For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family: Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom. She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies.
Every now and then I like to treat my kids (and myself) to a special treat. And I love taking every opportunity to encourage my kids to be adventurous eaters by getting them to try something new once in a while. Today, we decided to try boba tea. Boba tea (also known as “bubble tea”) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink. The name comes from the large tapioca pearls that are typically added to the drink. Boba tea seems to be gaining popularity and it’s been on my list of foods to try for a while, so today was the day. There are a few places in town that serve boba tea. Today we stopped by Q-Cup Boba Tea. It’s a quirky little cafe-type shop in the shopping center at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and St. John’s Bluff. The inside is somewhat dated. But it’s colorful and kitschy with comfy oversized cube-shaped tables and lots of knick-knacks to look at while you wait. They do not only boba tea, but also smoothies, slushies, coffees, and savory Vietnamese sandwiches and snacks.
We decided to try the Coffee Milk Tea with boba ($3.75 for a medium size) and a Chocolate Smoothie with boba ($4.45 for a medium size). We also got an order of Grilled Pork Spring Rolls ($4.95) to snack on. We placed our order to go and then had a seat while we waited. The wait ended up being a little longer than I’d hoped, especially for a to-go order. But like I said…there was plenty to look at and keep us entertained, so the kids didn’t complain too much. The lollipops they gave us also helped.
The Grilled Pork Spring Rolls were pretty good. The pork itself was flavorful, tender, and juicy. The dipping sauce that was served with the spring rolls was also delicious. It was a thick, gooey sauce with the flavors of soy, ginger, peanut, and citrus all mixed together. It was really good sauce. The only problem I had with the spring rolls was the lettuce inside them. The pieces of lettuce they used were the thick rib pieces, which added good crunch but were really bitter to bite into. The rolls were much tastier without the lettuce.
Our Chocolate Smoothie was good…chocolatey, but not too sweet. The boba didn’t really enhance the smoothie at all, though. The same thing went for the Coffee Milk Tea. The flavor was ok (maybe a tad on the overly sweet side), but the boba was…interesting. Boba was something I had been wanting to try for awhile. But after having it today, I’ve discovered that I’m not a fan. It was more of a texture issue for me than anything else…too large and chewy. But the boba did inspire such quotes from my kids as “The boba is weird!” and (my personal favorite) “Save me from the boba!” So, it was a fun experience trying something new and different.
Our first try at boba tea was a learning experience. We tried something totally new and learned that we weren’t really crazy about it. I think boba is something of an acquired taste…probably not one I’m going to acquire anytime soon. Luckily, Q-Cup has a ton of flavor and add-in options on the menu. So that means that next time we stop in, there are lots of other drink choices for us to pick from. And now we know to pass on the boba next time around.
We’ve heard from our Asian friends that Q Cup’s Vietnamese offerings are pretty awesome so we’ll make sure to check out more of those on our next visit as well.