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DODARO: Great drinks only one simple drive away at Cafe Zio in Edison

Column: Sip it Up

Cafe Zio in Edison offers diverse drinks and an inviting atmosphere. – Photo by Henry Wang

Since bubble tea is among my favorite drinks, I had to kick off the spring semester with a visit to Cafe Zio. Now, this bubble tea shop is a bit of a trek from the College Avenue campus, but since it is merely a 10-minute drive, I decided to take a drive for a taste of excellence from this hole-in-the-wall cafe.

Getting into the review, it is important to understand the size of Cafe Zio. Because the cafe is tiny, there is no room for anything other than ordering. After I placed my order, I was told to wait in my car so that they could bring it to me upon completion.

I do not know about you, but I do appreciate the curbside aspect and limited contact with employees since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still a problem that plagues our everyday lives.

While the cafe has little room for decoration, I loved the various Lego sets lining the wall, which gave the experience a childlike feel to it.

Following my admiration for the Legos, I pursued the menu and noticed oodles of options awaiting my judgment. I will admit that I was a little overwhelmed and confused by the menu since it was a bit cluttered, but I appreciated how there was not only bubble tea but also coffee, smoothies, ice cream and street waffles, as well.

Glossing over the choices, I settled on three options: classic milk bubble tea, the Purple Potion smoothie with vanilla ice cream and a cookies-and-cream slush with bubbles. I figured it would be wise to taste diverse drinks with various flavors to get a feel for the cafe’s quality among its different categories. After my decision, I retreated to my car, dreading the time between me and my guilty pleasure.

Cradled by the warmth from my car’s heating system, I heard a knock on my window signaling that the wait was finally over! The service was a tad slow, but after I had a sip of each drink, I could not possibly deny how worth the wait was.

Because milk bubble tea is my baseline for quality at every bubble tea shop, this was the choice for that first gulp feeling. I could not have been more delighted to encounter a bitter black tea sweetened to perfection by the concoction of sweetener.

The nutty, earthy flavor was accentuated by the milk, and the bubbles added that extra bit of work and texture to an already amazing drink. I have to disclaim that this milk bubble tea was the best one I have tried to date, and until it can be topped, I will enjoy it to my heart’s content.

Coming down from my high, blessed by the milk bubble tea, I went in for a sip of the Purple Potion smoothie. Now I was not sure if another drink would taint my view of Cafe Zio since the milk bubble tea set the elevated standard, but this smoothie did not disappoint.

Its raspberry flavor went perfectly with the vanilla ice cream, but I could see it going well with other flavors of your choice. The texture was a bit grainy due to the seeds, but that is a minor problem amid tasty excellence.

Completing the experience, I dove into the cookies-and-cream slush with bubbles, and once again, I could not find anything to complain about. The slush was a decadent delight that did the cookies-and-cream flavor justice. If you love chocolatey sweetness, this should be your top priority for the new year.

One of the coolest parts about Cafe Zio's drinks is their competitive prices. With drinks from approximately $1.95 to $4.95, I think anyone could find something in their budget when they get the craving for delicious drinks without spending too pretty of a penny.

Besides price, another aspect of Cafe Zio that is much appreciated is the delivery option since you do have to drive from the College Avenue campus to try its delicious treats. As of right now, online ordering is temporarily disabled, but once delivery is up and running again, I am going to make sure to ship it right over to my residence hall.

Adding up all of its qualities, Cafe Zio really does have it all! With phenomenal drinks for an affordable price, you cannot wish for more. Plus, once the option is available again, delivery will make your perfect drink just a click away. The only con is the distance from campus, but it is a small price to pay for the quality, so I say give Cafe Zio a chance and order away!

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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