Boba tea (aka bubble tea aka wet balls tea) still has yet to explode in the Tampa Bay area. The USF area is ground zero for Tampa boba, but as you radiate out from there the offerings seem to dwindle. Sure, if you look hard enough, you’ll find there are spots here and there ready to get you your fix – unlicensed, back alley tea vendors peddle their low-quality boba by the street name “dirty pebbles”. And you can always try to make it yourself, assuming you have access to a chemistry teacher recently diagnosed with cancer and a family to look after. But if you really want the good stuff, you gotta go to a legit business. And Naga Tea is ready to deliver.
Found in Temple Terrace, in the same little plaza as Sawatdee Thai, the sad but consistent Five Star Pizza, and the awesome Armada Games, Naga Tea is a relative newcomer to the Tampa Bay boba tea scene, but that doesn’t mean their offerings are any lesser than their peers. Straight out of the gate, Naga Tea is making quality tea with excellent boba, and provides guests with wifi and a comfortable atmosphere to work, play games, and generally enjoy themselves.
Naga Tea’s difference is freshly brewed tea, sweetened to the percentage of your choosing. With classic teas, herbal teas, fruit teas, and milk teas all served either hot or cold, Naga Tea effectively runs the gamut of tea styles, but is still able to provide a traditional milk tea that many have come to associate with boba. This lands them somewhere between Kaleisia Tea and Got Tea? – a best of both worlds.
Their take on the traditional Taiwanese boba milk tea, the Naga Milk Tea, is a light, creamy, ever-so-slightly bitter tea, perfectly brewed with a wide, beautiful flavor. Sweetened at 75%, this wound up being some of the best milk tea I have ever had. Accompanied by a bevy of boba, the Naga Milk Tea is the perfect drink. Naga Tea’s boba was good, exceptionally sweet itself, though generally a bit less firm than I am used to (and I did happen to find one hard, starchy, somewhat under-cooked boba in the bunch). Generally speaking though, it was a perfect match for the tea.
The shop was founded by a USF alumnus and a current USF student, following a trip to Taiwan that inspired them to open a traditional Taiwanese tea lounge in Tampa. As a result, Naga Tea is growing a nice community of its own, embracing their proximity to the university and participating in as well as sponsoring University of South Florida events. So if you’re near the Temple Terrace area and looking for a more traditional take on boba tea, or just a comfortable environment, look no further than Naga Tea.