Bad Boba


Cute concept. Gimmicky Execution.

I am the biggest fan of bubble (pearl/milk/boba) tea. There was a period of time in college when I had boba every single day straight for two full semesters (it was a dark time).

I even took this BuzzFeed quiz which only further confirmed my unhealthy obsession with the stuff.

I am such a fan of boba that I managed to convert my aunt and cousin (whom I was visiting this past week) to boba drinkers/lovers as well. So when we decided to go to London, dim sum and bubble tea was a no-brainer combination.

“But wait,” you say, “what is bubble tea?”

Luckily for you, the Bubblelogy has a great little blurb on what bubble milk tea/milk tea/pearl milk tea/boba is. But for those of you that don’t trust my links or don’t care enough to read, it’s a Taiwanese tea-based drink made a tea base shaken with milk or fruit to which tapioca (boba), jellies, or pudding is added (from Wikipedia).


My aunt had praised Bubbleology, raving about its great concept and unique flavors (including a Banoffee milk tea! What’s up with the British and their obsession with Banoffee?).

Intrigued, and still hungry our light dim sum brunch/breakfast, I skimmed their menu for my drink of choice: regular black milk tea.

Yes, I know it’s boring drink choice but hear me out.

Bubbleology_Wall_2In order to know how good or bad a boba place is, I order regular milk tea. It is the most basic of drinks (black tea, milk, sugar, and boba) which allows me to assess the flavor of the tea, the level of sweetness, whether or not they used powder or real tea and milk, and (most importantly) whether or not their boba (pearls/tapioca) is worthy.

Yes, I know I take this way too seriously.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I drank a lot of boba.

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My aunt ordered the Cookies & Cream (one of their “special” teas) with boba. Unfortunately I couldn’t try it as I am effectively “allergic” (read: despise) chocolate, but my aunt seemed to enjoy it.

However, I did try the Vanilla Milk Tea as it was as close as I could get to Regular Milk Tea, and found myself to be extremely disappointed. Not only did the boba lack any sort of flavor – texture-wise, the right mix of chewy and soft, but lacking any sort of sweetness, but the drink itself tasted like a melted, powdery, watered-down Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino.

My cousin’s Passion Fruit and Cucumber did taste better – it was very refreshing, though it didn’t taste of tea at all. The boba (most likely being from the same batch) was equally tasteless and disappointing.

While bad-tasting/poorly cooked boba is not that uncommon of a mistake, it is upsetting when you’re paying close to $5 for a small.

Overall, I think Bubbleology has a cute concept, however, I wouldn’t return. This experience has made me very skeptical of boba in England (I already am very wary of New York boba).

…maybe it’s best if I just stick to bubble milk tea in California. They know what’s up.

Do you have any boba/bubble milk tea recommendations for England/New York? Share below (I’m desperate!):


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