Quest for Flavors: I went on a hunt for Wichita's best boba

By: Brenden Schwartz, Staff Writer

Boba has become the next big thing, and I’m not talking about the bounty hunter in “The Mandalorian.”

Boba is slang for bubble tea, and it’s exploding all over Wichita. (Well, only if you order the popping kind.)

For those who don’t know, boba originated from Taiwan and is traditionally a tea drink accompanied by chewy tapioca balls.

Talia Powers, a junior at Newman, said she is a fan.

“I really like when it has that balance of sweetness and a good chewiness.”

Now, I’m no connoisseur of boba beverages, but I’m a fan and know what delicious drinks taste like.

Since there are so many boba options in Wichita, allow me to be your guide on this journey: Welcome to Boba with Brenden.

Feng Cha, 8007 E. Kellogg: This shop recently had its soft opening, so I investigated to test its mettle. Even though it hasn’t had its grand opening yet, the shop was already swarming with people. I ordered the Crème Brulee Dirty Boba, and it was on fire. The creamy sweet coffee flavors are exactly what I’m looking for in a dessert drink, and the soft chewy boba paired with the crunch of the crème brulee topping adds a great texture. I also got the strawberry sunrise, which is great if you’re looking for a healthy refreshing beverage.

Yokohama: Another personal favorite of mine comes from sister ramen restaurants Yokohama Ramen Joint (613 W. Douglas) and Yokohama Ramen Izakaya (6434 E. Central). They are primarily ramen restaurants but both also serve boba. The chef’s choice and my choice is the tropical milk berry cocktail. That’s right, cocktail. At Yokohama, you can get alcoholic boba. The milky drink is a great balance of sweetness and fun. The berry flavors combined with the Parrot Bay Coconut Rum the shops use create an amazing island flavor on top of a bed of boba.

Sweet Pops, 550 N. Rock Road: Another good boba choice is Sweet Pops. I enjoy their thai milk tea. Sophomore Catherine Madison said it’s the best boba in town and likes that its menu is simple and not overwhelming like at some other boba places. She said she also enjoys that they serve shaved ice. Her favorite boba option at Sweet Pops is the passionfruit or guava fruit teas.

“Too many options stress me out!” she said.

Kung Fu Tea, 1625 S. Rock Road: Senior Daniel Knolla and I are fond of Kung Fu Tea. Our favorite beverage there is the sunshine pineapple tea.

Some other boba stores worth checking out in Wichita are Boba Zone (2240 N. Rock Road) and Leaf Teahouse (1912 E. Pawnee St).

Sadly, every place mentioned is on the east side of town. The west side of Wichita doesn’t have many boba options. Magic Boba Tea (2610 S. Seneca St) is on the west side, but no one seems to know about them. They offer a variety of milk and fruit boba teas. Boba is typically a more expensive treat, but Magic Boba Tea sells their tea at a more reasonable price.

Keep an eye open for Joy Tea (11414 E. Central Ave), which will be having its grand opening on Monday. Also, Sweet Pops is planning on opening a location on the west side of town sometime soon.

PHOTO: Brenden Schwartz, Staff Writer