Rose Tea Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA 2017
Rose Tea Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA 2017

The rose colored “bubbles” that float up from the renovated doorway of Mike Wu’s popular “Rose Tea Cafe”, on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill, call to mind his famous bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, boba milk tea, boba juice or simply boba.) According to our sources, most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed/shaken with fruit or milk, to which chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly are often added. Ice-blended versions are usually mixed with fruit or syrup, resulting in a slushy consistency. There are many varieties of the drink with a wide range of ingredients. The two most popular varieties are bubble milk tea with tapioca and bubble milk green tea with tapioca.

 

As the slides on this page show, our facade design quite literally follows the bubbles, and is developed around them.  They subsequently reappear indoors, emerging from wood ceiling panels that threads their way above the dining space.  The model in my renderings is my Chinese intern, Lin Hou, who graduates soon from Pitt and hopes to attend architecture school at Harvard.  She tells me she loves bubble tea.  We wish her good luck!