Watermelon Bubble Tea at Sonny’s Frozen Desserts

Watermelon bubble tea with mango popping boba,
from Sonny’s Frozen Desserts, Cedar Grove, NJ

My watermelon bubble tea was a refreshing treat and a welcome reward after running a lot of errands in a hot car.

After receiving my second Covid shot — hurray! — picking up a CD of an X ray and buying a few groceries, I was ready for some liquid refreshment and stopped at Sonny’s Frozen Desserts in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. This was not my first time getting a bubble tea and not my first time getting a bubble tea at Sonny’s, but it was my first time with this particular flavor combination.

This was a watermelon flavored bubble tea. I asked for popping boba instead of the usual tapioca pearls, and the only flavor option for those at the time was mango. My favorite bubble tea flavor lately has been Thai tea. Thai tea is orange in color, slightly spicy and sweetened with condensed milk. It is often spiced with star anise but can also be flavored with orange blossoms or tamarind. Also, previously, every bubble tea I tried has had the tapioca pearls.

(Stock photo — not from Sonny’s.) Missvain, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This time, I wanted the popping boba, these little bubbles (made with seaweed) that are filled with fruit juices and burst in your mouth. They seemed more refreshing and thirst quenching than the tapioca option. I then decided they would work best with a fruity flavored bubble tea.

My watermelon bubble tea reminded me, in a good way, of watermelon Jolly Ranchers. It was definitely recognizable as watermelon flavor but seemed significantly sweeter than watermelon is naturally. It was a milky tea as you can see from the photo. I was not disappointed in the popping boba. They did seem refreshing, a lot more so than tapioca would be. After the liquid disappeared from my cup, I had a big collection of boba left in it. I didn’t mind eating this alone, and, eventually, used a spoon to finish them off. Even though they were mango flavored, they didn’t seem to clash with the watermelon flavor and actually seemed to absorb some of that flavor. I was still tasting watermelon as I was getting the last bits.

Bubble tea is a trend that has been around in the U.S. for quite some time. It originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. It caught on first on the West Coast of the U.S. and slowly gained popularity elsewhere. It is a mixture of tea, milk, sugar, often fruit juices and, of course, the tapioca pearls. If you haven’t yet experienced it, it may seem a little strange to you. When I first learned about it, some years back, I was curious and intrigued but wondered if I would really like sucking up chewy solids in my tea. It may take some adjustment, but I’m sure you have experienced ice cubes and probably fruit pieces or other solids in drinks before.

Each bubble tea vendor may have a different menu of flavor options. At Sonny’s, you have your choice of Thai, chai, Earl Gray, mixed green, milk, vanilla milk, almond, taro, coconut, strawberry, honeydew, watermelon, peach, mango and chocolate.

Lens Artists Challenge — Red — Large to Small

I saw some blogger friends’ entries for this photo challenge, and I thought I would join in and see what I can do. Patti Moed of Creative Exploration In Words And Pictures, in her Lens Artist Challenge, challenges us to choose a color and select photos of things in that color ranged from large to small.

Red is considered a warm color, but many of the red things in this post will cool you down, a nice thought in the heat I’ve been experiencing lately.

The above photo was taken at Applegate Farms in Montclair, New Jersey, a great place for ice cream made on the premises. I went there earlier in the pandemic in company with a French bulldog friend.

The above photo doesn’t give you much sense of size, but these baby ducklings were in a red plastic tub large enough to hold this small cockapoo doggy and his stylish red hoodie, with room to spare.

This refreshing cranberry spritzer was served to me at The Committed Pig Burger and Pancake House in Summit, New Jersey. I thought it looked so pretty in its Mason jar, but I am debating in my mind whether it is larger or smaller than the next item.

This peony from my garden was fairly large — larger or smaller than a cranberry spritzer? It’s hard to say as their shapes were so different and difficult to compare, and, of course, I never saw them side by side. Perhaps, if the peony was a cup, it would hold the spritzer.

And, now, we’re back to cool and refreshing things. The frozen dessert below was purchased at Sonny’s in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It is a self-serve frozen dessert bar. You can find frozen yogurt, frozen custard, Italian ice or gelato you can swirl yourself into a cup. You can layer flavors and add toppings from a variety of syrups, candies, nuts, fruits and (one of my favorites) these popping boba that burst fruit juices into your mouth. The desserts are sold by weight. Any of the red things in this photo — the strawberries, raspberries, popping boba or red plastic spoon — are smaller than my peony for sure.