You are probably reading this article from 1 of 2 perspectives…. “OMG! I’m obsessed with Boba tea and can’t wait to try out BOTH B&K Tea Cafe locations” OR “What in the world is Boba tea????”
I must confess, I fell into the latter camp, which is why I was excited to sit down with co-owners Bobby Cain and Kristen Compton at their downtown Concord location, but not before I did some research, meaning I asked my 20-year-old daughter who has a mini Boba tea on her keychain. She explained the basics and I decided I needed to try it myself.
Boba tea is a tea-based drink with chewy tapioca balls that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s and has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with bubble tea chains popping up all over, including in Cabarrus County.
- Boba tea can be referenced in a lot of different ways: bubble tea, pearl tea, bubble milk tea, boba, boba fruit tea, or tapioca tea. I’ll be honest, it was confusing at first, but to make it simple, when someone says, ‘Boba tea’, they are referencing a traditionally cold-served beverage that has a tea base, a milk or fruit flavor, and edible pearls (the ‘boba’ in boba tea) inside a cup.
How Is It Made?
Check out this TikTok video they made showing how to make a matcha milk tea.
High School Classmates Bring Trendy Drinks to Hometown
I was able to talk with Bobby and Kristen at their downtown Concord location right before the grand opening of their second location in downtown Kannapolis. They shared when their love of Boba began and how they have grown their successful business in just a few short years.
- They were both born in Kannapolis and attended high school and college (UNC Chapel Hill) together. They worked at a Boba tea shop in Winston-Salem and found they “had a passion for customer service and the art of premium bubble tea.” The owners of the tea shop took them under their wing and taught them the ropes.
After graduation, they returned to Kannapolis and opened a Boba tea food truck. “We wanted to bring something cool/trendy to our hometown.” It wasn’t very long before they realized there was a need for a storefront, so they opened the downtown Concord location in May of 2022. They found that customers were grateful for a local bubble tea shop since some had been driving 30 minutes to Charlotte just to get Boba tea. Now, the pair have opened a second location in downtown Kannapolis.
“FINALLY!!! A bubble tea spot outside the Charlotte area! I stopped in early noon and was helped immediately. The shop is adorable. Not a lot going on but very inviting! I ordered the Taro milk tea. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not a bubble tea snob but I liked it and will be coming back! Concord is blessed to have a spot like this!” – Nathan C. (Yelp)
FUN FACT: Boba Tea is often sealed with a plastic film. It allows the person enjoying the drink to shake it up for maximum enjoyment. It also keeps your special bubble tea straw in place.
- Just like the popularity of bubble tea has grown, so has B&K Tea Cafe. A few reasons for their success? Bobby said, “We strive for high quality and efficiency. We also want to remain true to the history and authenticity of Boba…to keep it culturally, what it’s always been.”
They also utilize their social media well since Kristen was a communications major and Bobby majored in web development. He designed the logo, the film that goes over the Boba tea, and their website. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website to learn more.
So, what did I end up sampling? Upon the recommendation of Bobby and Kristen, I tried the Tiger Milk Tea, 25% sweetened, with tapioca “boba.” I can honestly say it was an experience! The tea was delicious and the Boba was a fun surprise each time it came through my straw. I would definitely recommend trying it. Next time, I plan to order a fruit-based bubble tea, another one of their specialties.
So, stop by B&K Tea Cafe in downtown Concord or downtown Kannapolis to enjoy a refreshing bubble tea and tell them Cabarrus Weekly sent you! And if it’s your first Boba tea because you read this article, be sure to tag us in your social media post!
Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!