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A Student’s Guide to Bubble Tea: Top Spots Around Campus and Metrotown

Written by Alexander College in Lifestyle, Vancouver on July 21, 2023

Have you ever tried bubble tea, also known as boba? The ‘bubble’ in ‘bubble tea’ refers to the round tapioca balls commonly seen in bubble tea.

Originating from Taiwan in the 1980s, this drink was introduced to the West in the 1990s where it gained widespread popularity around the world, especially in areas where there is a significant population of East Asians.

Since it’s humble beginnings, bubble tea has now expanded to fruit teas, slush, fresh juice, yogurt and a wide variety of toppings!

The typically sweet drink paired with unique toppings sets it apart from other popular drinks such as coffee or soda. Clear plastic cups also makes it easy to see the drink inside, making it great for photos, especially for colorful fruit teas.

baroness bubble tea

Nowadays, it’s not hard to find a bubble tea shop, or several, in Vancouver. In fact, there are at least six different bubble tea shops just around Alexander College!

AC Students Try Bubble Tea

At Alexander College, we love encouraging students to try new things—especially food and drink! In fact, we invited two of our students from Africa to try bubble tea for the first time.

From learning how to poke the straw through the plastic seal—there are actual techniques for it— to sharing their thoughts on the drinks, we documented the entire experience!

We also had the rare opportunity to take a look behind the scenes on how various types of bubble tea is made by being hands-on behind the counter of an actual bubble tea shop!

Follow along as the staff teaches Aaron how they make three different popular drinks on their menu and learn about all the tips and tricks that goes into making the perfect cup of bubble tea!

Top Bubble Tea Shops Around AC and Metrotown

With so many options around Alexander College and the Metrotown area, you may be wondering where the best place to get bubble tea is. Luckily, we got you covered!

We also previously reviewed some bubble tea shops in the area with our student creator, Andrea. Check out the video for an in-depth review of some of the drinks and read on for a list of the top bubble tea shops in the area:


Unlike other bubble tea shops that choose to specialize in their tea selection, Onezo takes a different approach and instead specializes in their pearls. Featuring over seven different types of pearls, each pairing with different types of drinks, Onezo is a great place to check out if you are craving something new.

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice

Established in 1997, CoCo is one of the biggest bubble tea brands in the world, with over 4000 stores in over 10 countries! CoCo is a jack-of-all trades type of shop, offering all kinds of teas, slushes, smoothies, and even Yakult. CoCo also offers a seasonal menu full of new and experimental flavors. It’s no wonder CoCo is popular around the world!


Like CoCo, Chatime is also a popular global brand with over 2500 stores in 38 countries. Chatime supports green initiative with their tea harvesting and has collaborated with major companies such as McDonalds and BT21! They offer seasonal drinks not typically shown on their online menu, so check out your nearest Chatime to see what they have in store!

andrea with bt21 chatime cup
Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea

As the name suggests, Yi Fang specializes in fruit teas. Yi Fang sets itself apart from its competitors by importing their all their tea from Taiwan and using a secret recipe fruit jam to sweeten some of their teas for a refreshing, natural taste. Yi Fang bubble tea is an excellent place to get a cool, refreshing fruit tea for the summer!


Presotea is the newest bubble tea store to join the Metrotown area at the time of writing. Established in 2006 in Taiwan, Presotea made its way to Canada in a mere 10 years. Unlike most other bubble tea shops, Presotea brews their tea using espresso-type machines for a fresh, rich flavor. The brand also uses seasonal, fresh fruits in their limited-time fresh fruit smoothies so make sure to try some while they are in stock!

presotea shop at metrotown

From its origins in Taiwan, bubble tea is now a popular drink that’s enjoyed all over the world, especially younger people. You can notice the impact of bubble tea in our everyday lives with the introduction of bubble tea flavored ice cream, cookies, and even protein powder!

For those who have not tried bubble tea before, we hope this convinced you to try some today!

If you’re a current student at AC who loves to try new food, contact us at and you may have a chance to be featured in a future blog and video.

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