What makes a good bubble tea? The Alley in U/D knows!

July 20, 2022 by University District

Bubble tea or “boba” is a popular drink made of chilled tea with chewy tapioca balls and other toppings. There’s no limit to the different flavours and combinations you can try – especially at The Alley. A recent addition to U/D’s food and drink scene, The Alley is a must-try for delicious and aesthetic drinks. We stopped in for a visit to learn more about bubble tea,  the ever popular drink that comes in a variety of combinations. With so much choice the team at the U/D location gave us the rundown of what to expect and some of their favourite options worth a visit or two to try. 

So, what is bubble tea?

Bubble tea first originated in Taiwan in the 80’s, and has since become popularized around the world. The tea base can be made with black, green, or oolong tea, and can be served with or without milk (like coconut milk, condensed milk, or even powdered milk). The most common topping to add is tapioca pearls, which are made with brown sugar and starch extracted from the cassava root. You can also add flavoured jelly, custard, mung bean paste, and milk or cheese foam.

The bubble tea at The Alley is unique.

The Alley is committed to making their ingredients in-house, including their sugar cane syrup, which is made from natural, high quality sugar canes. This creates a delicate but not overpowering sweetness. They also make their tapioca pearls (which they call their “Deerioca”) from scratch, by rolling the dough into small balls. The tea leaves they use are hand-picked and roasted with other ingredients to create unique flavours.

We asked They Alley what their top recommendations were and they gave us three top selections:

For something classic, go for…

The Deerioca Fever. This is The Alley’s signature drink, with brown sugar syrup and tapioca pearls, topped off with fresh or soy milk.


If you want something flavourful, get…

The Passionfruit Green Tea. This is a refreshing summer favourite with Jasmine green tea and passionfruit puree, topped with tapioca pearls and pineapple jelly.


Something extravagant to try…

The Crunch Cocoa Milk Tea. This is part of the Crunchy Milk Tea Series (also featuring Brown Sugar and Tiramisu flavours) with a hazelnut chocolate smoothie topped with tapioca pearls and crunchy butter crisps.

Plan Your Visit to The Alley in U/D

The bubble tea scene in Calgary has been growing over the past few years, and The Alley has consistently been named one of the top spots in the city since their first location opened in China Town in 2019. Now with their new location on our Retail Main Street, you can try their unique and aesthetic drinks while enjoying their beautifully designed interior with gold halo lighting, marble tables, and a mural of their iconic deer head. If it’s a sunny day, grab your drink to go while you do some shopping, spend some time in the park, or walk the pathways around U/D.

Where to find The Alley: 3941 University Ave NW
When to visit: Every day from 12pm-11pm

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