Whether one identifies themselves as a boba newbie or veteran, Phoenix and Tempe have a wide variety of shops to get their fix.
Boba, also known as bubble tea, is a sweet drink that traditionally combines milk tea and gummy-like tapioca pearls. In recent years, its popularity in the U.S. has skyrocketed. On Instagram there are over one million posts with the hashtag #boba — and counting.
Here are five boba tea shops in Phoenix and Tempe that students can turn to when they need a boba break.
While Snoh Ice Shavery is most well-known for its shaved ice, students often go there solely for boba.
Snoh’s environment features a modern, open space, with fun elements such as large steel picnic tables, walls covered with art, adorable hanging plants and an open kitchen where customers are able to see the delicious concoctions created in front of them.
Its menu specializes in boba drinks, milk teas, iced teas and slushies. The boba milk teas are also fully customizable with some of the flavors being Thai tea, matcha, house blend, lavender, pistachio, taro and more.
Snoh’s milk teas are priced at $4.75 and the Honey Boba add-on costs $0.50.
Location: 801 N. Second St., Phoenix, AZ, 85004
Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2) Tea Swirl
Tea Swirl is a favorite among Tempe students because its boba is always fresh, and its teas are freshly brewed instead of being made from a powder mix.
The layout is very open with white modern walls, simple decor, white tables, an Instagram wall that says “Tealicous,” hanging overhead lights, open piping on the ceiling and minimalistic plants on top of tables. Overall, it feels very hip and tranquil with many spaces for students to study as K-pop tunes play in the background.
Tea Swirl offers a wide variety of flavors for its teas as well as customizations in boba, ice level and sweetness level. Its milk tea flavors include a house swirl, taro, jasmine and more, and its boba flavors include options such brown sugar, crystal and black. Regulars of Tea Swirl recommend the brown sugar boba as the sweetest out of all the boba options.
Its milk teas cost $4.25 and the boba add-on is $0.50.
Location: 725 S. Rural Rd., #117, Tempe, AZ, 85281
Hours: Open seven days a week, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Located within walking distance to ASU's Tempe campus, Urban Boba Tea House has a fun atmosphere with friendly staff and customizable drinks
Besides milk tea, its menu feature frappes, slushies, snow fluff, iced teas and smoothies. Urban Boba Tea House also offers finger food such as mac and cheese bites, popcorn shrimp, chicken tenders, jalapeño poppers, potstickers, egg rolls and more.
Its milk teas range in price from $3.99 for a 16oz and $4.49 for a 24oz with the boba add-on costing $0.50. Some milk tea flavors include taro, coconut and Thai milk tea, and available add-ons are boba, popping pearls, jelly, pudding and crystal pearls.
Location: 1015 S. Rural Rd. #103, Tempe, AZ 85281
Hours: Open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
4) The Blend
The Blend is trademarked by its bright, colorful and cheerful atmosphere. Orange walls, wooden tables and wind chimes all contribute to its unique style and inviting color palette of red, orange and yellow. Like its bright decor, The Blend is also known for having a friendly staff.
The warm and cozy atmosphere makes The Blend a perfect place for students to study.
On its menu, The Blend features a variety of drinks such as teas, boba teas, milk teas, espresso drinks, blendies, protein shakes and smoothies.
The Blend's price for a 20oz milk tea is $3.55 and $3.95 for a 24oz. The honey boba is a $0.55 add-on and the popping boba is a $0.65 add-on.
Location: 521 S. College Ave. #111, Tempe, AZ 85281
Hours: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
5) Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea is a chain with locations in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Vietnam, with its only Arizona location being in Tempe.
Its decor is a mix of modern and Asian-influenced design, and the founders' mission was to bring authentic Taiwanese boba to the U.S.. Even though the shop is small with minimal seating, it's a perfect stop for a refreshment while walking up and down Mill Avenue.
On its menu, Kung Fu Tea features items like classic teas, milk teas, bubble teas, slushies, punch, espresso drinks and seasonal specials like a pumpkin oolong milk tea.
Some of its Boba tea flavors are Kung Fu milk tea, coconut milk tea, honey oolong milk tea and many other delicious flavors. In addition, the boba, sugar level and ice level can all be customized.
Depending on the flavor, Kung Fu Tea's milk teas are priced between $3.50 and $3.75 for a medium and between $4.00 and $4.25 for a large. The boba add-on is a $0.50 charge.
Location: 425 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.