Bubble tea, also known as boba tea, has been rising in popularity across Canada. The sweet, refreshing tea-based drink, usually paired with smooth, delightfully toothsome tapioca pearls, originated in Taiwan in the 1980s.

Luckily for me, Neepawa, the community, located 76 kilometres northeast of Brandon that I call home, is also home to the best boba tea I have ever tried in the form of emotions n’ Tea food truck.

My kids, who are currently enrolled in a theatre camp at ArtsForward, my town’s arts and entertainment hub, were thrilled when I informed them upon picking them up earlier this week that we were headed to the colourful emotions n’ Tea food truck parked across the street. They’ve sampled the boba and other drinks there before, as the truck is at every event the town and its surrounding communities has to offer.

Luckily for us, there was no lineup when we arrived at the truck, which was parked next to a pet store. Joyful reggae music was playing from the truck’s speaker, and the colourful, cute illustrations that cover the vehicle put us all in a good mood.

When it came time to order, we were faced with a dizzying array of flavour and topping combinations to choose from. I’ve long been a fan of the brown sugar flavour, with its rich, caramel depths and its sweet creaminess.

However, time and time again I’ve heard from people that the taro flavour – taro is a root vegetable widely used in Africa, Oceania and Asia – is one of the absolute best. And since the drink’s trademark colour is a beautiful lavender – which happens to be my favourite colour – I figured now was the time to branch out and try something new.

I was rewarded at the first sip of the milky, sweet, totally unexpected flavour of the taro boba, complete with tapioca pearls that sailed up through my straw and into my mouth, where I savoured their texture between my teeth. The flavour is hard to put into words, though as I’m a writer I should take a stab at it. I’d have to say it’s reminiscent of sweet potato caramelized in brown sugar, but at the same time, it’s fresher than that.

My eldest child chose the chocolate chip cookie flavour boba tea with tapioca pearls and Oreo cookie crumbs underneath. Writing this food truck review was the perfect excuse to try it, and the few sips I had were all I needed to know – namely, that while I instantly loved the taro flavour boba, and brown sugar is still my favourite, next time I visit the food truck I’ll definitely be taking a page out of my 11-year-old’s book and ordering the delicious chocolate chip flavour boba. The addition of the Oreo cookie crumbles put it over the top into the realm of decadent deliciousness I usually only allow myself to enjoy a few times a year.

My eight-year-old was eager to try something new, too. He ordered the blueberry watermelon “fruitea.” Where boba is always creamy, thanks to its milky base, this pretty much tasted like a slushy – the best slushy I’ve ever had. Though it didn’t contain crushed ice like slushies do, it’s layered combination of blueberry and watermelon flavour sang across my tastebuds. No wonder my son wasn’t that keen on letting me try more than a few sips!

Other flavours that I want to try in the future include the matcha flavour, the Nutella flavour and the French vanilla flavour. New at the food truck is boba iced coffee. Although I’m not a coffee drinker, I might just have to make an exception for one of these in the near future.

My entire experience at the emotions n’ Tea food truck was a joyful one. That’s the best word I can think of to describe the friendliness of the staff, the beautifully decorated truck, the ambiance it struck with its music, and most of all, the drinks themselves. They’re so delicious that I actually had to take a break while writing this to pay the truck another visit and get another boba tea fix. If you’re in the Neepawa area, or are lucky enough to be at an event where the emotions n’ Tea truck pulls up to, do yourself a favour and take your tastebuds on a trip to a joyful, delicious place you’ll want to return to again and again.

Verdict: 5/5

By Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 18, 2023 at 09:50

This item reprinted with permission from   Brandon Sun   Brandon, Manitoba
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