Bubble Tea Shops Review


Photo by Angie Cotton

Milkcow’s brown sugar bubble milk tea.

Angie Cotton and Maya Mitckess

Strawberry green tea with boba from Bearology. (Photo by Maya Mitckess)
“Umbrella tea” from Umbrella Tea House. (Photo by Maya Mitckess)
Milkcow’s brown sugar bubble milk tea. (Photo by Angie Cotton)
Boba milk tea from Liquid Fusion. (Photo by Angie Cotton)
Bubble Tea Lab’s boba tea. (Photo by Angie Cotton)

Liquid Fusion

    This franchise’s Lincolnshire location is truly an LFA staple. If you’ve never been here, then I’m not sure what you’ve been doing at LFA this entire time. They have a reasonable price range, and they tend to not be busy early on in the day; however, it looks like a completely different place at night with people lining up outside. Their regular sized cups are actually pretty big so you get your money’s worth. I ordered a fruit freeze with cherry, kiwi, and banana, and it is by far one of the best fruit concoctions I have tried in my life. It’s not artificially flavored so it feels like you’re putting nutritious stuff into your body. I got mine with tapioca, which was a really nice addition to it. 5/5



    Located in Vernon Hills, Milkcow offers a variety of fruity teas and milk teas, as well as macaroons and soft serve (both of which I highly recommend). They are usually not busy, and the average wait for your order is about two minutes, or you can also place an order ahead. I ordered their Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea, and although their regular size is pretty small for the price, the drink makes up for it. It is the perfect combination of cold refreshing milk tea with freshly cooked brown sugar boba. While this beverage may be overly-sweet for some, it is rich in flavor. For a $6 drink, it is entirely worth it. 4.5/5


Umbrella Tea House

    Established in Schaumburg, Popping boba flavors were plentiful on the menu and made pairings to be a long list of choices. I got the “umbrella fruit tea” (a jasmine mixed fruit tea) and lychee popping boba that paired deliciously together with the jasmine tea flavor sticking out, and the lychee boba adding the extra sweetness it needed. The fruit and tea mix was just right. If you like your boba tea to have a strong tea flavor and if you want plenty of boba tea to choose from at reasonable prices, then Umbrella Tea House is a place you need to go. 5/5



    Located in Schaumburg, their commitment to sustainability is commendable as they put their drinks in glass jars and give 10% off to those who bring their jars back. I ordered a strawberry green tea with tapioca; the tea was a nice mix of fruit and tea, but the boba was a little too chewy. The amount of ice and sweetness was customizable at their smart kiosks. Their only fault was their pricing being high as $7-8. With a diverse menu, Bearology has something for everyone if you have the money for it. 4/5


Bubble Tea Lab

    This compact establishment in Libertyville offers extremely quick service, and it’s normally not busy. I ordered their brown sugar boba milk tea, and it seemed pretty fit for the price. For around $4-5, this drink is what you’d expect from it: it’s not overwhelmingly sweet, the boba texture is pretty average. It’s not chewy but not quite a snap of a bite either. The milk tea was a little too close to room-temperature for my liking. Also, their sealing lids on their cups rips easily, as I brutally had to learn while I was in my car and spilled it all over myself. 3.5/5