I like bubble tea. A lot. And I think I've visited most of the places around the Boston area where you can get a cup of bubble tea, including both the obvious places as well as a few that are not so obvious.
Overall, I'd say that Infusions Tea Spa is the highest quality, and uses the freshest ingredients in their fruit based bubble teas as well as the highest quality tea base. Bobalicious, despite using powdered flavors, will customize the milk and sugar content to your hearts content and has the most flavorful boba (tapioca pearls). However, I think there's very little that you can say "overall" about bubble tea. I find that depending on what flavor I want there's a different place that makes the best version. Here are some of my favorites:
Original Bubble Tea: Ping Ping Chai at the Coffee Stand in MIT's Stata Center (32 Vassar Street)
Hazelnut Milk Tea (hot): Infusions Tea Spa, Allston
Kumquat/Kumquat Lime/Kumquat Sour Plum: Infusions Tea Spa, Allston
Green Apple with Green Tea: Lollicup, Super 88 Food Court, Allston
Rose Flower Slush: Boston Tea Stop, Harvard Square
Peach Bubble Tea with Lychee Jelly: Boston Tea Stop, Harvard Square
Taro Milk Tea: Bobalicious, Newton
Papaya Milk Tea: Bobalicious, Newton
Papaya Smoothie: Wisteria House, Super 88 Food Court, Allston
Lychee Bubble Tea: Teriyaki Cafe, Kendall Square Food Court, Cambridge
Lychee Juice: The Juice Bar, Chinatown
Totally unremarkable bubble tea: Master Wok, South Station Food Court, Tapicha in the Porter Exchange Mall, Dado Tea in Cambridge, Harvard University Science Center's Greenhouse Cafe, Denian's in Lexington, Bao Bao Bakery in Chinatown, Shinkansen in MIT's Stratton Center.
I think I've left off some Vietnamese restaurants that serve bubble tea shakes, and probably a few other places that serve bubble tea. I've heard good things about the bubble tea at Japonaise Bakery (and even have a good friend who works there!) but sadly have never been. A glaring omission that this post inspires me to correct soon.
So . . . what are your favorites?
And are there other "hidden" bubble tea places that can be easily overlooked?
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