Boba lovers in Spokane have had it rough. Gonzaga students and Spokanites have found that it’s hard to find authentic, well-made boba tea but the newly opened Tea’s Company and Black Straw Bubble Tea are changing the narrative.
The closest, most authentic boba tea that students can find is at Tea’s Company's pop-up stand.
Tea’s Company is a unique boba business that Mindy Bach began in May. Though the company does not have a storefront, their boba tea has made its name in Spokane. Bach started selling at farmer’s markets this summer, and this fall she started selling boba on GU's campus.
“I started at farmer’s markets, and half of the people didn’t know what boba was," Bach said. "Almost all college kids and young professionals know what it is, and they appreciate it.”
Tea’s Company has been setting up right outside of College Hall along “The Wall” on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to sell its handcrafted, authentic boba tea to students walking to and from class. They will continue to sell until the end of the month and plan to start again in the spring with the addition of a boba tea truck.
“It’s on campus, and it’s so convenient," sophomore, Hannah Dang said. "The boba tea here is better than a lot of the ones I’ve had in Spokane. They did a great job with the textures and consistency.”
Tea’s Company uses fresh milk instead of powdered creamer, loose leaf tea instead of powdered flavoring and homemade simple syrup instead of premade syrups. The company prides itself in serving freshly brewed boba tea and using all-natural ingredients.
Bach moved to Spokane from the Bay Area and something was missing. The city was lacking authentic Asian cuisine, specifically boba tea. Bach quit her day job as a social worker after getting burnt out and set off for her journey in the tea industry.
“I knew we wanted to do loose leaf tea because it tastes so much better," Bach said. "My family drank a lot of tea growing up and the flavor of the tea is really important to me.”
Since Bach began her project, Tea’s Company has done remarkably well, beyond her expectations. The depth of flavor and quality of ingredients is what sets this company apart from others.
Visit their Instagram page @teascompanyspokane to stay updated on where you can find them during the week to get your boba fix.
If you are looking for authentic toppings, a variety of options and delicious tea, Black Straw Bubble Tea is the boba spot for you.
Black Straw Bubble Tea is located on 2819 N. Division St., just a five-minute drive from campus. It is open every day except Tuesday, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Zane Huang is the owner of Black Straw Bubble Tea. Huang runs this business by himself, making every drink and is looking to expand to his own storefront soon. His passion for boba tea is what makes this location so special.
“The tea is fresh," Huang said. "The boba is fresh. It’s about honest ingredients.”
Its wide array of flavors include classic house milk, jasmine, matcha, strawberry, mango, taro, oolong and many more. Black Straw Bubble Tea makes fresh brewed tea along with powdered blends. The topping selection includes tapioca boba, lychee jelly, red bean, egg pudding and popping bubbles. There are truly endless options.
The most unique part of Black Straw Bubble Tea menu is the cheese foam. It is available to top off any tea on the menu. It is made of cream cheese, whipped cream, salt and sugar. Huang, describes the tea as a little sweet and a little salty.
Huang was inspired to start a boba tea shop in Spokane because of his childhood. He grew up in China and moved to the states in 2012. Huang has always been fascinated with the infinite possibilities of flavors, styles and ingredients.
“I have lived in Asia for most of my life and I am used to drinking boba every day," Huang said. "I’ve drank boba ever since I was a little kid."
His passion, knowledge and experience for the authentic Taiwanese drink shows in his boba tea. Huang said that he sells around 100 teas a day in the variety of flavors Black Straw offers.
Check out Black Straw Bubble Tea on Instagram:@blackstraw2019 and stop by next time you have your next boba craving.
After you visit Tea’s Company and Black Straw Bubble Tea, try out some other places in Spokane. Boba Bubble, Le’s Teriyaki Restaurant, Poke Express, Vina Asian Restaurant, The Star Restaurant and Lounge and Forza Coffee Company all offer boba tea on their menu.
Go satisfy your sweet tooth, take a cute Instagram picture and enjoy some authentic Taiwanese tea.