New and local boba shop takes over Towson

Alycia Wong, Editor

Years ago when I saw that Kung Fu Tea, a boba tea shop, had just opened right next to my favorite Pho restaurant in Towson circle, I was overjoyed. With no boba shops nearby, I was rarely  able to relive childhood memories of treating myself to a cold Thai iced tea with chewy tapioca pearls in the Chinatown in Boston. 

Now, with the popularization of Asian culture (especially food), boba has become widely known and enjoyed by many outside the Asian community. Made aware of this new trend, entrepreneurs, especially those with Asian backgrounds, have capitalized on the boba craze and open their own stores. One such store is Snow Cloud, now the second boba shop and first local option in the Towson-Lutherville area, and only a few minutes away from Kung Fu Tea. 

Newly opened during late summer, Snow Cloud is located on York Road, in a small plaza near the Towson Diner and Towson Veterinary Hospital. Upon walking in, the environment is much different than that of its competitor. Simple yet modern, the calm and cool atmosphere of this small business highly contrasts to Kung Fu Tea, whose busy and youthful vibe is ubiquitous with the chain. Though it doesn’t have as many tea flavors as KFT, Snow Cloud is unique with its variety of non-boba options. Not limited to milk and high-concentrate fruit teas, Snow Cloud has several light and refreshing fruity tea drinks, some of which are even carbonated, as well as an assortment of desserts. The menu has all of the classic tea flavors, which are accompanied by the notorious black tapioca pearls, but the more fruity teas and sparkling drinks contain chia seeds and/or grass jelly, a jelly-like topping much softer and milder tasting than tapioca.

Snow Cloud only offers one size, equivalent to that of a Kung Fu Tea large, but is much cheaper. While a normal Kung Fu Milk Tea would cost $5.05 without tax, a Snow Cloud Classic Milk Tea only costs $3.95. When comparing the taste of the two, the response is mixed. I am biased towards the stronger tea flavor of Snow Cloud’s milk tea, as it most resembles the authentic drinks I had as a kid, thus giving it points for nostalgia. However, the actual boba pearls themselves are less sweet and flavorful than those of KFT. 

Branching out, I tried their Sparkling Galaxy drink with grass jelly – now a new favorite. Not overly sweet and extremely refreshing, the carbonated fruit tea is fun and unique, and the soft grass jelly complimented the light drink extremely well. 

Lastly, compared to Kung Fu Tea, Snow Cloud offers desserts ranging from birthday cakes to mousses and shaved ice. They are your classic Asian dessert:  pretty and cute on the outside and airy and mildly sweet on the inside. Their strawberry mousse tasted just as expected, resembling that of the desserts I’ve enjoyed at asian bakeries. Though much smaller than a typical American dessert, it still satisfies your sweet tooth without being too overwhelming.

A comfortable environment and an assortment of choices beyond boba tea, Snow Cloud is an amazing option for KFT fans who are looking to branch out. Rather than choosing between the two businesses however, boba lovers should take advantage of what each shop offers and enjoy both! Personally, I like the taste and local-feel of Snow Cloud better, and would rate it 4.5/5 stars.