This weekend marked the birth of my relationship with bubble tea. Bubble tea is called so because of the small, black tapioca pearls that lurk at the bottom of my cup and sneak up my straw when I'm least expecting it. (Well I guess I am expecting it, because I specifically ordered bubble tea.) Anyway this drink originated in Taiwan in the 80's and has now been blessing the streets of NY for some time. Emily and I set out for Grand St. to pick some up. I had strawberry and she had taro.These drinks were of the blended frozen variety and I'm not even sure if they contained any actual tea. I saw the woman making them with powdered flavored milk. The pearls were nice and soft though, and I immediately knew this affair would not be a one time thing.
I never thought, however, that I would get more bubble tea only one day later. On Sunday we were walking up Lexington around the high 30s and came across CoCo, which I had previously read a review of on Food in Mouth. CoCo is a popular Taiwanese chain serving teas, coffee and juices. I ordered a green tea with tapioca, and Marissa had the more intricate Bubble Gaga with passionfruit, tapioca, and coconut jelly.
We were both taken by surprise at first with the sweetness of both drinks, but for me it was definitely love at second sip. My green tea had floral notes and the pearls were nice and chewy, however not as easily chewed as Saturday's. The cup was really cool because it was sealed with a sheet of plastic by a machine, which makes it easy to transport before stabbing with a super-wide straw. Marissa loved her Bubble Gaga; the coconut jelly was a nice addition. I would order it next time. Coco has at least two stores conveniently located in Midtown: one near Grand Central and the one I went to around 26th and Lex. I may need to strategically apply for jobs to ensure that my office is near one of these locations.
CoCo: 459 Lexington Ave between 45th and 46th sts. (212) 518-8808