Tag Archives: tea

Outside the District–Song Que

I can’t exactly justify driving two hours down I-95 to Richmond whenever I’m in the mood for bubble tea, so I’ve had to find DMV alternatives.

ENTER THE DRAGON

Song Que

6769 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044

While it isn’t the most accessible bubble tea joint in the DC-area (on top of needing a car, you need to have the desire to brave the hell that is 7 Corners), it’s certainly one of the tastier options. And it has really good/cheap banh mi! WIN-WIN SITUATION HERE.

ooo yeah banh mi!

Eden Center is Northern Virginia’s big Vietnamese hotspot. As part of this shopping center, Song Que sells a bunch of prepackaged snacks, meals, dried squid, and the occasional Asian fruit (mangosteen!).

not quite as extensive as TT lounge

You can’t really make it out from this photo, but those are the bubble tea options. Yeah, not as extensive as TT Lounge. But as bubble tea isn’t their main focus, it’s forgivable.

Pictured–the Eden Center gate, taro bubble tea, and the interior of Marymary’s luxurious Subaru Outback.

Kendra: These are more like milkshakes or smoothies–very thick, and depending on the flavor it may actually be made with that particular ingredient (i.e. avocado). The flavors lean towards Asian–jackfruit, red bean, taro, and durian (!!!) all make appearances. I’ve had their bubble tea on multiple occasions, and sometimes the tapioca balls have been frozen 😛 but when they aren’t they’re perfect. B+

Kat: I’ve only been here twice. The first time I ordered Thai Iced Tea with boba, the second time I got the taro flavor. I’ll go back to Thai Tea next time, because it seems to be one of the few flavors that does not come as a slushy. Both times the bubbles had good, chewy texture. B+

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Adventures at H-Mart

It’s Friday. I’m just going to let the packaging speak for itself.

SURE!

hell no

love it.

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RICHMOND – TT Lounge

the usual suspects

l-r=watermelon slush, strawberry banana, red bean, taro

Bubble tea has steadily been getting more and more widespread in the US, thanks in part to Asian take-0ut joints adding it to their drink menu. I’ve been to standalone joints, cafés, restaurants, and even bakeries that offered beverages with boba–tapioca pearls. The addictive nature of these soft squishy balls cannot be denied. CANNOT. BE. DENIED.

yeahhh red bean!

The best bubble tea I’ve had doesn’t actually come from a place known for its Asian population–sorry, Seattle/NYC/Northern Virginia, but Richmond wins with the TT Lounge.

God favors the TT Lounge

This little joint offers both boba and non-boba varieties of milk tea, hot tea, and slush in flavors ranging from typical American (strawberry banana) to the kind found at Asian restaurants (taro, red bean). Some people may scoff at my claim of ‘best boba tea’ since the fruit flavors aren’t made with the actual fruit (like in a smoothie), but after having tried a bubble tea made with actual taro root, I stand by the TT Lounge. It helps that their boba has been perfectly soft and squishy with just enough give each and every time I’ve visited.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

And hey, it lives up to the ‘lounge’ part of its namesake, since it offers enough sitting space to hang out.

Kat: I don’t know any other place to get bubble tea that combines quality, consistency, and ambiance. The bubbles are never grainy and always have just the right texture. And the location is a pleasant hang out spot. The person at the counter is welcoming and there is room to wait or sip your tea at tables by the large windows. TT Lounge, I wish you were in DC.

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Art of Tea – Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong (Green)

Iron Goddess of Mercy (often transliterated as Ti Kuan Yin or Tie Guanyin) is your standard oolong.  Art of Tea‘s Green Iron Goddess of Mercy is a full-leaf loose tea. They also offer a ‘roasted’ variety with higher oxidation, which I am very interested in trying.

This is one of my favorite teas that I have in the house.  It has a medium flavor strength, crisp with a hint of sharpness, that is definitely in the woodsy flavor family (but not smoky!). The tea slowly unfurls over repeated steepings, and looks good on display in an open-topped infusing basket. With a medium-size spoonful, I can resteep for 4-8 (large) cups.

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