By Lee Merrill
hidden gem is waiting to be discovered on Youree Drive and Ockley in the Broadmoor Shopping Center. Bestea is open for business with handcrafted milk teas, fresh fruit teas, authentic boba teas, and more. The store also serves fruit-topped bubble waffles, fresh pastries, and imported food items.
At Bestea, all drinks are made-to-order and fully customizable. Co-owner Lang Earb wanted to create an authentic boba tea shop experience as a way to celebrate her Asian culture. Key ingredients, such as tea leaves and boba, are imported from Taiwan. The tapioca boba balls are cooked carefully in large pots that must be tended constantly for over an hour to ensure the boba is the perfect texture.
There is something for everyone at Bestea, as every drink can be crafted to the customer’s unique taste. “We are proud to serve freshly made, handcrafted drinks just how our customers like them,” Earb said. Calorie-conscious customers can adjust the level of sweetness in their drinks or even opt for alternative sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia. Dairy and non-dairy options are available, and fresh fruit is cut daily, including lychee, which is a new flavor adventure for many customers.
Come for the refreshing drinks and stay for the fun and relaxing atmosphere. The decor is bright and fresh, with art inspired by Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation studio. Co-owner Casey Rowe grew up loving anime and wanted to provide a space where young people and the young at heart can come enjoy a tasty drink and study or just hang out. “When I was young, I didn’t have a place to go that fit my interests. I want to change that for others,” Rowe said.
Earb and Rowe have a “better together” philosophy that lends itself to collaboration. They partner with local schools by providing rewards certificates teachers can share with students to celebrate achievements and milestones. In the shop, the fresh-brewed coffee is from Black Bayou Roasters, and the donuts and kolaches come from a local Cambodian donut shop.
The Bestea owners are also passionate about supporting local nonprofit organizations such as Parish Paws, the local chapter of the American Heart Association, and the Caddo/Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force. These organizations will be represented at Bestea’s grand opening celebration on April 15th, and a percentage of each order will be donated to help improve the lives of pets and people in the area.
Visit besteala.com to explore the menu and order ahead, but plan to sit down and enjoy the friendly vibe and energetic employees. Educators, contact the shop for info on the rewards program for students.