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The D.C. Boba Guide: Where to Find Bubble Tea

13 places to spot the bouncy, squishy treat

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Bubble tea, pearl milk tea, or boba tea are all terms to describe a drink that features chewy tapioca balls soaked in black tea with sweetener. The drink has its origins in Taiwan, and has become so synonymous with Asian American culture that it has spawned terms like “boba liberalism.”

Traditional flavors include taro, coconut, mango, and lychee. It's also common to be able to add a variety of Taiwanese dessert items to the drink, including firm-textured, fruit-flavored jellies, sweetened mung and red beans, small chunks of fruit, thick custard, and fruit-flavored popping bubbles (spherification of fruit juice).

Note: A recent shipping backlog from Asia on the West Coast has created spotty availability of imported tapioca balls. Some bubble tea spots may have limited supply of boba over the next few months, but it is a great opportunity to branch out and try other fillings and toppings.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tea Do

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Pick up onigiri along with blended smoothies, teas, and aloe blends with boba, fruit-flavored popping bubbles, along with mango, aloe, coconut, and lychee jellies from the local mini-chain.

Snowbots

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Find slushee, milky and tea versions of bubble tea with boba, fruit-flavored popping bubbles, fruit-flavored jellies, red bean and pudding. Also enjoy other new Asian desserts trends: snowcream (mounds of flavored shaved ice or puffles) and freshly-made bubble-shaped waffles topped with ice cream, fruit, and other toppings.

KoGiBow Bakery

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This Vietnamese-owned bakery serves up bubble tea in juices from blended fruit. Find flavors like black milk tea and mango.

Momo's Cafe

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This Taiwanese restaurant, owned by Lawrence Chen, has scaled back its menu due to COVID. One of their specialties that remains is the potted milk tea, featuring milk tea topped with milk foam and crumbled Oreos. Also special on the menu is the Hokkaido milk tea, which has an extra creamy flavor similar to White Rabbit candies.

Teas'n You

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Teas’n You is always on the leading edge of food and beverage trends. The latest seasonal special is blue matcha, which is not tea, but butterfly pea flower powder with a vibrant blue color that when combined with acid changes color from blue to purple to pink. There are also foamy dalgona drinks that were an early pandemic trend. Customize an order with a variety of toppings, including boba, jelly, fruit, and chia seeds, as well as choosing the sweetness level and amount of ice.

Simply Banh Mi

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Simply Banh Mi serves bubble tea in flavors like white peach, watermelon, and Thai tea.

Supreme Barbecue x Auntea Boba

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Teas are all brewed to order at this bubble tea shop inside Truxton Circle’s new Supreme BBQ, owned by Jeremy Canlas and his dad, Juan. Unique flavors like cereal milk and halo halo are at the top of the menu as well as the super trendy tiger stripe milk tea, featuring a black sugar syrup. Auntea Boba’s original location sits inside Gigi’s Kitchen in Fort Washington, Md.

Spot of Tea

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Located inside of NoMa’s Streets Market, Spot of Tea offers a variety of Insta-friendly, multicolored layered drinks. Drinks are customizable from the type of milk (cow, macadamia, or oat), sweetness level, and with or without boba. The blue jasmine features trendy butterfly pea flower with green tea and milk.

BeauTea

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This bubble tea shop founded by Leopold Liao features a variety of milk teas, slushes, and fresh fruit teas. During the summer, try the winter melon tea, a delicate and refreshing drink, known for its cooling yin qualities.

SecreTea

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SecreTea features a variety of toppings including boba, jelly, red bean, aloe vera and marshmallow. Each month there is a “secret tea”, which is a special flavor of tea with a unique topping such as a bunny-shaped marshmallow, or mochi.

Teaism Penn Quarter

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The long-running D.C. teahouse in Dupont, Penn Quarter, and Lafayette Park serves a classic bubble tea with iced black tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls. Add a reusable stainless steel boba straw with a cleaning brush for $5 more.

One Tea House Falls Church

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This local mini chain has options that feature fresh fruit like passionfruit, apples, pineapples, peaches and more. Customize the sweetness, ice, foam topping, jelly, boba and chia seeds.

SnoCream Company

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Arturo Mei originally started Snocream in a bus serving flavored shaved ice or snocream with a variety of toppings. Its stall at Annandale’s The Block food hall also includes bubble tea featuring many of the same flavors in the shaved ice such as taro, honeydew and lychee.

Tea Do

Pick up onigiri along with blended smoothies, teas, and aloe blends with boba, fruit-flavored popping bubbles, along with mango, aloe, coconut, and lychee jellies from the local mini-chain.

Snowbots

Find slushee, milky and tea versions of bubble tea with boba, fruit-flavored popping bubbles, fruit-flavored jellies, red bean and pudding. Also enjoy other new Asian desserts trends: snowcream (mounds of flavored shaved ice or puffles) and freshly-made bubble-shaped waffles topped with ice cream, fruit, and other toppings.

KoGiBow Bakery

This Vietnamese-owned bakery serves up bubble tea in juices from blended fruit. Find flavors like black milk tea and mango.

Momo's Cafe

This Taiwanese restaurant, owned by Lawrence Chen, has scaled back its menu due to COVID. One of their specialties that remains is the potted milk tea, featuring milk tea topped with milk foam and crumbled Oreos. Also special on the menu is the Hokkaido milk tea, which has an extra creamy flavor similar to White Rabbit candies.

Teas'n You

Teas’n You is always on the leading edge of food and beverage trends. The latest seasonal special is blue matcha, which is not tea, but butterfly pea flower powder with a vibrant blue color that when combined with acid changes color from blue to purple to pink. There are also foamy dalgona drinks that were an early pandemic trend. Customize an order with a variety of toppings, including boba, jelly, fruit, and chia seeds, as well as choosing the sweetness level and amount of ice.

Simply Banh Mi

Simply Banh Mi serves bubble tea in flavors like white peach, watermelon, and Thai tea.

Supreme Barbecue x Auntea Boba

Teas are all brewed to order at this bubble tea shop inside Truxton Circle’s new Supreme BBQ, owned by Jeremy Canlas and his dad, Juan. Unique flavors like cereal milk and halo halo are at the top of the menu as well as the super trendy tiger stripe milk tea, featuring a black sugar syrup. Auntea Boba’s original location sits inside Gigi’s Kitchen in Fort Washington, Md.

Spot of Tea

Located inside of NoMa’s Streets Market, Spot of Tea offers a variety of Insta-friendly, multicolored layered drinks. Drinks are customizable from the type of milk (cow, macadamia, or oat), sweetness level, and with or without boba. The blue jasmine features trendy butterfly pea flower with green tea and milk.

BeauTea

This bubble tea shop founded by Leopold Liao features a variety of milk teas, slushes, and fresh fruit teas. During the summer, try the winter melon tea, a delicate and refreshing drink, known for its cooling yin qualities.

SecreTea

SecreTea features a variety of toppings including boba, jelly, red bean, aloe vera and marshmallow. Each month there is a “secret tea”, which is a special flavor of tea with a unique topping such as a bunny-shaped marshmallow, or mochi.

Teaism Penn Quarter

The long-running D.C. teahouse in Dupont, Penn Quarter, and Lafayette Park serves a classic bubble tea with iced black tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls. Add a reusable stainless steel boba straw with a cleaning brush for $5 more.

One Tea House Falls Church

This local mini chain has options that feature fresh fruit like passionfruit, apples, pineapples, peaches and more. Customize the sweetness, ice, foam topping, jelly, boba and chia seeds.

SnoCream Company

Arturo Mei originally started Snocream in a bus serving flavored shaved ice or snocream with a variety of toppings. Its stall at Annandale’s The Block food hall also includes bubble tea featuring many of the same flavors in the shaved ice such as taro, honeydew and lychee.

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