This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate
The owners of Loose Leaf Boba Co. in New Haven say their new boba shop is unlike any other in the area, with natural ingredients like real fruit, a selection of local dairy and vegan milks and ceremonial-grade organic matcha starring in its drinks.
A drink from Bangkok Boba Tea.
Have you ever seen someone shaking up a plastic cup and slurping it through a wide colorful straw?
It’s a Taiwanese cold drink called bubble tea, made with tea, sweetened milk or other flavorings, and balls or “pearls” made of tapioca.
The drink is made with tapioca balls, which start off white and hard, and are boiled inside a huge bubbly pan then steeped in caramelized syrup for hours until the they become a chewy consistency that can be slurped up in a straw.
Some Connecticut bubble tea sellers, like Loose Leaf Boba, have put their own twist on making their tapioca balls.
“Our tapioca balls are made out of honey, instead of the traditional way,” said Thomas Liu, the chief executive of Loose Leaf Boba, which has two locations in Connecticut.
“Our boba is made fresh everyday in-house, and is different than what most are used to,” he said. 
According to, tapioca balls were a common topping for desserts in the 1980s in Taiwan, and milk tea was already a favorite local drink.
Liu Han Chieh began serving cold tea at his Taiwan tea shop, “Chun Shui Tang.” Later on, the company’s product manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, added tapioca balls into her iced tea at a staff meeting.
That was the start of what we now call bubble tea.
Because modern boba tea makers are selling their product to customers equipped with Instagram accounts, looks are just as important as taste, one CT shop owner said. 
“Nowadays, you see people taking selfies of their boba all over social media,” said Chanya Siboriboun, the owner of Bankgkok Boba Tea in Southington and Avon. “It makes us make sure our drinks look as good as they taste.”
Here are six spots around Connecticut to try bubble tea:
Thai milk tea, strawberry matcha latte and Bananas Foster milk with honey boba from Loose Leaf Boba in New Haven
Loose Leaf Boba originated in California and now has two locations in Connecticut, in New Haven and Wallingford.
“I like to say our drinks are unique, Liu said. “We wanted to bring [together] different parts of the world with drinks inspired with ingredients from different countries,” said Liu. All teas and drinks bases are made to order with ingredients from around the world.
Medium size taro fresh milk with boba from The Whale Tea in Fairfield
At The Whale Tea, you can pick from a variety of bubble tea but are most known for their signature drink is The Whale Crystal. The Whale Crystal is a gradient of soft blue coloring diffusing into coconut milk filled with peach jelly. When the drink is placed on a mini light, the peach jelly is illuminates from below, creating an illusion of a glowing drink.
Hartford Poke Okinawa Boba Co’s Ichigo Ruby with strawberry hearts jelly at Parkville Market
The Okinawa Boba Co. has its fourth location at the Parkville Market in Hartford. They have traditional tapioca boba but also feauture crystal boba jelly made from plant based konjac which is consistent in texture and healthier than traditional tapioca, according to their website. Customers have the choice between Kōcha series, a red tea, and the “MILK”  series, whole milk or organic soy.
A post shared by ViVi Bubble Tea (@vivibubbletea)
Vivi Bubble Tea uses ingredients shipped directly from Taiwan, according to their website. Vivi Bubble Tea also sells snacks like macaroons, cookies, cakes and more. They also sell pokébowls.
A post shared by BBT( Bangkok Boba Tea) (@bangkokbobatea)
Bangkok Boba Tea opened two locations in 2021, Southington in March and Avon in June. “We want our drinks to taste as good as it looks. People love taking selfies with our drinks because they look appealing,” said owner Chanya Siboriboun. Siboriboun is planning on opening more locations in 2022.
A post shared by Prince House (@princehousect)
Prince House in Middletown sells a variety of boba tea, fresh fruit tea, açaí and pitaya bowls/smoothies and according to their website, they are the first Hawaiian poké shop in Middletown.


Shop Sephari