5 Tea Shops to Get Your Boba Fix in the Magic City

Picture of boba tea sealed cups with a funny face design
Bubble tea makes me smile like that too. Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

With the weather getting cooler, hot tea might be on your mind. But with ThirsTea’s new fall flavors, it’s hard to give up boba tea! Boba tea, or bubble tea, is a popular Taiwanese street drink that’s found a home here in Birmingham too. You can get a black tea with milk, a fruit based tea, or a smoothie or slush with boba. Boba is either tapioca pearls (pairs best with milk tea) or bursting boba, which are pearls of fruit juice the burst when you bite them. There are so many different ways to enjoy bubble tea! Check out these five Birmingham based boba shops to find the best one for you:

ThirsTea Cafe

ThirsTea's Pumpkin Patch milk tea and passionfruit tea
Pumpkin Patch with boba and passionfruit with tutti frutti boba! Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Birmingham wouldn’t have bubble tea without ThirsTea. In the same way Piper & Leaf is the spot for tea, ThirsTea is the spot for boba tea. You can get milk tea, fruit tea, coffee, slushes, or smoothies with tapioca boba, bursting boba, or jellies! ThirsTea serves food too, like customizable grilled cheeses and poke bowls. They also partner with BTS Magic City to throw BTS parties. This little shop has so much to offer!

ThirsTea's menu
Offering a full menu plus fall specials! Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Where: 170 Inverness Plaza, Birmingham, AL 35242

Hours: M-Th 11 a.m.-8 p.m., F-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 12-8 p.m.

Right now ThirsTea has fall flavors out, like Pumpkin Patch (pumpkin, cinnamon), Boo Brew (vanilla, white chocolate, cinnamon), and Witches Cauldron (Thai and caramel). Make sure to get it before it’s gone!

Kokee Tea

Photo of a collection of different Kokee bubble teas
So much boba tea, so little time. Photo vie Kokee Facebook

“Hug in a cup” is this bubble tea shop’s mantra. Located inside the Galleria, Kokee is worth the trip! This chain’s location is almost a year old here in Birmingham. Kokee offers fruit teas, milk teas, and blended ice drinks. They offer different jellies and bursting boba. If you like to doodle as well, they might display a few of them around the shop too!

Inside of Kokee Tea shop
Pretty impressive setup inside the Galleria. Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Where: 2000 Galleria Cir, Birmingham, AL 35244

Hours: M-Sat 12-6:45 p.m., Sun 12-5:45 p.m.

They have many great flavors. Not only can you get the classics like lychee or rose, but you can also get cheese crema tea. This is a tea topped with a cream cheese foam!

YoYo Donuts, ETC.

Inside of YoYo Donuts
YoYo has a little bit of everything! Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Like many spots in this article, YoYo Donuts has a lot to offer. As you can tell from the name—yes, they sell donuts. Yet there is just as much emphasis on the “Etc.” They also offer wings, tacos, coffee, and bubble tea. A jack of all trades! You can get milk tea with tapioca pearls here to go with your donut.

YoYo Donuts promoting their milk tea
A sample of YoYo’s milk teas. Photo via YoYo Donuts Facebook

Where: 1919 28th Ave S, Homewood, AL 35209

Hours: M-Sat 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

You can’t go wrong with a matcha milk tea, but try their signature YoYo milk tea!

Pho Sizzle

Inside dinning area of Pho Sizzle
Pho Sizzle is spacious for social distancing. Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

While mainly a Vietnamese restaurant, bubble tea is in their tag line! Pho Sizzle serves pho, rice noodles, and a small selection of Thai dishes. They also offer rolled ice cream and different types of bubble tea. What is interesting about Pho Sizzle is some of the flavors they offer. Their tea selection is pretty standard. But you can get a durian bubble smoothie, which is pretty unique for the area!

Outside store front of Pho Sizzle
You can smell how good it is from out here! Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Where: 5880 Trussville Crossing Blvd #100, Birmingham, AL 35235

Hours: T-Th 11 a.m.-9 p.m., F-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

If you’re not a fan of durian, they also offer other refreshing flavors, pomegranate, peach, and honeydew!

Piper & Leaf

Piper & Leaf's boba tea
Boba makes a great addition to Piper & Lead. Photo via Piper & Leaf Facebook

Piper & Leaf is known for their great selection of teas and tisanes. But did you know that you could get boba too? Piper & Leaf offer a few different ways to customize your drinks. And their addition of tapioca balls gets them a spot in this article! With everything customizable down to the sweetness, it’s hard to make a drink you won’t like.

The Pizitz building
Piper & Leaf is located inside! Photo via Pizitz Facebook

Where: 1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Hours: M-Th 11 a.m.-6 p.m., F-Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sweetie Pie Chai boba makes for a sweet fall treat that matches this weather. But any of their black tea blends will pair well with the tapioca balls!

What’s your favorite spot to grab bubble tea? Let us know @bhamnow!


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