BHHS Today

Bubble Tea: Ferndale v. Birmingham

My obsession with bubble tea started last year when my friend introduced me to Detroit Bubble Tea in Ferndale. After my first sip, I knew I was in love.

The difference between bubble tea and normal tea is that there are either tapioca pearls or popping pearls at the bottom of bubble tea. Tapioca pearls are a squishy dark colored ball extracted from cassava root that have a gummy bear like texture, while popping pearls are fruit juice filled balls that burst when you bite into them. Both popping pearls and tapioca pearls are a little bigger in size than a pea. I am a fan of bubble tea over normal tea because the bubble tea I order has a sweeter taste, and the pearls add to the experience.

Since Ferndale is far from my house, I found a closer bubble tea shop: Eli Tea in Birmingham. Though I love Eli Tea, Detroit Bubble Tea is still my favorite bubble tea shop. If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, ordering a bubble tea smoothie from Detroit Bubble Tea is the way to go.

When you first walk into Detroit Bubble Tea there is a large sign with steps above the counter where you order. It guides you through how to make your concoction with the first step being deciding what flavor you want. There are over 30 flavors to choose from ranging from strawberry to cinnamon roll; I personally enjoy the vanilla and the mango flavors. The next step is to choose your drink type. You can choose between iced tea, milk tea, smoothie, and slushie. I enjoy the smoothie because milk is added and everything is blended together which, in my opinion, enhances the overall taste. The final step in creating your concoction is deciding whether you want tapioca pearls, popping pearls, or jellies. I always go with the mango popping pearls, but there are 10 other popping pearl flavors to choose from. What I like most about Detroit Bubble Tea is the ability to mix and match flavors.

Eli Tea has a smaller menu than Detroit Bubble Tea in regards to bubble tea, which is one of the main reasons why I like Detroit Bubble Tea better. This makes sense because Eli Tea focuses on selling tea as a whole while Detroit Bubble Tea specializes in selling bubble tea. Though, whenever I go to Eli Tea, I order the matcha mango bubble tea. A few other flavors of bubble tea that they have include mint matcha, chai latte, iced coffee, and honey green matcha. A cool thing that they on their menu is compare the flavor of bubble tea to something that tastes like it, and they also include how much caffeine the drink has on a scale from zero to high. Though, one thing that I do not like about Eli Tea is that you cannot choose which type of pearls you want. They only have tapioca pearls, and I am not the biggest fan of them. Also, the bubble tea at Eli Tea has more actual tea in it, at least compared to what I order from Detroit Bubble Tea. Usually I don’t like green tea, but the green tea in the matcha mango bubble tea is really good.

To continue, the bubble tea from Detroit Bubble Tea is cheaper than the bubble tea from Eli Tea. A small at Eli Tea is $4 and a large is $6, while a small at Detroit Bubble Tea is $3.50 and a large is $5. Detroit Bubble Tea also offers a medium size for $4.50 and an extra large size for $5.50. Additionally, both Eli Tea and Detroit Bubble Tea include drinks on their menu other than bubble tea such as coffee and normal tea, and they both have a decent amount of treats.

If you have never had bubble tea, I recommend it. As I’ve said, a visit to Detroit Bubble Tea is better for those who have more of a sweet tooth, and a visit to Eli Tea is for those who love tea as a whole.

About the Writer
Elena Ofiara, Staff Writer

Elena Ofiara is a junior and she is a first year staff writer. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and dogs.

1 Comment

One Response to “Bubble Tea: Ferndale v. Birmingham”

  1. Nicholas Albaran on March 20th, 2018 8:08 am

    Detroit Bubble Tea is a copout. 168 Asian Mart on John R has the best boba

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