Jasmine Sina and Allen Zhang have fulfilled their dream of owning a bubble tea bar as they gently open their cafe Bobo tea at the corner of George Street and Charlotte Street on Tuesday.

Allen Zhang (left) and Jasmine Sina (right) have created their own menu for their bubble tea which includes ingredients such as condensed milk, cheese foam and aloe vera jelly in their various drinks . Photo by David Tuan Bui.

The popular Taiwanese drink usually consists of flavored green or black tea usually with fluffy tapioca balls (which act as “bubbles”) and may include milk. Other popular toppings include popping boba (syrup or juice coated spheres), jelly, or fruit.

Customers can adjust the sugar and ice levels to their bubble tea as the drink boasts of being a healthier alternative to other sugary drinks.

“We wanted to use lots of fresh fruit to make it healthier,” Sina said. “People want to control their weight and want a healthier drink so they can drink it every day.”

Zhang and Sina thought about opening a bubble tea shop last summer and started looking for a property to open a shop in January.

They chose Peterborough because it was a big city in the Kawarthas with a potentially large untapped market for bubble tea according to Zhang. Hailing from Toronto, he and Sina thought opening a store in Peterborough would help people get to grips with the famous drink.

“Bubble tea is already popular in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA),” he said. “Most people (here) I think still don’t know what bubble tea is.”

The pandemic created several hurdles for the couple, but they persevered to keep their shop running. The owners anticipate that a shipment of decorations will arrive shortly before their grand opening on an undisclosed date.

“Of course it’s very exciting, we did it,” Zhang said. “During the renovation period, all supplies were short and inspections were overdue.”

Zhang got the idea to open a store last summer while visiting a friend who was a student at Trent University.

“There aren’t many Chinese restaurants here, so he always went to Toronto just for the bubble tea,” he said. “It was the first idea that told me that I should start researching and planning to open a store in Peterborough.”

The cafe is offering 20% ​​off all of its drinks during the soft launch until their grand opening.

“All the people came in with comments, we made the right choice to have it here and I think people love our drinks, so I’m happy to see people leaving with happy faces holding our drinks,” Zhang said.