Photos by Peter Pagan
Fall may be fast approaching, but you can still feel summer’s scorch in the air. Luckily, Richmond is home to an assortment of coffee shops and smoothie joints. But, sometimes you just need a slightly… different beverage.
The TT Lounge is a cozy café on West Cary Street, about three minutes from the Virginia Commonwealth University compass. The lounge offers a pleasant place to enjoy a tasty, cold drink while chatting with some friends or catching up on some reading.
Busta Rhymes’ “Baby If You Give It To Me” plays above plants and large windows peering out to Cary Street. Colorfully patched couches brighten up the shop, but seating is few and far between so it can get crowded.
The TT Lounge serves a frothy, sweet flavored tea beverage called bubble tea. Its made with milk, green or black tea, fresh fruits, and crushed ice. On the other hand, they use syrups and other sweeteners in the tapioca tea – the tea responsible for the lounge’s name.
“Bubble tea should be taken in small doses, because of it’s tremendously sweet flavor,” VCU student Daniel Pepio said
The most unique feature of bubble tea is the tapioca pearls at the bottom, called boba.
“They taste like gummy bears,” a VCU student and TT Lounge patron Anneliese Grant said. You can order the tea with or without boba.
A board displays their popular drinks. Among them were the mango slushy, kiwi green tea, and taro milk tea. Taro is a plant similar to the potato, but sweeter. Taro bubble tea is a type of bubble tea served with taro root, tea, and sugar.
Approaching counter, the staff seemed to have their minds elsewhere. They will get your order right, but if you’re looking for the best customer service in town, you won’t find it behind that counter.
“There are definitely better places to get bubble tea in Richmond,” Somaly Roeung said. However, the TT Lounge is the closest to campus of the few other restaurants that offer bubble tea.
Service aside, the TT Lounge provides an enjoyable, relaxing experience with a refreshing drink.
The TT Lounge is located at 705 W. Cary St. and is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 9:30 pm and Saturday through Sunday, noon to 9 pm. Prices range from $3.50 to $4.50 per drink.