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DODARO: Gong Cha should be your go-to

Column: Sip It Up

If you have not already, pay a visit to the New Brunswick Gong Cha.  – Photo by Olivia Thiel

Continuing my hunt for refreshing drinks, the next stop I had to check out after Simply Chai was downtown New Brunswick’s Gong Cha. Bubble tea has to be one of my favorite drink categories so this had to be my second drink stop in New Brunswick. While there is not much room to sit and study, if you can catch some nice weather, the outdoor seating was pleasant and spacious, but as it gets cooler I would stick to getting drinks on-the-go. 

As I walked in, I was met with a line which signaled to me that people enjoyed the drinks at Gong Cha. I will admit, the wait was a tad long, but it was definitely worth the wait. The menu included a milk foam series, a milk tea series, a slush series, a coconut series, a sparkling series and a creative series. If you are into classic tea or coffee, do not worry — they have options for that as well.

If you are somebody that loves to customize beverages to fit your standards, Gong Cha does have an adjustable sugar and ice level scale. Plus they have every topping imaginable: coconut jelly, red bean, milk foam and so much more!

There were numerous options, which made me have a difficult time choosing what to drink. The barista was extremely friendly and helpful in picking out a drink. Alas, for all of the boba lovers, you can add as much or as little to fit your preference.

Perusing the menu got me to settle on three separate drinks: an iced coffee milk tea, an iced milk foam dirty brown sugar milk tea and an iced lemon ai-yu white pearl. After the long wait, I rushed up to grab my drinks. That first sip feeling was different with each and every drink.

Starting off with the coffee milk tea, I treasured the subtle coffee taste which was complemented with the light amount of sugar and creamy milk. There were notes of earl grey from the tea portion of the beverage as well. While this was my least favorite drink, for the caffeine lovers out there, this is definitely a treat as it combines two classic drinks, tea and coffee!

Finishing the coffee milk tea, I then moved on to the iced lemon ai-yu white pearl. The lemon flavored tea with the ai-yu jelly was a dreamchild of flavor. Some of the jelly chunks were more firm while others were on the squishy side but they all had a yummy intense lemon flavor. This is the perfect drink to have on a hot day, so when the weather is warmer, I definitely recommend ordering it.

Moving on to the most delectable drink of the visit, the iced milk foam dirty brown sugar milk tea was absolutely mouthwatering. It had a caramel waffle taste with a creamy milk foam topping. The pearls were the perfect consistency, as well — not too chewy and not too firm. This pairing made a tasty treat and if you have a sweet tooth, I totally recommend ordering it.

The entire consumption experience was $6 per drink, and I would say it is totally worth the price. I will comment that it is more cost-effective to get a large size for $1 more, so unless you are sharing with someone, go for the larger size. Also, the drinks are aesthetically pleasing, so if you want a pretty-looking beverage to post about on social media, make sure to check out Gong Cha!

Another convenient aspect of Gong Cha is the location. Since it is in downtown New Brunswick on George Street, it is a brisk walk from the center of the College Avenue campus. The area is a pleasant place for a date if you want a choice of food to pair with bubble tea. Also, if you are someone who appreciates delivery, then do not hesitate to order Gong Cha’s bubble tea straight to your residence hall or house. I know I definitely will!

Altogether, if you are a fan of bubble tea or just amazing drinks in general, Gong Cha’s beverages are some of the best. From the charming outdoor seating to the delivery option, Gong Cha really is a place for all bubble tea fans. If you are looking for high-quality drinks on-the-go to take to a study session or just a tasty treat during the day make sure to stop by Gong Cha.

Francesca Dodaro is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in English. Her column, "Sip it Up," runs on alternate Tuesdays.

*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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