Arts and Entertainment

The Juice On Jupioca

So, here’s the (bubble) tea on what might become one of Stuy’s new fave foodie areas.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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By Megan Huang

A breakaway from the typical morning breakfast cart coffee haul is sweeping over Stuyvesant. Milky boba drinks are replacing iced coffee as the typical student vice. This is no spontaneous eruption of crazed love for bubble tea. It’s simply that the bubble tea chain Jupioca has opened up a shop conveniently along most Stuy students’ morning commutes.

The store opens at 8 a.m. during the week. Having first period free, I made the spontaneous decision to enter Jupioca one morning on my way to school. Waltzing in through the door meant immediately being greeted by dozens of drink options displayed upon screens overhead. Jupioca is primarily a juice bar, and the array of smoothies and fruit and vegetable juices listed have eccentric names. I was almost tempted to dish out $6 to $7 for an “Eye-Opener Juice,” half-convinced that the puree of apple and carrots would cure my fatigue and nearsightedness.

Instead, I paid about $5 for a real breakfast of champions: a large taro bubble tea. Taro is the default flavor I resort to when I’m indecisive, and Jupioca is definitely not for the indecisive; while there are fewer bubble tea options than there are other juice options, even the bubble tea comes in a variety of fun flavors (Honey-Kumquat, anyone?). The drink was as it should be, with sweetness, ice, and flavor balanced to the orderer’s preferences. The tapioca was delightfully chewy and not rock-solid. I was able to enjoy the drink seated at one of the yellow swivel chairs toward the front of the place, using the wooden countertop to check over an assignment for the last time.

Later that afternoon, I returned with a friend. We were both rather hungry, and fortunately enough, Jupioca also happens to sell food items. Bowls of featured poke tend to cost around $12, but we were interested in trying an acai bowl at roughly the same price. I was drawn to the novelty of the Blue Mermaid Bowl, so we split an order of the creamy light sapphire mix containing blue majik—the sea algae powder that gives the bowl its pretty hue—pineapple, banana, coconut, bee pollen, chia seeds, shredded coconut, and granola. It’s a refreshing dish that definitely hits the palate with a lovely ratio of different textures and distinct sweet flavors, but even after considering the tendency of Manhattan locations to inflate prices, I don’t think I would buy food from here often due to the cost.

It may be tempting to compare Jupioca with the Kung Fu Tea that’s only a block or two away, but I believe that such a comparison would be unfair. Both locations do sell bubble tea, but Kung Fu Tea specializes in the sale of the drink, while Jupioca leans its marketing more towards fruit juices. Kung Fu Tea also doesn’t sell food, even if that specific location near Stuy just so happens to have a separate business within the same room selling Eggloo waffles. However, I do recommend that die-hard Kung Fu Tea fans pay a visit to Jupioca and try a fun flavor (or five).