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DODARO: Utepia's bubble tea is spot-on for tea lovers

Column: Sip it Up

Utepia offers top-notch bubble tea in a variety of flavors. – Photo by Utepia_NJ / Instagram

As I was walking in downtown New Brunswick, on George Street, I noticed a bubble tea shop off the main street called Utepia Bubble Tea and knowing my love for boba I decided to try it out. Now Utepia is a smaller-sized shop but by no means are they lacking in options and flavors. Even though there is not much space to do classwork, it is a nice place to go with friends to grab beverages and have an enjoyable chat.

Walking in, I noticed menus available to take and I browsed their options to discover they had traditional Taiwanese tea, Taiwanese milk tea, tea with milk foam, seasonal fruit tea, fruit tea slush with milk foam, seasonal passion tea, a fresh milk series, specialty drinks, flavored tea, a yogurt series and French desserts. 

While there are plenty of categories, you can also customize any drink to your liking: with temperature, bubbles, sugar level and toppings to make any option your favorite. Because there was so much to choose from, I decided to try out three separate drinks: the brown sugar milk tea, the bubble milk tea and the watermelon jasmine tea slush.

After I ordered, I sat down in anticipation awaiting the moment I could drink bubble tea yet again! And minutes later, my flight of drinks came out in a whirlwind of color. I had a hard time choosing which drink to taste first but my heart decided on the brown sugar milk tea.

Prior to poking in the straw, I recalled the barista mentioning that the brown sugar on the bottom needed to be mixed so I decided to swirl around the light-brown liquid until the drink was fully combined. The first sip after inserting the straw was an amalgamation of sweet and decadent flavor. The warm sugar taste mixed with the milk left a creamy delight in its wake.

Before I could finish the tea, I needed to try the bubble milk tea. Since this is a classic on every bubble tea shop menu, it is important to try the same type of drink at every place so I can understand the standard. 

This tea had a nice milk tea flavor but the aftertaste was a bit chalky. Although it was a bit hard to ignore, I still enjoyed the drink wholeheartedly and the bubbles were the perfect chewy texture. And no — they did not skimp out on the bubbles, so boba lovers do not have to worry about missing out on the tapioca pearls.

Moving on to the drink of the day: the watermelon jasmine tea slush. I could not put this drink down because every aspect of it melded well together with mouthwatering flavor combinations. The three layers to the drink were the jasmine tea bottom, the watermelon slush middle and the milk foam top. 

I was impressed with each palate-inducing layer: the jasmine complemented the refreshing watermelon taste and the milk foam on top added a bit of saltiness to the sweet drink. The drink was absolutely scrumptious and I am definitely ordering this when I return to Utepia.

The drink prices range from $3.50 to $5.95 but they can cost a bit more if you decide to add extra toppings. I would say that the price is justified because, depending on the drink, some are extremely filling and it would be difficult to find better bubble tea. Also, the drinks look so yummy and aesthetically pleasing so if you want pictures to post, Utepia is the spot!

Utepia is in a practical area as well and is a few minutes walking distance from the College Avenue campus, so if you want to grab food there are plenty of restaurants close by. Delivery is also an option if you are too lazy to go out and make a boba run and it is great for people who just want to sit back, relax and drink bubble tea.

All in all, if you appreciate divine drinks and amazing bubble tea, Utepia should be your next stop for beverages. There are a plethora of reasons why you should give Utepia a try: the customizable drinks, dessert items on their menu and the option for delivery or pick-up. I know that delectable drinks are always a favorite of mine so I am definitely going to keep Utepia in the queue for bubble tea and hopefully I will see you there as well!

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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