Bubblicious

Madison McDaniel, Staff writer

     Starting to pop up throughout Plano, bubble tea cafes are making their way into the stream of popularity as more and more people are discovering these refreshing and sweet drinks. Mixed with endless flavors of tea, it’s the gummy tapioca surprise waiting at the bottom of the cup which makes drinking bubble tea such an enjoyable experience. The bubble tea drink offers a variety of flavors for even the pickiest of eaters.

Fat Straws

6509 W. Park. Blvd. #425
Plano, TX 75093

Price: $2.85 16 oz. & $3.45 24 oz.

    The first bubble tea hot spot I visited was Fat Straws, located off of West Park Boulevard. Although the trip was a little far out, the experience was definitely worth it. Walking into the crowded restaurant on a Wednesday night was a sure sign that Fat Straws was a popular hit among bubble tea connoisseurs. The trendy décor and laid back environment was a welcoming gesture as I chatted with the employees about which flavor to choose. With so many choices ranging from Thai to mango, I settled on their most popular flavor, the classic milk tea with bubbles. This blend of Chinese tea and cream added to a rich flavor was complimented along with the chewy bubbles. The bubble to tea ratio provided a balanced taste and smooth aftertaste. Offering a minimum of ten flavors such as peach, passion, kiwi and green apple, you’re sure to find a tasty blend for your personal taste. And what if you like the bubbles, but prefer another beverage? No problem! Fat Straws also pairs their bubbles with other choices of smoothies and slushes.

3.5/5 Cups

 

Escapé

2220 Coit Rd
Plano, TX
75075
Price: Regular- $2.85 & Large- $3.25

     My next trip was made to the ever popular Escapé, bakery and internet café. With its convenient location near campus, Escapé is a great hangout for friends to meet up during their lunch break or free periods. As soon as I entered the café, I knew that this was my kind of place. Accompanied with the earthy and eclectic décor, the comfortable atmosphere made me feel right at home. Taking in all of my surroundings, a draft of sweet baked goods certainly added to this pleasant experience. With several flavors to choose from, I finally decided on trying the strawberry mango tea with bubbles. Switching gears from the creamy to the tangy proved to be a great choice. The sweet and cold drink was a nice treat after a long day. The “pearls”, as they refer to them at Escapé, were a better texture. Just like Fat Straws, Escapé also sells other treats and drinks extending their menu from smoothies, coffee, slushes, snows, frozen yogurt and oriental baked goods. With such a vast amount of options, there are also countless flavors of tea to choose ranging from honey, plum, lemon, pineapple and star fruit. Each of these drinks can be paired with any amount of bubbles desired, and even more for only $.50 extra. Along with the comfortable setting, friendly employees and delicious bubble tea, at Escapé you can’t go wrong.

4/5 Cups

 

Java & Chai

1820 Coit Road #138

Plano, TX 75075

Price: Small- $2.55-$3.59 Large- $2.80-$3.99

     Hoping for another pleasant experience in discovering a new bubble tea restaurant, I made my way for Java & Chai. Knowing that it was located across the street from Escape, I knew that Java & Chai would have some big competition.  Unlike the other locations I visited Java and Chai did not give off a welcoming environment and did not live up to my expectations. Trying to figure out what to order, one of the employees tried to help me but when I asked her questions she seemed to not know how to answer them and was not very helpful. Although she did allow me to sample a few flavors of tea, the bubble tea I ended up choosing, the Thai tea with bubbles was not very enjoyable. The tea itself was overall very sweet and refreshing but I felt like the taste was masked by the overwhelming amount of bubbles that was added along with the bitter aftertaste the bubbles left. All of the bubbles took away from the otherwise tasty flavor of the Thai tea because in every sip there seemed to be way too many bubbles, making it unbearable for me to swallow. The prices of the different types of teas ranged anywhere from $2.55 to $3.99 depending on the blend of tea as well as if you choose to create your own drink, an option that Java & Chai offers. The process in creating your own drink allows you to choose what kind of tea you prefer and mix it with your choice of chewy flavors, including: boba (bubbles), jellies, or custards with an additional price of $.55. I recommend Java & Chai for those who are already familiar in the different types of bubble tea and know what they like in advance.

2.5/5 Cups

 

Cassis

812 W Spring Creek Pkwy
Plano, TX 75023

Price: One size- $3.00

     For my last quest in finding a delicious bubble tea café, I visited Cassis, exotic drink and tea. Having passed Cassis about a thousand times not once had I ever thought about going in, but after my experience there I’m sure glad that I did. The modern yet comfortable atmosphere is given a splash of oriental décor and color which certainly adds to the overall enjoyable experience along with the array of funky Asian music that plays in the background. With so many flavors of bubble tea to choose from I talked with the one of the friendly employees who was more than welcome to help me find the best flavor and explained all of their different options as well. After scanning the menu of teas which offered a variety such as classic green tea, milk tea, lavender, and strawberry lad tea, I ended up choosing the mango tea. Cassis is very versatile in making sure that you purchase the best tea for you and have the best experience. Not only does Cassis sell bubble tea, they also sell smoothies, exotic coffee, frozen and cold and hot teas, hot lattes, as well as gelato desserts. With so many choices you can pair these sweet treats with or without bubbles, although I recommend that you try your tea with bubbles to add a chewy texture. From the trendy environment to the hospitable service, your time and money will certainly be well spent at Cassis.

4.5/5 Cups