Good to Go: Avocado-Chocolate Bubble Tea

“Wow. Wii!”

That’s what we said last time we walked into Pochi Tea Station in the University District. They always had a pile of games (the low-tech Jenga being our favorite), but now there was Wii to go along with the noise of the music videos and the crowd of mostly young Asian UWers.

Pochi’s been a popular hangout with students, who sample from the menu of crepes, toast, fried tofu, and other snacks. But we barely glance at the menu, as we’re there for the avocado-chocolate bubble tea, part of the drinks aplenty that include smoothies, juices, and teas both hot and cold – in almost every imaginable flavor.

Bubble tea? Yes, these crazy concoctions come with colorful fat straws through which you suck up huge pearls of tapioca. The tapioca must be prepared perfectly, cooked to a soft texture (with a very slight chew) that reminds kids of boobs (boba, in Chinese; vendors in Taiwan added tapioca and did other tricks to entice children to their carts for boba tea after school). If the tapioca bubbles are too mushy or hard, it’s tempting to turn them into spitballs (those straws provide great range). You just might want to fire a few away when you find out each has an estimated 15 calories.

And did we actually say avocado-chocolate? That’s a resounding YES. Snoop around the store and you’ll see that many of Pochi’s drinks don’t contain any actual fruit or tea. There’s a lot of powder action going on. One day, we asked for something real. The Pochi people poured chocolate syrup along the inside of our cup and then filled it with fresh avocado smoothie. (A former manager, Indonesian, told us the combination was big in his country.) We took one skeptical sip, stood up with a smile, and – instantly hooked – simply said “Wow-Wee.”

This posting originally appeared on Seattlest on January 28, 2008.

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