First, spoonfuls of soft black jelly. Then, squiggles of sweetened condensed milk. A pour of chilled coffee. Shake, shake. A scoop of ice. Pour in the plastic cup, and top off with whipped cream.

The final product is a decidedly summer drink by Beard Papa's: the Cafe Au Lait Jelly Crush. The Japanese response to Chinese boba drinks? Perhaps. The Crush also comes in two even sweeter flavors, Caramel and Mocha Au Lait—though I can assure you the "plain" offers a sufficient sugar rush. For non-coffee drinkers, there's the curious Yogurt with Orange Jelly Crush. The black jelly is akin to that found in Chinese and Malaysian desserts, though a touch softer, and easy to suck though the colorful boba straws. I'm a firm believer that the Mango Ice Shower is still the best non-cream puff offering on the menu, but a little change is never a bad thing.


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