Think the bubble tea craze is over? Not quite yet. Yi Fang Fruit Tea — the popular chain based in Taiwan, with locations in Atlanta, New York, Toronto, London, and other cities around the world — recently opened a new outpost Seattle’s U District on the Ave, weeks after opening one in Lynnwood’s Alderwood Mall. Known best for its fruit-based boba (Eater has a handy rundown here), Yi Fang attempts to set itself apart from the pack by avoiding artificial powders and juices in its drinks, relying on house-made organic sugar and seasonal fruits for its concoctions. Among the different bubble tea options at the Seattle shops are kumquat, green plum, and aiyu jelly lemon.
While Yi Fang does have a following, these two new locations represent the chain’s first U.S. West Coast expansion outside of California — and they will have their work cut out for them. There is no shortage of bubble tea spots in Seattle, especially in the U District, with popular spots such as WOW Bubble Tea, Kung Fu Tea, Citra, and Sharetea. There’s also been some discussion on how a recent move away from plastic straws in the restaurant industry will affect bubble tea outlets. Time to see which boba rises to the top.