Chibi’s Boba

10 Overall Score
Taste: 10/10
Staff: 10/10
Atmosphere: 10/10

A literal geek's haven | Sweet, refreshing bubble tea | Approachable, friendly staff | Lots of monthly events | Family-friendly and fun for all ages

Only location is Orlando | Once you step in, you may feel so at home you'll never want to leave

Chibis Boba logo

Before me: an Ironman suit.

To my right: a large flatscreen TV showcasing an episode of Running Man, a cabinet of anime-inspired bracelets, and a customized Xbox 360 and Wii U console, complete with multiplayer games.

To my left: a Weapons of Moroland plaque and a Gurren Lagenn flag.

Further ahead still: a wall of fanart, covering franchises from Kingdom Hearts and Street Fighter to Guardians of the Galaxy and Starwars.

I’m not at the San Diego Comic Con, or even at one of Florida’s finest Nerd Extravaganzas. I’m at 6437 South Chickasaw Trail in Orlando, about to partake in the tastiest, most geek-infused bubble tea this side of Taiwan.

IMG_0865Chibi’s Boba, established in March 2013, is a one-stop coffee, tea, boba, dessert, and Panini eatery for all your breakfast, lunch, and dinner needs. Half Asian-themed Starbucks, and half geeky lounge, Chibi’s Boba provides a fun, relaxed atmosphere for all the otaku, cosplayers, fans, nerds, gamers, and young-at-heart of Central Florida.

Being all of those things myself, I felt right at home the moment I stepped into Chibi’s. There’s an instant sense of welcome and comfort in the familiar franchise cameos and insider’s winks to fan-favorite characters (chibi L with an angel halo, sitting on a giant slice of strawberry cake, for instance). The variety of artwork is credited to Chibi’s passion for supporting local artists, whose works it displays for both décor and potential purchasing (all sales go back to the original artist).

At the heart of all this atmospheric fun is the colorful, café countertop where I studied the menu of available offerings and struggled to make my selection from among over twenty flavors. Fortunately for me, Chibi’s blends their bubble tea flavors together, and I was able to walk away with a green tea/mango combination in “slush” form. This is one bubble tea hotspot that allows for customer customization—from the number and variety of flavors, to the temperature and consistency of the tea. Even the pickiest of customers will have little to complain about.

IMG_0858Initially, I wasn’t sure how the mango/green tea blend would taste, but after the first refreshing slurp, any doubts I had were erased. The herbal essence of the green tea intermingled with the tangy fruitiness of the mango flawlessly. Meanwhile, the slushy texture of the tea was refreshing without being brain-freezing icy. (For those who enjoy this phenomenon, however, or just prefer their bubble tea more “crunchy,” Chibi’s also offers an “icy” variety.)

As for the famed tapioca pearls, I was surprised to find them not only blending seamlessly with the flavor of the tea, but also adding to it in the subtlest of ways. Boba are generally chewy and tasteless—a pleasant sensation for the tongue and teeth that keeps the bubble tea experience varied and fun; however, I found Chibi’s boba to be pulling much more weight. In addition to receiving a very hearty scoopful of pearls, I didn’t need to dive to the bottom of my cup in order to suck them up via my over-sized straw; also, they carried a mellow, caffeinated taste that blended especially well with my green tea flavor.

In short, Chibi’s is home to the best bubble tea I’ve yet had the pleasure of enjoying. And the kawaii puncture-top lid (think Capri Sun) was, for me, the icing on a very nostalgic cake.

IMG_0868As if the eating experience itself weren’t enough, Chibi’s is a geek’s haven. Artwork and décor aside, Chibi’s also hosts regular, monthly events, mostly in the evening, that range from Smash Brothers gaming tournaments and k-pop music, to all-day cosplay events and karaoke nights. This is a café that gives as much as it gets, providing a safe, family-friendly environment that doubles as a comfy geek lounge.

I’d be doing Chibi’s Boba a disservice not to mention the staff as well, who are not only amiable and caring, but also well-informed geeks themselves and prepared to chat about most any topic thereof—from the record-breaking insanity of Megacon 2014, to the release of the live action Death Note television series. These people love the geek community, and it shows the moment you step into Chibi’s non-judgmental, fun-for-all zone.

IMG_0853A café now two years standing, Chibi’s also has dreams to expand its franchise with its first food truck—a project it’s calling “Tea Mobile” that is currently collecting donations from fans and supporters. The ultimate goal is to one day become an established food truck franchise that can travel to the United States’ largest Cons and sell its wares to cosplayers and attendees (and, you know, the not-geeks, too). How cool is that?

In conclusion: if you live in Orlando, you owe yourself a visit to the geekiest bubble tea café in the city. Chibi’s Boba is a do-able drive from UCF, as well, making it the perfect evening getaway for students looking to catch a refreshing break from their studies. Add to that Chibi’s unconditional love for the fan community, their monthly events, and their support of local artists, and you have a café that’s more than just fun dining… it’s a patron of geeks of all shapes and sizes.

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Author: Casey Covel View all posts by
Casey Lynn Covel (known online as “Cutsceneaddict”) is an award-winning, published writer, avid reader, and aspiring author. She runs a nerdy writing blog called Meek-Geek and founded PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts in 2012. When she’s not writing for Geeks Under Grace, Florida Geek Scene, Beneath the Tangles, or FROM JAPAN, she enjoys cosplaying, and has won several awards for her work. Follow her on Instagram for her latest cosplay endeavors. #meekischic

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