Teatime for Tech

By Erika Lopez

Bubble tea: it’s sweet, refreshing, and can be found just a few blocks away from Tech. The Celebritea Café, located on DeKalb Avenue, offers many flavors of bubble tea, as well as coffee, pastries, and other snacks.

Less than two years ago, the café was opened by a couple of friends who had been interested in opening a bubble teashop for a quite while.

Cary Shi, an employee at the café, encouraged his friends to choose this Fort Greene location after being informed by his cousin, a Technite, that the shop would attract many students.

It turns out that Shi made the right decision upon choosing the location, which is situated within a close proximity to Long Island University, the DeKalb train station, and, of course, our school.  Every morning and afternoon, students fill the café, looking to hang out with friends or get some studying done in a comfortable environment.

Celebritea Café’s interior is modern with angular countertops and bright lights. However, it also manages to exude feelings of coziness with soft, red chairs, suitable for relaxing.

David Jin ’15 notes that “the atmosphere is definitely friendly, so hanging out with friends is fun.”

In terms of the cuisine, it can be characterized as Asian with an American twist. The café is always adding new, seasonal flavors to its drink list. For example, this past holiday season, gingerbread bubble tea and peppermint hot chocolate were on the menu for customers to warm up with.

Celebritea Café offers a wide variety of bubble tea flavors. Naima Akther ’15, a café regular, recommends “the honeydew and passion fruit [drinks] with tapioca.”

Although I am rather new to the bubble tea world, I find myself drawn to traditional flavors like taro, a staple root vegetable in Asian cuisine. Despite being made from a vegetable, the taro drink is surprisingly sweet and has a fun, purple color. Apparently I am not the only with this favorite. Shi reports that taro milk tea with tapioca is the most popular drink on the menu.

And though known for its drinks, the Celebritea Café also serves popular breakfast choices like muffins and oatmeal. An oatmeal and yogurt bar was recently added to the café’s menu.

Patrons can customize their breakfast or snack by choosing from natural toppings like honey, nuts, dried and fresh fruits.

Additionally, new lunch items have been added such as wraps, bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwiches), and congee, which is an Asian porridge made with rice, meat, and vegetables.

Although Shi lightheartedly admits that chatter of high school students sometimes gives him a headache, business is booming and the café is becoming an essential part of the community.

Both students and Fort Greene residents are happy that they no longer have to leave Brooklyn for bubble tea, which was once only found on the streets of Chinatown. The café has given many Tech students, including me, their first exposure to bubble tea and other Asian snacks.

Shi mentions that the café hopes to add frozen yogurt to its menu in the coming months. So when you’re heading to the train station to go home after a long day, stop by the Celebritea Café.

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