It’s the follow-up post you’ve all been (probably not) waiting for… The Great Boba War 2.0! In the chaos of daily life, it’s important to remember the small things that give us joy. For me, one of those things is sipping on a fresh bubble tea from one of Ann Arbor’s whopping seven boba chains. To celebrate this love, my friends and I created the ultimate bracket of boba chains, ranking each one for their tea flavor, boba quality, and overall experience. In order to judge fairly, we obtained one black milk tea with pearls, normal ice, 50% sugar from each store and held a series of blind taste tests. These are our findings:
Quickly – Ann Arbor’s newest boba contender was a pleasant surprise. With the opening special, we were only able to get full 100% sweetness, which made for a rich, creamy milk tea experience with heavy notes of brown sugar. The pearls were average. 6/10.
Ding Tea – Ding Tea’s 50% sweetness compared to Quickly’s 100% paled in comparison, almost tasting like nothing. Their golden pearls were chewy, a bit smaller, but mostly forgettable. 4/10.
Tea Ninja – I didn’t have high hopes for Tea Ninja and I was correct. The milk tea tasted mass produced and separated, while the pearls were flavorless. While I still enjoy a lychee slush from Tea Ninja every so often, their classic milk tea was not it. 3/10.
Sharetea – My personal campus favorite, I knew that Sharetea would be a strong bracket contender even from the beginning. During the blind taste tests, I was able to identify Sharetea’s perfectly sweet and complex milk tea flavor. The pearls were subtly sweet and chewy. Overall great experience, the best cup of the night – 9/10.
Chatime – Like an old reliable friend, Chatime’s tea flavor was strong but delicious. (One judge even called it spicy). The pearls were a bit overcooked, but Chatime delivered as expected. It was a close race between Chatime and Sharetea for the boba bracket title. 8/10.
Sweeting – I don’t know if it was an off night or something, but all the judges agreed that Sweeting’s bubble tea was unexpectedly quite atrocious that night. The milk tea tasted grassy and spoiled, while the pearls were very undercooked. No hate to Sweeting, just not our cup of tea (pun intended). -2/10.
CoCo – A North Campus favorite, CoCo’s particular milk tea was also overshadowed by Sharetea and Chatime’s excellently crafted milk tea. While a memorable milk tea and average pearls it was not as tasty. 4/10.