Those five magic words: Brown! Sugar! Boba! Ice cream! Bar!
Who knew five sweet words could be powerful enough to wipe out an entire freezer section across many cities, states, and countries?
What is Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream?
The craze is real and the hype is here to stay. At least that’s my prediction months after the release of the viral brown sugar boba ice cream bar by the Taiwanese Company Xiao Mei.
The Drink That Started It All
This treat follows up the hype of the brown sugar milk tea drink which has finally popped up around the States. It’s so interesting to me how food trends in Asia come trickling over slowly but surely.
Originated in Taiwan by the company Tiger Sugar, this drink actually doesn’t have tea. Instead, it features indulgent layers of caramel and brown sugar syrup with good ole’ milk (if this was around growing up I would’ve loved drinking milk a lot more!)
I’ve only tried the version at Ding Tea here in SoCal which tasted as amazing as Instagram makes it out to be. LA finally has a Tiger Sugar location but I’m still mentally preparing how to make it there through all the traffic (will keep you updated).
P.S. Environmental Boba Plug
Real quick: just had to mention the recent surge in reusable boba products after receiving a cute lil kit for Christmas! If you’re a boba addict like me this may help you feel a little less guilty consuming it. Saving the planet one boba at a time?
Here are some options for cute reusable boba accessories. Because you know – aesthetics 😉
First Comes Boba Drink, Next Comes Boba Bar
The brown sugar boba ice cream bar mirrors the same beautiful, caramelized coated pattern as the drink. Also void of tea but full of boba. Yup you read that right – boba IN ice cream. Have you heard of a better pairing?!
In all my years of adult snacking life, I haven’t come across one this hyped or hard to find since the Tokyo Milk Cheese Factor Crackers but those are even more scarcely sold here in the U.S.
Though meant for 4 people these small boxes leave you wanting more! The bars are smaller than Haagen-daaz and Magnum ice cream bars. To be honest my gluttonous self cried a little inside, praying it would be enough to satiate my boba appetite after such a long trek to find them.
By the time you get to the end, it’s just the right amount of sweetness but not don’t expect a heavily layered/textured experience like Haagen-daaz or Magnum.
Faint hint of coffee. Enough to make you entertain the thought of that caffeinated goodness, but not overly powerful to make you forget about the star drink: brown sugar boba.
To further explain how the texture is amazingly perfect let me walk you through the entire journey of my taste test.
The ice cream car has been left out at room temp on the kitchen counter for about 3-5 minutes.
Upon first bite I immediately noticed that my teeth easily sinks into the icy goodness.
The creaminess is noticeable but the real treasure is still hiding.
Then suddenly you feel the magic you’ve waiting for: tapioca balls!
If you’re like me, the idea of boba frozen inside an ice cream bar is almost blasphemy. How in the world would the boba be good cold? Even leaving a cup of milk tea boba out overnight changes the consistency drastically.
I’d say the boba in the bars are on the softer side. During some bites they were so soft that there was a pull-apart type of moment (kinda like when you pull each half of a grilled cheese sandwich apart from each other…anyways, I digress).
Personally, the sweetness level is more tolerable than the brown sugar boba drink. I’d rather have the ice cream bar over the drink (bold statement I know – don’t @ me) but the overall experience was fun and intriguing!
There seems to be a faint hint of various flavors that all blend together seamlessly: creamy vanilla, coffee, and milk.
If my memory serves me right I think there’s 17g of sugar per bar which can pave the way for diabetes but in that moment when you’re rewarding yourself for journeying to 4+ Asian markets…it’s worth it.
(Plus you can walk it off later when you look for round 2)
How to Find Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bars
- 99 Ranch and HMart sometimes limit the amount you can purchase and are probably the most popular Asian grocery chains. I’d suggest hitting up smaller Asian grocery stores and even your local boba shops!
- Make friends with the nice people at the register. They hold all the knowledge: when the next shipment is coming, what time they restock, etc etc (plus it’s just cool to meet new people who love snacks as much as you do).
- If you search the #brownsugarbobaicecream hashtag on Instagram, I noticed some boba shops had promotions to receive a bar with a purchase. Some just straight up sold the bars.
- Reddit has also been another source where people post where they’ve found their treasure.
- Pro-tip: bring a second person to come with you if you want to purchase multiple boxes to share with your friends (loophole to the limit mentioned in #1). Believe me, my mom tried to aZn her way around to a different register but alas was caught. Yes, Asian people can tell Asians apart. Who would’ve thought?
- Research the baseline price to have an idea of how far you’re willing to stretch your wallet to join the boba cult. In Texas they were $6.99/box and in SoCal $8.99/box. On Reddit I read SF stores were selling them as high as $12/box!
- This viral brown sugar boba ice cream bar is a fun, less sweet alternative to the drink.
- Worth the hype!
- Check out smaller Asian grocery chains.
- Bring someone along to stock up with you, so you can share with your sad friends who can’t find them.
Good luck and comment below where you find your new favorite ice cream bar!