Columbia Confession: Blowing Bubbles Into Tea Just Isn’t the Same as Drinking Bubble Tea


MY KITCHEN—For all you Gong Cha simps out there, this one’s gonna hit a little different. This morning, I woke up in my typical boba-less stupor, craving that silky, slimy, salacious feeling of tapioca pearls bathing amidst a crisp lychee tea in that moist, cavernous tasting pit I call my mouth. In fact, the only true purpose of my mouth is to fellate those girthy straws to feed that sweet, sweet boba into my system. It’s been 15 weeks without my cherished Gong Cha Tea, and I think the withdrawal symptoms are in full effect. The rivers of boba have run dry, and visions of tapioca pearls have been dancing in my head. What is happening to me?

Scouring the depths of my kitchen cabinets, I almost found a solution. I boiled a mango, poured the water into my favorite mug and covered it with Saran Wrap. Then I stabbed a straw through its center and blew bubbles for 15 minutes. I knew it wasn’t the real thing, but I could call it “bubble tea.” I closed my eyes and took a sip. The tapioca pearls were conspicuous in their absence, and I was struck by a pang of phantom pain. The straw was too skinny. “Gong Cha” wasn’t written on the side of my mug. What the fuck am I doing?, I thought to myself. This wasn’t the real thing. I poured out the mango water, ate the soggy, hot mango, went back to bed, and thought about what I had done. For any other Gong Cha fiends out there, be warned: blowing bubbles into tea isn’t the same as drinking bubble tea. Not even fucking close. But it’s better than that straight sewage they’re brewing at Café East.