Monday, September 3, 2012

Pittsburgh Places: Rose Tea Cafe

When I was in college, I went on a volunteer mission trip over my spring break to New York City with Cru.  It was incredible for many reasons.  But one of these things that made this trip so delightful was my first exposure to the Taiwanese beverage called Bubble Tea.  It is an iced drink (although I do think you can get it hot too maybe?) that they serve to you with one of those huge straws.  [Speaking of straws, anyone else share my obsession with McDonald's straws?  They're like the perfect size.  A little chubby, but not too much, so you can get the perfect gulp when you take a sip...sigh...ANYWAYS]

It had been years (I mean...not that I'm getting old and have been out of college for THAT long but...) since I had this refreshing beverage until...(drum roll....) we moved to Pittsburgh!  We live in a neighborhood called Squirrel Hill (guess it used to be super squirrely), and in the main little strip there are lots of Asian restaurants.  Obviously the sign made me judge the book by its cover because it had BUBBLE TEA ON IT!!  JACKPOT!!!

Tommy had never tasted this heaven in a cup until this day, and can I just say I was THRILLED that he seemed to have the same excitement about the drink as me!  There are all kinds of different flavors and we have a couple that we've fallen in love with (since of COURSE we're regulars at Pittsburgh's Bubble Tea Cafe now.): Green Tea Apple, Green Tea Mango & Green Tea Peach are my personal faves.  It tastes like tea with gummy bears in it.  The "bubbles" in the tea is called "Boba" which are basically giant tapioca balls.  Apparently they're pretty easy to cook and make yourself so you KNOW I'll be trying this concoction on my own at some point.  

The inside of the Rose Tea Cafe has a great atmosphere too.  Every time we've walked in to order our Bubble Tea to go, I always see these amazing looking Taiwanese dishes at the tables, but when I browse their menu I'm intimidated. one of these days we'll go there for dinner or lunch...and more bubble tea!

This is Tommy enjoying his bubble tea.  Truth be told, this wasn't his first experience pictured here, but you can see by his expression every time is as good as the first.

The bubbles sink to the bottom, but each sip is bursting with bubbles when they fly up the straw.  These straws are awesome too btw...

Tommy's obsession with bubble tea may be growing deeper than my own.  He had started researching how to make your own tea.  He found the Boba bubbles on Amazon.  So we'll keep you posted when he places the order and he can guest blog his Boba Bubble Tea Adventure on The Bowlin Alley.

In the meantime, Pittsburghers -- go to the Rose Tea Cafe.  Out of Towners -- find a Bubble Tea joint!  You're missing out till you do.  Recommendation from the Bowlin's -- go with the your flavor of choise Green Tea & Bubbles. The Black Tea with Bubbles is more bitter and doesn't make the Boba taste like gummy bears.  Trust us :)