For the last few years, bubble tea (also known as “boba milk tea”) has begun to grow in stature in the American beverage world. Despite the fact that it is a newcomer to American palates, the Taiwanese drink has attracted fans with its combination of sweet milk tea and chewy tapioca pearls. The funky combination of chewing and drinking has helped it join many college students’ lists of favorite drinks. When walking into a bubble tea store, however, people are more likely to stick to the safe, classic options and forget other delicious drinks they could choose from. Though this habit will always get them the satisfying drinks, it may hinder them from exploring other interesting choices. With rising demand for bubble tea in San Antonio, here is a short list of bubble tea stores you should visit.

Depending on what you are looking for, find your options in any of these three places. Each has a different take on the milk tea beverage, but you should try each of them to find your favorite one.

If you are looking for high-quality and authentic boba milk tea in San Antonio, come to Boba Tea on S. New Braunfels Ave. Besides having excellently flavored beverages, the store also offers a surprising array of options, from beverages like slurpees and smoothies, to interesting toppings such as egg pudding and fruit jelly. The tapioca pearls are finely cooked and deliver the right texture. Remember to save the punch card to have a free drink for every ten purchases you made.

If you are a night owl who wants bubble tea at midnight, and a beautiful place to study, check out Suck It Hookah And Bubble Tea on Babcock Road. It closes at 2:30 a.m., so it can satisfy your late-night cravings. The menu is pretty diverse and the drinks are delicious (even though the texture is not as rich as Boba Tea). The store is well-decorated and suitable for nocturnal test cramming. It also sells other interesting Asian snacks and main dishes in case you want solid food.

If you do not have a car and your stomach is calling for milk tea, I got your back. Pho Kim Long on McCullough Ave. is a decent milk tea place for you. It takes around a 20-30 minutes walk, depending on where your dorm is. However long or short the walk may be, Olmos Park is a beautiful place to stroll, so do not be discouraged by having to drag your body there. Although Pho Kim Long is a restaurant and it mainly serves food, the milk tea and smoothies, in spite of the limited choices, are still yummy and satisfactory.

I do not want to sound cliché, but the truth is that life is too short just to limit yourself to certain options, especially in terms of food. For your next boba shop visit, if you have never order anything outside bubble tea or your own classic drink, cross beyond that zone and get other drinks. The money you spend on the drinks (despite good or bad flavors you later find out), is well worth your time. If you are not sure about what new drink to have on that long list, here are a few beverages I highly recommend because of their popularity in many Asian countries. According to my experience from trips to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand, you should try a matcha green tea smoothie, Thai milk tea, avocado smoothie (for health-conscious folks), passion fruit black tea, taro-coconut smoothie, kumquat-lemon juice or yogurt green tea. Just go through the list, see which one captures your attention, and try it next time. If you fall in love with some new drinks, share them with your friends or me so that we can create a more dynamic and colorful bubble tea community.