Best Bubble Tea in Ashburn


Camille Lewis, Staff Writer

If there’s been one drink bubbling into popularity recently, it’s been Taiwanese boba tea. Boba tea has a multitude of names such as bubble tea, pearl tea, nai chai, and pearl milk tea. It is most commonly known in America as bubble tea. The drink originated in Taiwan in the 1980s featuring a sweet liquid base and large balls of tapioca called boba. The tea is extremely popular in America and is served at many Asian restaurants, spurring entire chains that specialize in the drink. Although there are many local bubble tea shops that have great drinks, which restaurant is the best? I decided to try bubble tea from five different local restaurants. As a control, I tried to get a similar drink and flavor (mango) at every restaurant that I went to, and each drink will have a rating out of five, as well as a short review.

Kung Fu Tea

Location: Dulles Town Center Mall, Ashburn

Rating: 2.5

Price: $5.50

Review: Kung Fu Tea just came to Dulles and the customer service was great, but, unfortunately, the tea wasn’t. The mango syrup was sickly-sweet, and the bubbles had a hard, almost frozen center instead of a gummy, chewy texture. It wasn’t terrible, but I probably will not go there again. I also had to go there twice since the first time I went they were out of bubbles!

Pho Royal

Location: Fort Evans Plaza II, Leesburg

Rating: 3.5

Price: $4.00

Review: I liked this tea. It was sweet and satisfying, and I bet it would be refreshing on a hot day. However, they put a lot of ice in the cup, so I ran out of tea before I could finish all the bubbles. It was a pretty solid drink.

Panda Tea House

Location: Dulles Town Center Mall, Ashburn

Rating: 1.5

Price: $3.50

Review: This tea was underwhelming. The entire shop was extremely crowded since they also sell popular ice cream and other treats. This meant that It took a long time for them to give me my order. With all the hype, I was assuming the tea would be amazing, sadly I was wrong. The base was chunky and not very sweet, as well as having unblended ice pieces mixed in. There weren’t enough bubbles, so I ran out when I was halfway done with my drink and was left with just the base. I didn’t finish this drink. The one redeeming factor is the quality of the bubbles, which was very good.

Teabreak Pho & Boba

Location: Sterling, VA

Rating: 5

Price: $3.00

Review: This tea is nearly perfect. The drink isn’t too sweet, but it isn’t bland either.  The bubbles have a great consistency and aren’t too soft or too hard. The only qualm I had was that there weren’t enough bubbles in the drink, so you run out before you finish the liquid; however, this can be solved by ordering your tea with extra bubbles. This restaurant is a little farther than the other spots, but I think it’s worth it.

Chau’s Cafe

Location: Ashbrook Commons Plaza, Ashburn

Rating: 3.5

Price: $3.75

Review: This tea was pretty standard. It had a good ratio of base to bubbles, so I wasn’t running out. The bubbles had an okay consistency, and the base was pretty good. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but I could at least enjoy it for what it was.

Although there are many different types of bubble tea to try, not every tea is equal. I think that If I had a bad experience the first time I had bubble tea, I probably wouldn’t have the same positive thoughts and feelings towards it that I have now. It’s good to know where to go and where to take people when you are introducing them to such a unique drink.