The tea on DC’s Boba

Lucy Harllee

My name is Lucy, but many know me as @bobafettreviews. For months I’ve searched for the DMV’s best bubble tea—a sweet tea drink with pearls of tapioca—and can now confidently call myself a boba connoisseur. Using this knowledge, I’ve ranked my favorite bubble tea places in DC. 

 

1. Kung Fu Tea

One of the most popular and classic shops out there, Kung Fu Tea, is model boba. With flavors ranging from wintermelon to hot honey milk, KFT hits the mark. Their milk tea is superb, not too milky, not too tea-y, and their mango green tea also hits the spot. The one bad experience I’ve had was with their rosehip tea which tasted as if I was sipping on strawberry shampoo–an experience I would not recommend. Overall, Kung Fu Tea pretty consistently makes quality boba with a sizable selection to satisfy every palate. 

 

2. Moge

Moe-ga Tea? Moe-gee Tea? Mog Tea? The highly mispronounced Moge Tea’s delicious black milk tea is a close second. Among my following, Moge Tea is the most popular store in the area—their brown sugar milk tea with warm bubbles being the fan favorite. I commend Moge for their unique flavors like avocado tea, as well as eyebrow-raising drink toppers such as cheese foam. However, one flavor to stay away from is their taro which is hand smashed rather than the typical use of taro powder. The tea tastes of banana mush and has gotten constant horrid reviews. Looking past this, Moge has a refined classic milk tea flavor and is close by in Glover Park—not to mention its buy ten get one free boba deal! 

 

3. Gong Cha

My first sips of Gong Cha truly blew me away; I thought it was the best boba I’d ever had. Since then however, my enthusiasm has died down. While their bubbles are sizable, they aren’t warm and the black milk tea has a funky aftertaste. Nevertheless, Gong Cha is a popular chain, with their taro tea and passion fruit green tea in high demand. Their bubbles have perfect chewy consistency, yet I often find there aren’t enough. Despite these drawbacks, their distinctive toppings, like pudding and tangy-fruity aloe jelly spice up an order. Although Gong Cha is not my top choice for bubble tea, it remains a favorite amongst the boba community.

 

4. Sharetea

Optimally located in the heart of Chinatown, Sharetea is perfect for enjoying at the nearby Building Museum’s swing set seats. However, similar to Gong Cha, Sharetea’s milk tea has gone downhill. What I once described as tea with the perfect sweetness and warm chewy bubbles, I now consider too milky with bubbles lacking flavor. Nonetheless, fans still love their taro and oolong teas. Sharetea’s strictly online ordering system allows your boba to be ready in a timely manner, but forgetting to place your order is a major drawback since they have no indoor seating. Although Sharetea has moved down on my list, both their DC and Germantown Instagrams follow my @bobafettreviews account, so they will always have a special place in my heart.

 

5. Momo’s Cafe

As the only non-chain on this list, Momo’s Cafe pulls its weight. Located in Palisades, this Taiwainese restaurant serves decent food and solid boba. Their Momo’s Milk Tea is too sweet for my liking, but I can still appreciate its creaminess. While there are usually never enough, their bubbles are larger than any others I’ve had, and are both soft and chewy. Another drawback is the inability to adjust sweetness and ice levels of the tea. However, if you are a fan of coconut tea, head to Momo’s and order their Hokkaido Tea, it’s a coconut-boba-loving community favorite. Momo’s Cafe is a hidden gem, pairing boba with traditionally inspired meals from the drink’s place of origin, Taiwan.