Tea, sugar, milk, flavoring and most importantly of all, tapioca balls. Since the invention of bubble tea in 1986, the drink has exploded in popularity among Asian communities in the United States and abroad. Consequently, it’s no surprise that bubble tea locations have popped up in both Chapel Hill and the larger Raleigh Durham Area.
First, we’ll be reviewing the bubble tea shop Frozy’s. Frozy’s is located in the New Hope Commons shopping mall plaza next to Walmart. The store offers bubble tea, frozen yogurt and smoothies. Their bubble tea comes in multiple flavors and offer both milk and fruit versions (bubble tea with added milk or added fruit flavoring). In addition, the area is usually not that busy, but the store tends to have fewer employees relative to Chahouse and Milklab. Consequently, it can take a while to process large orders of bubble tea.
Next, we’ll be tackling Chahouse, a fairly new store that has opened on Franklin Street. The store specializes in bubble tea, matcha and various small snacks including shaved ice and popcorn chicken. Out of all the bubble tea places in the Chapel Hill area, Chahouse offers the most diversity in the way of customizing your drink. In addition to offering various flavors of milk and fruit bubble tea, Chahouse allows customers to choose toppings and change the amounts of sugar used in the drink.
“Chahouse is perfect in so many ways, it’s far superior. The aroma of the tapioca balls, cooked to perfection twice in brown sugar, it just melts in your mouth.” said freshman Henry Liu.
Finally, we have one of the most popular stores in the area, Milklab. Milklab sells thai hand-rolled ice cream and bubble tea. Milklab differentiates itself from other bubble tea places with its milk foam cap, which adds a refreshing creaminess to their milk tea. In addition, Milklab, like Chahouse, uses tea leaves rather than powder. On the whole, Milklab is probably on par with Chahouse in terms of quality of taste, but significantly less convenient due to its location in Cary, which is an estimated thirty minute drive from Chapel Hill.
Overall, Frozy’s and Chahouse are probably the easiest to access and situated. Frozy’s is near Walmart and convenient to head to if you’re already doing the groceries, while Chahouse is on Franklin Street and within walking distance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While I would highly recommend visiting Milklab at least once, it’s simply too far away and probably too time-consuming and expensive to go to on a regular occasion.
By William Ke, News Editor