If you know about it, then you already have your favorite spot. You may drive to Atlanta or you may head to Athens, but if you’re in Gainesville there’s one place that has your fix for bubble tea.
Also known as boba tea, bubble tea is the sweet, milk-and-tea drink with gummy, chewy pearls of tapioca — or boba, which is where the name comes from — filling the bottom. It’s usually served in a cup or glass with an oversized straw, so you can suck up the tapioca pearls with sips of the beverage.
If you’ve never tasted it or heard about it, you’ve at least seen it on Instagram, maybe through a photo of someone at Danny’s Donuts. That’s where you can try it out in Gainesville and Theresa Vin, an employee at the doughnut shop, said Danny’s has some of the best around.
“I drink it all the time,” Vin said. “I really do. I love it.”
Danny’s Donuts’ bubble tea
Where: 417 Main St. SW, Gainesville; 975 Dawsonville Highway #19, Gainesville
When: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day
Boba tea comes in many flavors. At Danny’s, you can get traditional fruit flavors, which tend to be the most popular: Strawberry, mango or honeydew.
Then there’s another popular option: Taro. It’s a root vegetable that has a more savory or earthy flavor, while still having a hint of sweetness with the boba at the bottom.
“It tastes good,” Vin said. “It’s kind of like a smoothie, but a different type of smoothie.”
Danny’s also has coconut and green tea flavors.
If you’re into the sweeter side of things, they can make java chip, espresso, mocha, coffee, vanilla or caramel.
Traditionally, boba tea is made with actual tea and milk. But at Danny’s, they use a powdered mix to add the flavor for simplicity’s sake. They mix that powder with milk and ice, blend it, then pour it over the tapioca pearls and top it with whipped cream.
“Everybody makes theirs a little different,” Vin said.
The traditional way to make the Taiwanese drink is to use black, green or sometimes oolong tea. That tea is then mixed with milk and flavoring in the form of syrup or honey, poured over the boba and served cold. Sometimes, a cocktail shaker is used to mix the drink, creating a beverage that’s more liquid than smoothie.
Vin said she doesn’t like most other places that make bubble tea.
“I think we have one of the best,” Vin said. “It’s a fun thing to drink … The flavor, ours is sweet and other places aren't as sweet.”
Andy Nuon, owner at Danny’s Donuts, said he saw there were no family-owned doughnut shops in the area, so he opened up his first location on Main Street in Gainesville. He also saw there was no one selling boba tea either, so with its popularity rising, he decided to add it to his menu when the Gainesville store opened.
Since then, he’s added two more shops. Another in Gainesville along with one soon to open in Oakwood. And with each new shop comes more boba tea for customers to try.
“There’s no boba tea around here,” Nuon said. “Also, it’s something new. Because a lot of customers, they’ve never had boba tea before, but when they try it, they like it.”