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Bubble tea is exploding across Colorado

August 31st, 2019

Asian Avenue featured On Havana Street’s Snowl and Happy Tea bubble tea shops in their August 2019 article, “Bubble tea is exploding across Colorado.”

Read the article here

By: Asian Avenue Magazine Staff

Asian tea cafes and dessert shops are offering bubble teas as part of their menus.

This explosion of bubble teas is visible in Denver, Aurora and its surrounding suburbs.

The global bubble tea market is projected to reach $3.2 million by 2023, according to experts from the beverage segment.

 

The Taiwanese Origin

Legend has it that a teahouse manager in Taiwan, bored during a long meeting, dumped tapioca pudding into an iced tea. She decided it actually tasted pretty good and added her concoction to the menu. The new tapioca tea became their biggest seller, and a trend was born, spreading throughout Taiwan and beyond. Now bubble tea shops are cropping up all over the world, offering flavors ranging from lychee, kumquat, red bean, matcha and coconut to the most common—the milk tea.

 

What is bubble tea?

Bubble tea—also known as boba tea or milk tea—is typically made by adding a scoop of black tapioca “pearls” to the bottom of a cup, pouring in cold green or black tea, and mixing in fruit juice, fruit puree, chocolate, milk, and other flavorings. It’s vigorously shaken by hand or through a blender. The “bubbles” in bubble tea actually refer to the bubbles that form when it’s mixed. 

 

The drinks are then served with a wide straw that allows room for the pearls to be sucked up along with the tea. Customers drink the tea, then chew the soft, edible pearls.

 

Because it’s a tea-based drink, bubble tea has earned something of a health halo. After all, tea—especially green tea—is known for containing disease-fighting compounds. Tea is rich in natural plant chemicals called polyphenols, which may help reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants in the body.

 

It’s addicting

Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but just like calorie-packed menu items at coffee shops, bubble tea can be more like a dessert than a drink. Though the tea itself is naturally low-calorie, some of the concoctions pack a hefty amount of added sugar thanks to ingredients like fruit juices and flavored syrups. The chewy balls are made from the starchy cassava root, adding more than 200 calories per half-cup. 

 

Who are the major chains?

While Denver’s bubble tea market is comprised of mostly mom-and-pop businesses, there are major players in this market. In fact, two Lollicup locations (on Colorado Blvd. and Federal Blvd.) are among the first bubble tea shops to open in Denver. The big chains include:

 

Why is bubble tea so popular?

The addictive drink has skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade and bubble shops have even been dubbed “Asian Starbucks”. 

 

The popularity is partly due to the variety of flavors and customization available to order your perfect drink. Aside from pearls, bubble tea shops offer a wide toppings like jelly (of many flavors), chia seeds, creama/crema, aloe vera, and popping boba, in addition to the many flavors of tea. 

 

Downtown Denver

TEA CLOUD

1690 Champa St. | Denver, CO 80202

Tel: 303-627-5468 | www.teaclouddenver.com

FB: @poketeaboba | IG: @teaclouddenver

 

Poke. Tea. Boba. Repeat. Tea Cloud is a small business devoted to serving their customers quality, time after time. 

 

Tea Cloud started in the Southlands Mall and eventually moved to its current downtown location in 2013. After five years of providing the downtown area with quality boba and loose-leaf teas, James and Kady Fong passed the torch to a new owner: James Lee. 

 

Lee renovated the quaint tea shop into something more sleek and modern, and with the addition of poke bowls, transformed the shop into a destination for both food and drinks for the businessman and the family alike.

 

North Denver

MASTER TEA

6600 W 120th Ave Unit I, Broomfield, CO 80020 | Tel: 720-583-1538 | FB/IG: @mastertea.usa

 

If you’re looking for a refreshing beverage in north Denver, enjoy the very best from a certified tea master.

 

David Chi, owner of Master Tea, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the U.S. in 2009. He was certified as a tea master and barista in Taiwan, and had opened six tea shops and one restaurant in Taipei, before moving to the U.S. He opened Master Tea in Broomfield in August of 2016.  

 

Making sure to only use tea leaves imported directly from Taiwan, Chi ensures that his shop uses high-quality ingredients and that his team creates fresh drinks daily. 

 

“As a certified barista, I am very familiar with tea brewing and I know the characteristics of every tea leaf.  Not all tea leaves are equal. The temperature of the water and the amount of time for brewing varies widely depending on the tea,” he says.

Central Denver

TEA STREET

4090 E. Mississippi Ave Denver, CO 80246 | Tel: 720-863-8636 | teastreetdenver.com

FB/IG: @teastreetdenver

 

Tea Street opened in the heart of Denver in December 2018. Being locally owned allows them to be innovative with their Taiwanese-inspirted drinks. The owners brew and cook everything on site, allowing complete oversight in quality and taste. 

 

What also sets them apart is their dedication to authenticity: premium teas, real ingredients, and no powders.

 

Bright colors, open brick and clay tea sets set the mood for a fun and easygoing atmosphere. And smiling faces invite you to stay a while on orchid-covered tables.

 

Tea Street is well known for their good customer service; they especially welcome inquisitive newcomers to bubble tea. The dialogue around popular flavors like Taro, Mung Bean and Red Bean are intriguing to those who have never had them in drinks. And to those who have, the quality speaks for itself. The staff keep a close eye on sweetness so the flavors can really shine. 

 

A message from Tea Street: We LOVE seasonal fruits and vegetables, so we often have a secret menu (shhhh!) that features limited items. 

 

One of the newest drinks on our menu is Lemon Sweat. You guessed it, again featuring another fruit, lemons! It’s an in-house pickled lemonade, salty and sweet, perfect for replenishing the much-needed hydration from the summer heat.

 

To see all their new items, follow Tea Street on Instagram @teastreetdenver.

 

South Denver

LIKE TEA PARK MEADOWS

8433 Park Meadows Center Drive, Suite #D144A, Lonetree, CO 80124

Tel: 720.289.1434 | liketeausa.wixsite.com/liketea

FB/IG: @Liketeaparkmeadows

 

Opened on March 31st, Like Tea is the new hidden gem of Park Meadows. The bubble tea shop infuses ideas from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The founder has traveled overseas to bring these drinks and desserts back to share in the U.S. Like Tea aims to bring Asian-inspired, new and trendy ideas to Colorado. 

 

Like Tea’s menu includes traditional boba milk teas, tea drinks, and slushes, but what really separates them from other boba shops are the cap series and the fruit teas!

What are cap series? Cap series is layer of topping on the teas (that is a creamy texture), which blends perfectly with the drink. Their four caps are Cheese Cap (sea-salt flavor), Tiramisu Cap (coffee flavor), Very Berry Yogurt Cap (strawberry yogurt flavor) and Brulee Cap (custard flavor).  

 

The traditional milk teas steer away from using artificial non-dairy powder and instead incorporate evaporated milk. The fruit teas and slushes are made with fresh cut fruit every morning and fruit juice instead of artificial flavored powder. In addition, the staff will adjust your drink’s sweetness level to meet your needs. 

 

Like Tea’s snack and desserts include egg waffles with or without ice cream, coconut pudding, mango mousse and tiramisu mousse. The most popular dessert is the egg waffle. From the food carts of Hong Kong, this is where it all started. A simple snack became a favorite in addition to a quick grab and go breakfast. 

 

Many shoppers are ecstatic that there is now a bubble tea shop in the Park Meadows area to quench their tea thirst! At Like Tea, they will always provide the best quality and service to everyone. 

 

West Denver

SHARETEA in BELMAR

424 S. Teller St. Lakewood, CO 80226 | Tel: 720-708-4354 

FB: @shareteabelmar, IG: @shareteabm

Open everyday from 11am to 10pm

 

Sharetea was established in 1992 with only black milk tea and boba, creating Sharetea’s signature drink, the Classic Pearl Milk Tea. 

 

Starting in Taipei, Taiwan, Sharetea has quickly grown into one of the most recognized names in the world for Boba or Bubble Tea. 

 

Through it’s continuous growth, the owner of the Belmar location was quick in realizing that Colorado had a long way to go in establishing a boba culture, like California is known for. Sharetea is a staple in California and through Sharetea, the owner is able to share the love of boba to a much needed state.

 

The Lakewood location opened its doors in the Belmar shopping district on December 1 last year and has just passed the eight-month mark!

 

This is a family run business and you are able to feel the sincerity of all the staff, who call each other family, instead of just co-workers! 

 

Sharetea’s drinks are made with products that only the company has. With fruit teas, brewed teas, milk teas, fresh milk teas, creama teas, and even ice blended drinks—there is something for everyone! 

 

Especially when Sharetea has the option to adjust the sugar or ice levels in most of the drinks, everyone is able to customize their drinks to their own tastes! 

 

Drinks and toppings are made fresh and have the best quality in mind to make Sharetea an excellent experience on every visit!

 

“We test the tea leaves each growing season and all ingredients from time to time to ensure our drinks are consistent and high quality. The best tea needs the best ingredients and we insist on the best for you!”

 

Bubble Tea Shops & Cafes

BAMBU

1147 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

(303) 993-7444

FB & IG: @bambudenver

 

Beau’TEA’ Bubbles

723 Quebec St. Denver, CO 80220

(303) 856-7289

FB & IG: @beauteabubbles

 

Black Pearls

2630 S Parker Rd, Unit D, Aurora, CO 80014

(303) 745-3387

FB & IG: @blackpearlsteabar

 

Boba & Crepes

4085 E Mississippi Ave, Ste D2, Denver, CO 80246

(720) 324-0169

FB: fb.com/Boba-Crepes-143581502352955

 

Colorado Boba Zone

5005 S Kipling Pkwy, Littleton, CO 80127

(303) 990-9926

FB: @Cobobazone | IG: @coloradobobazone

 

DCha Cafe

7150 W Alaska Dr. Lakewood, CO 80226

(720) 379-5205

FB: @dchacafe | IG: @dmcafe.outside

 

Dingtea

1699 S Colorado Blvd Unit E, Denver, CO 80222

(720) 324-8663

IG: @dingtea_denver2019

 

Dream Bubble Tea

1 W Flatiron Crossing Dr. Broomfield, CO 80021

(617) 953-0488

FB: fb.com/Dream-Bubble-Tea-158180804862536 | IG: @dreambubbletea

 

Happy Tea

2790 S Havana St. Ste U, Aurora, CO 80014

(720) 592-0977

IG: @happyteaaurora

 

Kung Fu Tea (Boulder)

1121 Broadway, Ste 102, Boulder, CO 80302

(720) 638-3470

FB: @KungFuTeaBoulderCO | IG: @kungfuteaboulder

 

Kung Fu Tea (Denver)

6365 E Hampden Ave. Ste 102, Denver, CO 80222

(720) 370-8888

FB: @KungFuTeaDenverCO | IG: @kftdenver

 

Like Tea

8433 Park Meadows Center Dr. Ste D144A, Lone Tree, CO 80124

(720) 289-1434

FB & IG: @LikeTeaParkMeadows

 

Lollicup

1589 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80222

(303) 504-6022

FB: fb.com/Lollicup-Denver-155562704460046 | IG: @lollicupdenver

 

Master Tea

6600 W 120th Ave. Unit I, Broomfield, CO 80020

(720) 583-1538

FB & IG: @mastertea.usa

 

Meet Fresh

1350 S Colorado Blvd. Ste 121, Denver, CO 80222

(720) 389-7858

FB: @MeetFreshDenver | IG: @meetfreshusa

 

Milkit!

9625 E Arapahoe Rd. Unit G, Greenwood Village, CO 80112

(720) 484-5297

FB: @milkitco | IG: @milkit_co

 

Mini Moo’s Tea Shop

7555 E Arapahoe Rd. Ste 1, Centennial, CO 80112

(303) 955-0544

FB & IG: @minimoosteashop

 

Pekoe Sip House

1225 Alpine Ave. Boulder, CO 80304

(303) 444-5953

FB & IG: @pekoesiphouse

 

Plentea

1391 E 120th Ave, Thornton, CO 80241

(303) 450-0556

FB: fb.com/Plentea-433145214186133 | IG: @plentea_colorado

 

Sharetea

424 S Teller St. Lakewood, CO 80226

(720) 708-4354

FB: @shareteabelmar | IG: @shareteabm

 

SNOWL

1930 S Havana St #5-6, Aurora, CO 80014

(720) 542-9902

FB: @snowlcafe | IG: @snowl.cafe

 

SNOWLAB

4360 E Evans Ave. Denver, CO 80222

(720) 772-8475

FB & IG: @snowlabco

 

Spill The Tea

1040 W 104th Ave. Northglenn, CO 80234

(303) 537-5165

FB: fb.com/Spill-The-Tea-30685230318078 | IG: @spill.the.tea.boba

 

Tbaar (Aurora)

12201 E Mississippi Ave, #123A, Aurora, CO 80012

(303) 366-0268

FB & IG: @tbaarcolorado

 

Tbaar (Denver)

3970 Buchtel Blvd. Ste 105, Denver, CO 80210

(303) 756-6176

FB & IG: @tbaardenver

 

Tea 4U

3602 River Point Pkwy, Unit C, Sheridan, CO 80110

(303) 761-4017

FB: @Tea.4URiverpoint | IG: @tea.4you

 

Tea Cloud

1690 Champa St. Denver, CO 80202

(303) 627-5468

FB: @poketeaboba | IG: @teaclouddenver

 

Tea Street

4090 E Mississippi Ave. Denver, CO 80246

(720) 863-8636

FB & IG: @teastreetdenver

 

Volcano Tea House

2781 S Parker Rd

Aurora, CO 80014

(720) 536-5656

FB & IG: @volcanoteahouseaurora

 

Wonder Tea

12303 E Mississippi Ave. 

Aurora, CO 80012

(303) 362-0512

FB & IG: @wonderteaaurora

 

World Juice Bar

5036 W 92nd Ave. Westminster, CO 80031

(303) 955-2182

FB & IG: @worldjuicebar