The Washington Post
Best bubble tea photo
(Leah L. Jones/For The Post)

Best bubble tea

Winyan Soo Hoo  |  Updated 09/21/2011

Chewy tapioca bubbles enhance these sweet tea-infused drinks, which originated in Taiwan.


Breeze Bakery Cafe

Annandale, VA

Meet the milkshake's Asian cousin: a frothy bubble tea made of milk, shaved ice and syrup that glimmers like ice cream heaven. The cafe offers a limited selection of flavors but makes up for it in quality and refreshment. Sit back and relax on the cafe's upper-deck garden patio while sipping on a taro- or yogurt-flavored bubble tea. $5.20.


Bubble Tea Cafe

Rockville, MD

Ardent bubble tea fans claim that one can judge a good drink by its original milk-tea base, sans the fruity bells and whistles. This vibrantly colored cafe boasts a noteworthy black tea number with tapioca bubbles cooked just right -- neither overly chewy nor soft -- with an understated sweetness. Popular flavors among their generous servings are honeydew, mango and litchi. $3.35-$4.95.


Jumbo Jumbo Cafe

Rockville, MD

This Taiwanese-style cafe remains a Rockville Pike staple for those seeking pearl milk tea and quick, hearty eats. Polish off its popular spicy chicken with a refreshing lemon and kumquat, subtle almond or alluring "lover fruit" (tart green mango) concoction. Patrons can add miniature gelatin squares and soft pudding as an alternative to the tapioca, or forgo the extras altogether. $3.50-$4.50.


Shanghai Lounge

Washington, DC

The newly opened restaurant-lounge and sister to the Shanghai Tea House makes a silky-smooth debut with drinks as refined as their prices, worth the splurge for gently steeped teas, such as jasmine green and coconut milk. The East Asian-styled lounge area is a striking backdrop with lacquered seats and plush pillows for a leisurely hangout. $4.50-$5.50.


Song Que Deli

Falls Church, VA

Nestled within the treasured Vietnamese Eden Center lies a gem of a deli. Grab a banh mi sandwich while you wait for the barista to blend a fresh fruit smoothie or tea drink. The jackfruit smoothie bubble tea is a slushy tropical treat, as is the sweet Thai tea with pink gelatin. $3-$3.75.


Ten Ren's Tea Time

College Park, MD

This brightly lit, modern College Park location of the teahouse chain offers one of the more extensive bubble tea lists in the area, trumping even its Rockville sibling. Select a drink base of jasmine, oolong, black or ma-cha green tea to complement any fruit flavor (passionfruit-oolong and peach-ma-cha come highly recommended). Order the same picks as hot teas during the winter for a cozy balm against the elements. $3.25-$6.


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