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Friday, December 5, 2014

[Minneapolis] The Tea Garden - Bubble tea, boba (UMN Campus, Mall of America, Uptown)

Avocado Shake with Pearls
 

The Tea Garden is a local tea shop in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are three locations: University of Minnesota (Stadium Village), Mall of America, and Uptown Minneapolis. It specializes in bubble tea, shakes, bulk tea, and vegan snacks.
 
I love bubble tea. I really started drinking it a lot as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis at The Tea Garden.


As a bit of an aside, I started going to UMN before there were a ton of options for bubble tea. The bubble tea wave had not quite hit Minnesota yet. The Tea Garden came in and kind of cornered the bubble tea market before there was Chatime and the Publika Coffee in Dinkytown.
 
What I think it pretty unique about The Tea Garden is that they use non-dairy creamer instead of milk or other products. This is great for me because I'm lactose sensitive. For vegans, you can substitute the creamer for soy creamer.
 
The most popular drink is the royal milk tea and it is made from a combination of black and red teas and brown sugar.
 
Most of their loose teas are imported from Taiwan and other sources and can be made into hot or cold beverages and consumed in the store.
 
In addition to pots of tea, they offer various forms of drinks and also some signature drinks, like the whole fruit shake I got made with avocado ($4.65, pictured above).
 
Their Thai Tea Latte ($3.25) is also quite good.
 
My friend introduced me to the avocado shake with pearls and I am forever going to thank/hate her for it. It's made with real avocados and is quite filling. It is creamy and sweet, but not too sweet. It is also not super cold, so it's great even in the middle of Minnesota winter. With all of the
 
If I don't feel like eating a meal in a cup, I usually go for a passion fruit ice tea with strawberry jelly, minus the ice. So GOOD.
 
The hot lavender black tea latte ($3.55) is also a favorite of mine during the winter.
 
There is free wifi and ample power outlets at the campus location, making it a great study place. The music and people can get loud at times, but it's manageable. I don't know if they still do this, but when I was an undergrad, they hosted DJ nights on Saturday nights. My friends and I always managed to forget about DJ night and always went and couldn't study at all (we were science/engineering nerds who took far too many classes).
 
Publika Coffee in Dinkytown is another option on campus for bubble tea, they serve Chatime. It is really interesting to m that the populations who frequent The Tea Garden and Publika are so different. The Tea Garden tends to be full of more Asian students where as Publika tends to have a lot more White, hipster students and sorority girls.
 
Discount/Loyalty Card:
Uses Belly Rewards
Two-stamp Tuesdays
 
Location:
UMN Campus: 825 Washington Ave. SE; Green Line to East Bank Station or Stadium Village, located right next to Campus Pizza and across from the Walgreens
 
Mall of America: Located on the 3rd floor, across from Nordstrom (limited seating)
 
Uptown: 2601 Hennepin Ave S; Southeast corner of Hennepin Ave S. and W 26th Street
 
Grand Ave, St. Paul: 1692 Grand Ave

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