Teahouse Tapioca and Tea's first opening day was a bit chaotic. The locale was Kaohsiung, in Southern Taiwan, and the owners hadn't figured out how much a cup of tea should cost. But they had decided they would treat their customers like family. To their surprise and delight, their customers reciprocated that sentiment, and those first tea drinkers returned the favor by keeping the owners informed of current trends, helping the teahouse develop their signature green tea with tapioca. The drink proved immensely popular, and eight years after opening, the owners expanded internationally.
Today, Teahouse Tapioca and Tea has five locations throughout Houston to serve its traditional cream tea. The drink's essential ingredients are tapioca balls, which are infused with dark brown sugar and caramel to make them chocolatey brown and extra flavorful. The drink isn't for everyone, but if you aren't pleased with its taste, you can exchange it for one of the teahouse's espresso drinks or juice.
Solo Cakes & Cookies Cafe whips up batches of moist cupcakes and healthy soy cookies daily in addition to concocting wedding-day confections. A rotating menu of cupcake flavors includes classic standbys such as chocolate and vanilla, which sweetly complement cups of coffee. Staffers also eagerly accept the challenge of a custom order, adorning cake tops with intricate flowers and swirling frosting latticework. Customers surf free WiFi for recipe ideas or food-fight videos while bakers work, and Solo Cakes & Cookies Cafe serves Ethiopian breakfast noshes alongside a smorgasbord of sweets, which can be devoured atop square tables located indoors or streetside.
In a cozy space awash in bright lights and leaf-green décor, Royal Tea Café serves quick Vietnamese dishes and drinks. Their namesake specialty, cool bubble teas, float chewy boba pearls in flavored green or black cream teas, and hide the tapioca bubbles beneath lychee- or mango-flavored slushes. Hot savory dishes provide a pleasant contrast to the chilly drinks or leisurely strolls in the Arctic: Banh mi nestles char-grilled pork or chicken into a baguette with cilantro and quick-pickled veggies, while vermicelli noodles delicately entwine char-grilled beef or veggies.
Beer, wine, coffee... and candles. This may seem like an odd combination, but at MV Diy Cafe, the blend somehow works. Perhaps it's because each carries a distinct aroma?the scents of beer, wine, and coffee emanate from the bar, and those of aromatherapy candles and carefully crafted soaps from the shelves. The aromatherapy candles are a mix of pure essential oils and soy wax (the same as soy candles). And the soaps are made of high-quality vegetable oil, clay, natural herbs, and other ingredients as eco-friendly as recycling bins made of recycled trash cans. All of the business' products are hand-made with fine oil and herbs without preservatives.
MV Diy Cafe other signature product, hand-carved candles, catch the eye rather than the nose. They pay homage to different holidays and occasions with wax sculptures, such as a Christmas tree, a shell-adorned sand castle, and a tower crawling with spiders.
Every delicate, pastel-colored dessert at addicTEA Cafe looks as if it should be a centerpiece at an elegant tea party. That's because the staff specializes in piping frosting into realistic floral designs in shades of mauve, lavender, and ombre shades of pink and crimson. And although their macarons lack exterior frosting, the bright colors of their lemon kumquat, green tea, and blueberry varieties fit right in between cakes. Since no tea party would be complete without tea or someone munching on dishware, staff also create unique drinks. They add a slight tang to iced green teas with a pinch of sea salt, and incorporate jiggly squares of coffee gelatin into chocolate icy milks. For a creamier drink, they also make iced tea in the Thai style with a splash of sweetened condensed milk.
In 2008, four sisters started Bambu Desserts & Drinks as a hobby. Today, the San Jose?born brand has established a major presence in the Bay Area, and has expanded to other states including Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas. Bambu?s success can be traced to the quality of its treats, as well as its variety: the menu is packed with about 100 Asian-inspired desserts and beverages. Tapioca balls float in their milk teas, which range in flavor from lychee to coconut to jasmine, and their dessert drinks combine such intriguing ingredients as coconut, pandan jelly, longan, basil seed?which form the Bambu special. Various hot and cold coffee drinks, such as Vietnamese coffee, caf? mochas, and lattes, put a spring in guests' step?more convenient than filling your shoes with jumping beans. The staffers also concoct blended coffees and smoothies, which come in flavors including strawberry, coconut, papaya, and avocado