Bubble Island

15 09 2009
  • 515 E. Grand River Avenue #E
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-3860
  • Website
  • No Online Menu
Bubble Island on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Bubble Island on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

So, why were we in East Lansing this morning?  Funny story.  We had Unwrapped on The Food Network last night…well, actually it was just kind of ambient noise.  We weren’t really paying attention.  J had just got home from work and we were catching up on the days events. 

Even though we weren’t really watching, something caught J’s eye.  They were doing a segment on a place called Lollicup which is a chain of stores mainly on the west coast that serves Boba Tea.  She picked up the laptop to see if there was one either close to us here on in Chicago, but alas, nothing.   Then, out of nowhere, she remembered a place in East Lansing that had the word “bubble” in the name.  She did a Google search and found what she was looking for.  We decided to get up and go see if the tea was any good.

Bubble Island is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing right next to The Peanut Barrel.  The store is kind of hidden on the bottom floor of a two story commercial building and it sits a little ways back  from the road. 

We had just eaten at National Coney Station, so we were just in the market for a drink. I wasn’t interested at all, but J was really stoked at the idea of trying this wierd drink. 

Bubble Island across the street from MSU in East Lansing.

Bubble Island across the street from MSU in East Lansing.




If you’re like us and you’ve never heard of Boba or Bubble Tea, you’re probably wondering at this point what the hell the “bubble’s” are.  In English use of the world, the bubbles actually refer to the boba balls in the bottom of the cup.  To me, they look like little fish eggs in the bottom of the glass.  Kind of like large caviar.  The look of it alone is enough to turn me off to the drink, but I don’t like tea anyway.  The boba balls are actually a mixture of tapioca and carrageenan powder.  Real bubble tea refers to the shaking process when the tea is made.  In American stores like Bubble Island, the tea is premixed, so there is no shaking which is why the “bubble” refers to the boba balls which look like little bubbles in the bottom of the cup.

Js Bubble Tea with the Boba Balls in the bottom.

J's Bubble Tea with the Boba Balls in the bottom.

J said the drink was pretty good.  You get a large opening straw and actually sucks the balls up while you’re drinking.  She said they had a gummy bear texture and the tea was quite filling.  She just got the medium and by the time she got to the bottom, she was pressing the straw to the bottom of the glass to just get the tea and leave the balls. 

Bubble tea is interesting.  Again, not my thing, but J seemed to like it and I know it’s something she never would have tried had she not seen it on TV the night before.  I never had any idea what Bubble Island was, but if you’re an adventurous tea drinker, it’s something I would definitely give a try.




5 responses

15 09 2009

I went there a couple years ago…NOT a fan of bubble tea. I tried the mochi ice cream too and didn’t like the texture. Given that I like most foods…this was surprising!

16 09 2009
Bernie B

One of my favorite places in town supposedly serves up the best Bubble Tea. Udon Sushi Bakery located just behind the Harrison Road House. I know you don’t do Asian food, but USB is the real deal.

Also, out it Okemos be sure to check out T&D’s Coney Island. They just opened 4 days ago and serve up the best Gyro I’ve had in probably 10 years. They’re located on Grand River/Dobie across from Panera in a strip mall (where Villegas used to be) next to the QD.

20 03 2010

I love Bubble Island! The one I always went to is at UMich off S. University. Being that I’m from Ann Arbor, my friends and I would make it a weekly trip. I wasn’t a fan of bubble tea the first time I went…but since then, about two years ago, I’ve grown to absolutely adore it. Mochi ice cream is awesome too!

Now that I’ve moved out west, and being that there are only two in the nation — UMich and MSU — I miss it dearly!

24 01 2012
bubble island, East Lansing « Michigan Foodies

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