Friday, July 27, 2012

Bubble tea at 'Come Buy'

It's tough to find authentic bubble tea in Midtown West these days. Argo Tea does a nice twist on it, but it's not as creamy or sweet as the original (I'm guessing it is healthier though). There are a few restaurants that offer bubble tea, no dedicated cafes.

When I read that the new Taiwanese bubble tea cafe Come Buy opened in the Flatiorn district, I decided to venture down to 28th street. It's not in Midtown, but only a few stops away on the train. The sticky, shiny faces of people waiting on the platform should have warned me against taking the train, but the thought of a cold refreshing milk tea kept me motivated. 

Once I arrived on 5th avenue the huge COME BUY sign started screaming at me. I can't say that I'm a fan of the name, but that's not really important. Let's get to the tea!

The menu outside was promising. Milk teas, juices, smoothies, and something called 'teapresso' with interesting teas on offer.

The staff at the cafe are friendly but not overbearing. The place is very clean, and there are a few tables to sit and enjoy your tea. On the counter are small tins of teas that say 'smell me if you love me', which gave me a chuckle. It's nice that you can smell the teas without having to ask.
I did ask what a 'teapresso' was, and the reply was 'freshly brewed tea'. Not sure why it's given this complicated name, but they actually have some interesting options available- Wenshan Pouchong, Dongding Oolong, JinXuan, Keemun, even Rose Pu-erh. I will definitely have to try one hot or iced in the future, but I had been dreaming about the milk tea during my steamy subway ride.

I ordered a plain bubble milk tea, sans bubbles. I'm not a huge fan of the tapioca pearls. Later while I was reviewing the menu I noticed something called a COME BUY milk tea, which I'll have to ask about next time. The tea was exactly what I wanted- creamy, a little bit sweet, a little bit bitter. Perfect for this soupy day. Instead of a hard plastic top to your cup, Come Buy gives you a thin plastic sheet  that is easily punctured with a straw. Possibly more friendly for the environment, although I recycle my plastic cups anyway.

If you are hungry you can pick up a Dough doughnut for a snack. They actually looked quite tasty, but I knew if I had one with my sweet tea I would have felt drowsy all afternoon.

Even though the cafe is not walking distance from my office (at least not on a hot and humid day), it is in a great location for grabbing tea and walking up to Koreatown for dumplings and kimchi pancakes for lunch. It's also in a busy sample sale area. I'll definitely be back to try more of the items on the menu.

Come Buy: 251 5th ave NY, NY 10016. Recommended for a quick cup


  1. This was so helpful! and glad to see they carry DOUGH.

  2. OMG, two of my most favorite things! Bubble tea and doughnuts from Dough! Thanks for the tip!