TLDR? Medellín has some unique bubble tea places where you can pick up your favorite Asian beverage!
Bubble tea has become a worldwide phenomenon, so it comes as no surprise that it has made its way to Colombia. In fact, with Medellín being a super international city, there are plenty of places where you can grab a drink!
For all the fans of this drink, I have tracked down spots in the city where you can find this boba-filled beverage! But first, let’s take a look at where this sensation started.
History of Bubble Tea
Bubble tea originated in Taiwan, but there are mixed claims about who the inventor was. In the 1990s, the drink became popular with young people all over Asia, with the mania eventually spreading overseas. From Asia to South America, bubble tea has become a trend for all kinds of people.
So what’s with all the fuss over this tea-based drink?
One reason is the customizable options. Go to any of these shops and see an extensive menu of tea flavors and toppings that fit your taste.
Additionally, you can choose whether you want your drink hot or cold, the sweetness level, and how much ice you want.
Another appeal of bubble tea is it is dietary restriction-friendly. Vegans and those with an intolerance to gluten or lactose can choose from milk alternatives for their drink base. Shops even offer flavored fruit tea, which doesn’t contain any milk.
Fun Fact: Bubble tea has become such a cultural staple in Taiwan that in 2020 they declared April 30th ‘National Bubble Tea Day.’ There was even some discussion about using an image of the drink as an alternative passport design.
What is Bubble Tea Made Of?
A highly-customizable drink, there are several ingredient combinations that can make up bubble tea. Recognized for the round ’boba’ or ‘pearls’ in the bottom of the cup, bubble tea is most commonly a combination of tapioca pearls and milk tea.
Boba refers not only to tapioca pearls but any other toppings e.g. red bean, brown sugar pearls, aloe jelly, and more.
As for your drink base, there are two options: milk teas and teas without milk. For the milk teas, many shops offer the option of almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Want to add some additional flavor to your beverage? Choose from the shop’s array of syrups.
Fun fact: The original tapioca pearls were made from cassava, a shrub introduced to Taiwan from South America. Cassava or yuca is a very popular ingredient in Colombian dishes.
Bubble tea spots in Medellin
Craving some bubble tea in Medellin? There are several locations around the city where you can get your hands on this yummy beverage. Here is where to go.
If you’re in the Poblado area and in the mood for bubble tea, head over to T4 Oviedo. The company started in 2004 in Taiwan and expanded across Asia and into Europe, North America, and South America.
Their menu consists of classic Taiwanese flavors, milk teas without lactose, fruit-flavored teas, smoothies, and healthy options. Some of their fruit flavors include peach, lychee, strawberry, and mango. I went for the classic pearl milk tea with lactose-free milk and was not disappointed!
If you are in the mood for a sweet treat, they also serve bubble waffles with tasty toppings.
Not your run-of-the-mill mall cafe, this cozy shop offers comfortable seating, strong WiFi, and a board game area. If you want to catch up on some work before or after your shopping or while you wait for someone else to shop, I recommend bringing your laptop. While it might not be your traditional co-working space, it was quiet and peaceful inside.
MomoTea is a Colombian bubble tea brand that started just east of Medellin in Rionegro. They offer a delicious variety of flavors and fresh fruit toppings such as blueberries.
MomoTea has become a local chain, and for now, you can find its shops located in Envigado, Poblado, La Candelaria, and Belen.
The drink options and toppings are safe for vegans or people with lactose intolerance or allergies. Along with an emphasis on fresh products, MomoTea incorporates eco-friendly practices by using bamboo straws.
Depending on the location, you can also grab a bite to eat at these shops. Try their Hong Kong Waffle, a waffle made of puffy little bubbles covered in caramel and chocolate. To add some extra sweetness, the waffle is topped off with a scoop of ice cream.