow you to suck up the peanut M&M-sized tapioca pearls. After asking baristas which flavors were popular, I ordered bubble teas from two shops to see how well they might help Kansas Citians embrace this Asian treat.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink