My boba and bubble tea cravings intensify during the summer months, when I'd gladly pass up my morning chocolate muffin for a cup of cold boba tea. Green milk tea or black sesame are the usual orders at my neighborhood tea shop, Saint's Alp. But when at Ten Ren in Chinatown, it's the ginseng-honey drink I find myself ordering time after time. They go light on honey and heavy on the ginseng, making for a barely sweetened herbal, almost bitter drink.

Those unfamiliar with the medicinal flavor of ginseng won't find it immediately pleasant, but the flavor grows on one with time. Have it hot in the winter, and iced during the summer; it's utterly refreshing, if nothing else. The boba, which comes in very generous portions, leans on the firmer, chewier side. For those who prefer "softer" boba, stick with Saint's Alp.

Ten Ren's Tea Time

79 Mott Street, New York NY 10013 (map)


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