Tea Fusion Cafe opened in 2016 in the University area of Charlotte. It's a popular hang among college students and Charlotte millennials who need their bubble tea fix. Other menu options include shaved ice cream, bahn mi, and a blended mango and chili powder/mango smoothie called a mangonada. If driving to the University area seems like too much of a hike, let us assure you that Tea Fusion is well worth the drive. Put on your favorite podcast, and get ready for the best Asian field trip this side of Super G Mart.
We always go for the bahn mi, although savory offerings also include a variety of small bites, including popcorn chicken, calamari, fried tofu, and edamame. When it comes to bahn mi, you have a choice of ten filling options, ranging from a simple fried egg to unagi (eel). Picture below is the M8--Bulgogi, or Korean barbecue beef. All of the sandwiches also include the traditional mix of pickled vegetables, including carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and daikon radish.
Although there is a dessert case filled with various cakes and macarons, we can only recommend the shaved ice cream. It is not easy to find shaved cream ice outside of a major city, and you would be silly not to jump on this opportunity. The only other place to get this delicacy in Charlotte, that we are aware of, is the pop-up Snow Fluff Shavery. If you know of any others we are missing, let us know in the comment section!
Shaved ice cream is made by freezing large cylinders of ice cream, and then shaving those cylinders into ribbons of deliciousness using a magical unicorn machine. The result is a light and creamy texture somewhere between traditional ice cream and a snow cone. The flavor options at Tea Fusion Cafe are green tea, strawberry, taro, and coconut, and we always go green tea or taro. Once you chose your flavor, then you can load up your ice cream with all of the traditional Asian toppings: red bean, sweetened condensed milk, mochi, popping boba, and a wide variety of fruits.
The drink selection is one of the best things going at Tea Fusion Cafe. Their most popular option is their mason jar tea refresher, which is a blend of sweetened tea with a wide variety of mix-in options ranging from chopped fresh fruit to chia seeds and jellies. They also have all of the traditional bubble tea options, which you can get as simple milk tea, or blended up as a smoothie. Popular flavor options include Thai tea, green tea, taro, and avocado.
Check out that Ikea light fixture, though! I feel like I see that thing in so many restaurants these days. Tea Fusion is filled with comfy seating options, and even a highly sought after couch where you could comfortably sip your bubble tea for hours. There are lots of college kids here socializing and working on laptops, and it's the kind of place where you feel comfortable enough to stay a while after your meal.
Bubble Bubble Bubble Tea Hospitality:
Although Tea Fusion is a counter service cafe, the employees go out of their way to make you feel welcomed. They are very patient with customers taking a long time to navigate their menu, and they are quick to offer suggestions if you are unsure of what you're craving. The service is also super quick, and don't be discouraged if there is a long line—they keep it moving at a fast pace.
Cool Asian college kids will never let you get that prime couch spot; Why doesn't Super G Mart have shaved ice?; What kind of weird science makes popping boba pop?; I bet Ikea gave out those light fixtures as a free gift with purchase; If you are driving all the way to University, you should definitely make a quick stop at Ninety's Ice Cream, too.