The boba tea craze continues to soar. According to World Tea News, in 2019, boba tea, also called bubble tea, has an international market value was $2.4 billion. By 2027, experts predict it to be worth $4.3 billion.
Originally invented in the early 1980s in Taiwan, bubble tea’s popularity has traveled from its Asian roots and as evidenced by the growing number of shops offering the drink, continues to grow in popularity in Baton Rouge.
Maybe you’re looking to get your caffeine fix from anything besides coffee or energy drinks? Maybe you’ve grown tired of drinking the same sodas? Or, maybe you simply like the tapioca pearls or are looking to try something new? Bubble tea is a cold drink that pairs various milk or fruit teas with tapioca pearls and offers an incredible number of flavors. Almost everyone is bound to find one to enjoy.
In Baton Rouge, the various shops make that make bubble tea do it in their own way. From unique toppings like popping boba or cheese foam, to desserts like boba ice cream, the shops have something different to offer.
Want to try bubble tea? Here are some shops you can visit in Baton Rouge:
Upon entering the Teatery, you’ll be greeted with a delightful aroma of sweet pastries and drinks. Colorful macaroons and slices of cheesecake are just a couple of the pastries you’ll notice lined together in the glass display case. The white brick walls and neon signs create a contemporary, yet comfortable atmosphere in the bubble tea shop.
On the menu, you’ll find milk and fruit teas, slushies and cream blends. Coffee, hazelnut and Thai milk teas are just a few of the dairy beverages the Teatery offers. Their most popular milk tea flavors are okinawa, or roasted brown sugar, and taro coconut.
Their top-selling fruit teas include Hawaii fruit, as well as mango and passion fruit, both of which come with a choice of black, green or oolong tea bases. Mangonada, strawberrynada and pineapplenada are a part of their series of chamoyadas — a spicy, yet sweet shaved iced beverage. Some of their cream blend flavors are cookies and cream, honeydew and piña colada.
Each drink comes with a choice of toppings. A brown sugar mixture is used to sweeten their tapioca. Other toppings include coffee, rainbow or lychee gel, aloe vera or sea salt foam. If you’re looking for a traditional treat to enjoy with your bubble tea, the Teatery offers delimanjoo, a South Korean pastry filled with Nutella.
The Teatery will be introducing bubble tea to other parts of Baton Rouge, with their second College Drive location slated to open this summer. The menu will remain the same, with additional snacks like popcorn chicken and fries.
After living in Houston and noticing the large amount of bubble tea shops throughout the city, owner Hau Lee decided it was time to bring the trendy drink to Baton Rouge.
“I went back to Baton Rouge to visit my parents and I thought we needed something here,” Lee says. “I spent two years learning everything and put it in Baton Rouge to introduce something new to Americans.”
7620 Corporate Blvd., Suite G, Baton Rouge, (225) 246-2833. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Friday through Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm
You’ll feel welcomed by Boba ParTea before even going inside. A large flower garden, outdoor tables and hanging string lights encompass the front of the shop. While sipping on your choice of bubble tea, you can stay inside and practice your game skills with the complementary foosball table or play a match of chess with the store’s chess board.
Boba ParTea offers milk and fruit teas, smoothies and other specialty drinks. Their signature specialty drink is their Brown Bubu, which is made with brown sugar syrup and tapioca. Lotus tea foam, along with options like Vietnamese coffee and coffee latte, are other specialty drinks the store offers.
Mango, rooibos and pomegranate flavors can be found in their fruit tea selection, along with their top-selling classic black tea. If you’re not a tea drinker, the store has a selection of smoothies, with flavors like avocado, taro or strawberry. You can top your drink off with their tapioca, lychee jelly, or brown sugar and cherry blossom crystal boba.
Bubble tea became popular in Asia around 25 years ago and has become loved by many Americans in recent years because it is “really fun to drink,” says owner Van Nguyen.
“You can get different flavors with different toppings,” Nguyen says. “You can customize your own drink differently every time.”
However, bubble tea isnt the only product you will find on the menu. Their bakery offers everything from savory options, like garlic cheese bread, sausage twists and shredded pork bread, to sweets like homemade tiramisu cake, strawberry shortcake and Vietnamese salted egg yolk cake.
2515 O’Neal Lane, Suite 9, Baton Rouge, (225) 726-7859, Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 8:30 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 8 pm
If you’re looking for a place to wind down, Momo Tea is the bubble tea shop for you. Contemporary art pieces hang above the wooden banquette seating. Upon entrance, a painting of white and navy angel wings — a display that customers often pose next to for social media posts — will be one of the first details you notice. You can choose a game from their shelf filled with various board games while enjoying a cup of bubble tea.
Classic black, oolong, matcha and Thai milk tea are flavors that can be found in the milk tea section of the menu. Momo Tea’s specialty drinks include brûlée and brown sugar boba milk tea.
Each of their fruit teas and smoothie teas are made with fresh fruit. Lime passion fruit and lemon are some of their fruit tea flavors, along with smoothie tea flavors like grapefruit, pineapple and orange. Their drinks can be paired with various toppings, such as brûlée foam, brown sugar pudding and boba. Their most popular topping is cheese foam, with black sugar as one of the ingredients.
Financial director Ronald Wong and husband of the owner, Melina Chen, describe bubble teas as an “alternative option rather than coffee.”
“Americans are heavy on coffee, but I think as we’re evolving, people are learning to drink different things, as far as caffeinated drinks,” Wong says. “Teas have been becoming more popular because of that.”
7673 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, (225) 300-8071, Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday through Monday, 11 am to 7 pm
Other bubble tea shops
Tastea: Located at 5531 Jones Creek Road, this food truck offers milk and fruit teas, slushies and smoothies, all of which can be paired with their homemade Korean corn dogs.
Zero Degrees: Located at 3260 Highland Road, this Asian-Hispanic fusion restaurant chain sells milk and fruit teas, slushies and coffees. Their food options include options like garlic noodles and carne asada fries.
Vivi Bubble Tea: Located at 11230 Florida Blvd., this bubble tea franchise offers fresh fruit and milk teas, slushies, yakult drinks and various toppings, along with snacks like popcorn chicken.
Paradise Smoothie Bubble Tea & Coffee: Located at 1295 N. Sherwood Forest Drive, this franchise makes milk and fruit teas, coffees and protein drinks, while offering various add-ons and their popular macaroons.
King Kong Milktea & Smoothie: Located at 8342 Perkins Road, this Southern bubble tea chain offers milk and fruit teas, smoothies, frappuccinos and various toppings. Their food options include Asian street food, such as oriental popcorn shrimp.