By Michelle Jacoby
Not since the latte has a drink made such an impression on the beverage scene. Originating in Taiwan, boba made its way to the U.S. in the ’90s and since then, boba bars have “popped” up all over. Chandler, especially, has seen an influx of shops and, honestly, we couldn’t be happier. Perfect for a quick pick-me-up between meetings, on your way back to your Chandler hotel or enjoying one of the great community parks, here’s a look at some of the city’s must-try spots.
Boba Tea House
Tucked in a cozy corner of the Lee Lee Supermarket retail and restaurant center, Boba Tea House is where locals go for their favorite boba drinks. That’s because this popular spot offers a vast array of beverages—from milk teas and flavored teas, to slushies and smoothies—any of which you can add those pop-able boba treats to. Soft and chewy (never stale or soggy), boba comes in such flavors as strawberry, lychee and mango. Or for something different, try such add-ins as mini boba, pudding, red bean or jelly. And if you’re in the mood for snacks, Boba Tea House offers a small menu of munchies, including popcorn chicken, jalapeno poppers, and—for the truly adventurous—fish or squid balls.
Map: 2055 N. Dobson Road or (480) 821-4008
Known for their unique and eye-catching Korean desserts, Snowtime specializes in “snow,” also known as shaved ice, served in their signature golden fish cones. But if you’re in the mood for a refreshing boba drink, you’ve come to the right place. Snowtime offers a variety of fresh leaf teas—from lychee green and mango black, to peach oolong and aloe green—that you can add “popping pearls” to. Available in passion fruit, mango, strawberry and lychee, these little gems will dress up any drink. And before you go, don’t forget to take a snap of your boba creation. The shop’s chic and homey vibe makes for the perfect backdrop to your latest like-worthy selfie.
Map: 2095 N. Dobson Road or (480) 268-7711
Rewind Ice Cream & Boba Tea
Part ice cream parlor, part cereal bar, part tea shop, Rewind rolls all these great things into one. Indulge with a signature ice cream swirl, milkshake, or cereal bowl…the combinations are nearly endless. But for something truly authentic, have one of their matcha drinks. Made with a finely ground powder of Japanese green tea leaves, the antioxidant- and mineral-rich drinks have a variety of health benefits. Flavors include the sweet matcha (made with sweet milk), strawberry matcha latte (homemade strawberry puree), and the matcha coffee (cold brew coffee). Add boba or crystal boba—and a scoop of ice cream for good measure, of course!
Map: 3245 W. Ray Road or (480) 466-0079
Feeling right at home at its new digs in Overstreet in downtown, Sharetea is the latest spot to join Chandler’s growing lineup of specialty tea shops and boba bars. Featuring drinks made with high-quality tea leaves shipped directly from Taiwan, the menu is filled with refreshing teas, including fruit, brewed, milk and ice blended. Signature selections include passion fruit, orange and grapefruit tea; lime or mango mojito; Okinawa pearl milk tea; and matcha red bean ice blended tea with ice cream. And if you think the tea flavors are impressive, check out their toppings, which include pearl boba, mini pearl, red bean, and an assortment of jellies (herb, aiyu, and lychee).
Map: 140 N. Arizona Ave. or (480) 588-2181
Located in south Chandler, DaYung’s Tea is a quaint, neighborhood spot that offers a wide selection of made-to-order teas and beverages. Classic and seasonal teas are made with fresh fruits, while milk teas come in a variety of flavors. Signature drinks include the wintermelon lemon with chia seeds, the caramel boba latte, and the green milk tea with coconut jelly. Or try a macchiato made with black or green tea. All drinks can include such add-ins as boba, chia seeds, and jellies.
Map: 4055 S. Arizona Ave. or (480) 793-7733
If you like a little (or in this case, a lot) of variety when it comes to beverages, Rapha Tea is the place for you. Categorized by series, the menu offers everything from milk teas (original and flavored), special teas, fresh teas, coffee, juices, slushies and refreshers. But it’s Rapha’s “butterfly series” that has us thirsty for more. Composed of a juice made with lychee, wintermelon, passion fruit, rose lychee and guava, and butterfly tea, which is brewed from sweet pea flowers, when it’s poured, it creates an ombre effect. Toppings include golden boba, crystal boba, and star jelly, just to name a few.
Map: 1900 W. Chandler Blvd. or (480) 917-2900