Step aside, trendy coffee drinks: The bubble tea craze is here to stay.

Hugely popular and originally from Asia, bubble tea is a black-or green tea-based drink with milk served hot or cold in a variety of flavors. The most notable ingredient is the marble-sized tapioca balls called “boba” that sink to the bottom of the glass and must be sucked through an oversized straw. With careful straw placement, each sip can create a distinct series of sensory experiences.

1) Ssam Burger
Thai Milk Tea ($3.50)

Ssam Burger is a full-service Korean restaurant that also serves bubble tea on the side. The Thai Milk Tea is made from strong black tea, sugar, milk and boba, then spiced with ingredients such as star anise, crushed tamarind and cardamom. This is a favorite among chai tea drinkers because of the familiar spice flavors.

Ssam Burger
2072 Defoors Ferry Road N.W.
Atlanta 30318
404.609.5533
ssamburgeratlanta.com

2) Sweet Hut Bakery and Cafe
Hong Kong Milk Tea ($2.95)

One visit to this recently opened Asian-inspired bakery and you will understand why it is rapidly expanding to more locations throughout Atlanta. Try the Hong Kong Milk Tea, brewed from Ceylon leaves and mixed with evaporated milk, condensed milk and boba. It is not as sweet as the standard original milk tea and has a stronger tea flavor.

Sweet Hut Bakery and Cafe
3393 Peachtree Road N.E.
Atlanta 30326
sweethutbakery.com

3) Kung Food Tea
KF Milk Tea ($3.35)

The original, plain Milk Tea is a great drink for bubble tea beginners due to its mild flavor. The tea and boba are made to order behind an open counter, ensuring quality and freshness. The perfect balance of milk, black tea, sugar and chewy boba make this drink extremely creamy and light. As is standard with most boba drinks, sweetness is adjusted to taste at the time of order by specifying light, regular or heavy sugar.

Kung Food Tea
5280 Buford Highway N.E.
Doraville 30340
770.455.8585
kfteausa.com

4) Bubbleology
Milk Tea Coffee ($2.99)

The perfect pick-me-up, milk coffee tea is as simple as it sounds: coffee, milk, tea and boba. This smooth drink starts with original milk tea and blends it with a shot of coffee. Java drinkers will appreciate the coffee aroma, flavor and added caffeine boost. Coffee and tea lovers alike can have the best of both worlds with this combination of two favorites.

Bubbleology
3393 Peachtree Road N.E.
Atlanta 30326
404.869.1596
bubbleologyusa.com

5) Chow Bing
Passion Fruit Milk Tea ($3.25)

Chow Bing serves Chinese fusion fare and offers bubble tea on the menu. With a refreshing, sweet and tangy twist on traditional milk tea, this passion fruit variety will brighten your day. Made with a flavored syrup, it’s fruity with a slightly tart taste that is offset perfectly by the creamy milk tea.

Chow Bing
3330 Piedmont Road N.E.
Suite 22B
Atlanta 30305
404.816.8008
chowbing.com

STORY: Jessica Dauler
PHOTO: Sara Hanna