Picture from www.lollicup.com
Every product is backed by a giant of industry. Above-the-crust snack food has Harry and David. Pasta has Barilla. Peanut butter, yogurt, and beef jerky have several contenders. Lollicup Coffee & Tea, I read on their website, is the largest Chinese bubble tea chain in the world.
I’ve always liked bubble tea. You’re likely to have seen the licorice-looking round balls (called boba) sitting at the bottom of brightly-colored drinks at your local mall, the huge plastic cups sealed tightly so nothing escapes. Lollicup has the most varied menu I’ve seen. The flavors (honey, almond, lavender, taro, lychee, and other creative and lesser-known things) undergo various configurations in order to become milk tea, snow, slush, and other delights.
I don’t have an ingredient list, but I know they have various powders that they mix with the tea to create flavor and texture. The more different each ingredient looks from the others, the more appealing your beverage becomes. Less is not better in this case. You would expect everything to taste like straight sugar a la Pixy Stix. But it doesn’t. Even better, the lavender milk tea actually tastes like lavender. That’s hard to do.
The stores are brightly colored (the one I go to is pink and green) with a smiling flower as the logo. Most of the customers are girls, specifically Chinese girls. Males very rarely buy drinks there. Today, in fact, was the first time I saw a non-Asian male with a Lollicup beverage: a bright pink slush. He was transgressive and happy.
I respect the distinctiveness, the artifice of it all. I’m sure if Andy Warhol was alive now he would frequent Lollicup and probably use the logo for art. Don’t look at the calorie content. I made that mistake. My favorite drink, Honeydew Milk Tea, has 361.4 calories in a 16 oz. serving size container. They also offer food such as Nutella crepes at some locations.
It won’t wake you up like coffee. Some variations will weigh your stomach down afterwards. But try one. Please.
Rating: 6.5 for quality of food in general, but the best milk tea I’ve ever had.
Recommended: Honey Lemon Green Tea, Lavender Milk Tea