Hidden Foods of Des Moines: Bubbly Tea House

Written by: Laura Wiersema

It’s time to put down the coffee and pick up some tea. No, not the kind of tea your 80-year-old grandma drinks.

There’s a new tea in town and there’s only one place to get it: Bubbly Tea House in Des Moines. Established in February 2017, Bubbly is located on University Avenue in the Drake Neighborhood and is the only place in the greater Des Moines area to offer bubble tea.

Chances are you’ve seen someone drink bubble, or boba, tea before. You might have even wondered what the blackish-brown goop is at the bottom of their drink, or why their straw is so big.

Originally from Taiwan, it is an iced, tea-based drink with chewy, tapioca bubbles, also known as boba or pearls, at the bottom.DSC_0132

The only menu item to automatically come with these bubbles is also their most popular one: the signature pearl tea. It’s a refreshing iced drink, brewed with black tea and milk to make it creamy with the pearls sitting in the bottom. Other venues in Des Moines have milk tea on their menu, but only Bubbly has the bubbles.

For those who aren’t fond of having to chew their drink, Bubbly offers smoothies and other flavored teas, like strawberry and mango, served without the pearls. You can also choose from flavored boba, which burst open with juice when bitten into, like those found in frozen yogurt restaurants.

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