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Published March 18, 2013, 11:34 PM

Get a taste of spring with bubble teas

FARGO – As winter stretches on interminably, many of us are left grasping for a sign – any sign – of spring.

FARGO – As winter stretches on interminably, many of us are left grasping for a sign – any sign – of spring.

While the temps outside may not be warming up in a hurry, you can at least fool your taste buds into forgetting about winter with the help of a cool, refreshing beverage like bubble tea.

A sweet, flavorful drink imported from Taiwan, bubble tea’s name is a little misleading – it’s not the basic kind of tea you might expect.

It’s available at Teaberry, 119 Broadway, Fargo, and also at Passion Twist in the West Acres Shopping Center, but only Friday through Sunday at the latter establishment.

At Teaberry, bubble tea, also known as boba tea, is made with powder flavoring, nondairy creamer, crushed ice, raw sugar and fresh fruit.

Trung Nguyen, who owns Teaberry with his wife, calls the drink “a nice healthy smoothie.”

Bubble teas are much more popular on the west and east coasts than the Midwest, Nguyen says. He grew up in Seattle, which is where he gained experience with the drink.

There’s a wide variety and combination of bubble tea flavors available at Teaberry, but Nguyen says customer favorites are avocado-banana, watermelon-strawberry and chocolate-strawberry-banana.

“Those are all very flavorful,” he says.

And then there are the pearls – curiously textured gelatinous orbs made of tapioca that can be added to the beverage for an enhanced experience.

Another possible addition is jellies – small, fruit-flavored rectangles. The jellies are made of seaweed extract, which Nguyen says allows people of varying diets to be able to enjoy the drink.

“People really enjoy the jellies and pearls,” he says. “They’re just fun treats, and they’re the reason we use the large straws and why the drinks stand out.”

The jellies and pearls are worth a try, though on first taste the textures admittedly might throw some people off.

But with or without the jelly and pearl additions, bubble teas are definitely a sweet, refreshing drink that’ll make your taste buds think of spring, even if spring is taking its time getting here.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535