If you hadn’t noticed, there’s a full-on boba drink craze underway. Fortunately for those seeking an authentic and delicious boba experience in Houston, there’s a store that provides it as if you were magically transported to a shop in Taiwan. 

At the Xing Fu Tang boba shop in the Southwest Management District, visitors witness boba balls (also known as pearls) made from scratch by talented ‘’boba-ristas.’’ 

This is different from similar drink shops, where the ingredients are factory-made in Asia.

On the day we visited the store on at 9889 Bellaire Blvd. in the bustling Dun Huang Plaza, staff made drinks while a couple of them created boba balls from imported tapioca starch.

Thanks to the store’s open kitchen concept, we observed the process from start to finish. The starchy tapioca flour is placed in boiling water and kneaded into dough, sliced into loaves that are fed one at a time into a machine. Boba (about the size of pearls) pop out. Another boba-rista caramelizes the balls in a wok using brown sugar. 

The store’s signature drink is the Brown Sugar Boba Milk, made from organic milk, foamy cream and a topping of even more brown sugar. The drinks are lightly torched – crème brûlée style – with boba balls falling to the bottom of the clear, plastic cup. The balls have the consistency of a mix of bubble gum and Jell-O.

“I love it,” said Noora Khan, 8, who was sipping her drink with a straw as she visited the store with her brother and parents. “The boba balls are really, really delicious.”

Xing Fu Tang’s interior is stimulating. People gush over the menu of exotic, rainbow-colored drinks with names like Dalgona Coffee Boba MilkMango Smoothie with Bunny Panna Cotta, and Curacao Soda with Giant Handmade Jellies.

There’s a fortune cabinet on the wall. You can pluck a randomly numbered stick from a bin choose your fortune from numbered compartments.

“Mine said I’m going to meet the love of my life today,” said Avery Shi, a 5th grader, who was visiting the store with her mom, Eva Jiang. “Not sure about that. Can I draw again?” 

The Xing Fu Tang brand has scores of shops in Taiwan, where it says it is ranked No. 1 in boba. The Houston store is a franchise. Others have opened in California and New York, and there are outlets in South Africa, Japan, France and England. 

In the Houston store, drinks are in the $6-$8 range. If cost is no object, you can order the Gold Foil Boba Milk for a whopping $13.86 a cup. 

See the full menu here.

Xing Fu Tang
9889 Bellaire Blvd. Suite C-14
Houston 77036

Opens every day at 11 a.m.
Closes at 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, midnight Friday-Sunday