Tsaocaa brings new choices and recent substances to the Pittsburgh | bubble tea scene Drinks | Pittsburgh
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Lychee Mojito (left) and Tsaoka tea, jasmine milk tea
Tapioca tea can be consumed at any time of the year, but with Pittsburgh growing during the hottest months, sweet and colorful drinks are becoming more refreshing than ever.
Pittsburgh has a variety of tapioca tea options, some of which are tapioca tea-only and some of which are on the restaurant’s menu. Tsaocaa has just arrived and chain Chinese stores have added some unique twists to bubble tea and are greeted by the local scenery.
Tsaocaa first opened in China in 2016 and opened its first US location in Philadelphia in 2018. The Pittsburgh location opened on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill next to Everyday Noodles in June 2020. The minimalist shop window front has windows all over the wall, which give the room a great sense of openness. The soft lighting and beige interior match the aesthetics of the company throughout the store, and the menu now gives classic drinks a new, thoughtful touch.
Tapioca tea began in Taiwan in the 1980s and is traditionally made from powdered milk, while tapioca is made from fresh ingredients. Their website, which the company names Tsaocha, states that “the sanctuary of milk tea lies in the heart of the founder and the team seems to be on a pilgrimage”. The website also emphasizes that the Chinese company name includes chaocha (cháochá) morning, which means pilgrimage, and tea, the second letter for tea.
I made the pilgrimage to Tsaokar by bus and got what I ordered online. We sell various menus such as freshly brewed tea, fruit tea, milk swirls, bubble tea and (non-alcoholic) mojito, as well as desserts such as macaroons and egg waffles, which are popular in Hong Kong.
There are many customization options for drinks. You can choose the amount of ice you want or the degree of warmth if you need a warmer drink. You can also choose the degree of sweetness: 0-100% for those with a sweet tooth. We also offer a variety of toppings such as brown sugar jelly, mango bobba, crystal pearls, purple rice, and red beans.
The order was ready a few minutes before the pickup time so I didn’t have to wait after it arrived. Both of my drinks were in a plastic bag with a central partition that held the drinks upright to prevent them from spilling. That helped me when I took the bus back to my apartment. The mug itself seems to be out for regulars, and the lid has a special hole that can be easily closed again.
The first was 30% sugar and lychee mojito made from Mango Bobba. The drink was carbonated, which caused a sharp, bubbly surprise at the first bite, when lime and mint rushed through vigorously. The lychee was a little tender and complemented the sweetness and lime surprisingly well. I worried the flavors would separate and dissonant with each bite, but they stayed sweetly woven, with mint leaves, thin slices of lime, and a fun balloon gum pink that half of the two lychees were floating in. The liquid that created an unexpectedly refreshing drink.
I enjoyed the drink very much because I didn’t realize Mango Boba was gone until I returned to my apartment, but when I got closer to the bottom of the cup, Lychee made up for Boba’s shortage.
My second drink was green jasmine tea with 30% sugar and herbal jelly. At the first bite the drink was more bitter, with cheese milk bubbles on top and mixed with a slightly bitter tea. According to Eddie Zheng, owner of the Tsaocaa brand in the USA, cheese milk foam is made from cheese powder, rose sea salt and cream. Other than tea, the texture and mouthfeel felt strange, and the thickness of the cream increased unusually in the tea’s taste.
However, if you stir and mix a little, the mild sweetness of the cream will melt into the tea and the whole thing will become a smooth sweetness. The herbal jelly didn’t have a strong taste, but the texture was slightly softer than silken tofu and less harsh than Jero, which added a cool and refreshing element to the drink that complemented the milky white liquid.
While drinking tapioca tea from Tsaoka, I felt like I was back in Shanghai in the hot summer. Summers in Pittsburgh continue to be hot so I would love to try more menu options.
5871 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill
Further excursion destinations in the tapioca tea summer:
Banh Mi & Ti
4502 Butler Street, Lawrence Building
951 Liberty Ave. Unit 1B, downtown
3920 Penn Avenue, Lawrence Building
Rose tea cafe
414 S Craig St., Auckland
search for “Rose Tea Cafe (Taiwanese food)” on Facebook
Pasta every day
5875 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill
Kung fu tea
2107 Murray Avenue, Squalel Hill
5888 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill
117 Oakland Ave., Oakland
229 Atwood St., Oakland
3800 Forbes Avenue, Oakland; 300 S. Craig St., Oakland
Tsaocaa brings new options and fresh ingredients to the bubble tea scene in Pittsburgh | Drinks | Pittsburgh
Source link Tsaocaa brings new options and fresh ingredients to the bubble tea scene in Pittsburgh | Drinks | Pittsburgh