After the New York Times published a piece on boba naming the bubble tea as a new trend, the west coast version of eater responded with a reminder that boba isn’t new. But it does have trends. Many of the trends that originate in Taiwanese boba shops find their way to Pasadena’s greater San Gabriel Valley, thanks to overseas chains starting their first Stateside forays in the area. And then the trend picks up and other shops, large and small begin to follow suit.
At the moment, one of the most talked about food trends in the boba world is “cheese foam tea.” Although it sounds a little funky at first, once it’s explained it actually is a pretty sweet creation. The same way you swirl cream and sugar into your tea, cream cheese or another mild cheese is mixed into the boba drink for a creamy, sweet result. Cheese foam tea can be found in many spots around the San Gabriel Valley and will probably make it’s way into Pasadena as well. In addition to cheese foam, a few other creative boba spins have also found their way into local boba culture.
Tiramisu Puff Tea is a topper for boba tea and can be found at Tan-Cha.
Salted Cheese Tea is a savory riff on cheese foam tea, that has a sweet and salty combination. It can be found at Happy Lemon inside of some Sunmerry Bakery locations.
You can also find different kinds of tea bases. Oolong and green tea tend to be more popular, but there are also mung bean teas and red bean teas, amongst other creations.
And some spots are also fusing boba with other traditions, like the Matcha Horchata milk tea at Home Brewed Bar, on Arroyo Parkway.
There are even boba teas that are grownup and include alcohol, which can be found at select bar pop-ups in the Greater Los Angeles area.
While boba may be a passing trend for some cities, the only thing trending around Pasadena is how imaginative the bubble teas can get.
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