The only time I've tried bubble tea was about 6 years ago in New York. I remember being excited when shortly afterwards a bubble tea cafe opened in Manchester's Chinatown but alas the drinks were dairy based and not suitable for vegans. I thought vegan bubble tea must just be a New York thing.
With that in mind I've often walked past Bobo Tea, the bubble tea bar in Manchester's Arndale Shopping Centre without giving it a second thought. With my Mofo theme as tea though I started thinking about bubble tea and sent Bobo a tweet just on the off chance they could do a vegan option. To my delight they tweeted right back saying all their drinks could be made vegan and recommending the iced tea with jellies (coconut flesh).
The bubble teas are made up from a flavour, a creamer (ask for soy powder instead of dairy), black or green tea, ice and tapioca balls (these are the bubbles). The result is a sweet, milky tea drink that you drink through a wide straw that also sucks up the chewy tapioca balls. These are kind of tasteless but strangely addictive.
My sister and I chose almond and coconut flavour bubble teas respectively. We both found the almond a little strong and sweet tasting for our palates but loved the coconut which was more subtle, refreshing, yet really creamy tasting. I'm already looking forward to going back to try more flavours and also check out their iced tea recommendations. The prices are similar to a latte in a coffee shop and the drinks are a fun alternative.