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Friday November 28, 2014
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Mo Mo Bubble Tea

 

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Yogo Bliss's main business is frozen yogurt, and bubble tea--sweetened tea with large tapioca beads sipped through a giant straw--is a small part of the menu. Co-owner Mack Kim says he's waiting to see how things shake out and might drop bubble tea from the menu altogether.

Tsai doesn't think there'll be much of a contest. "They're like fast food places," she says of her competitors. "This is more like a coffeehouse." While the other two places have seating, most customers order takeout or don't stay long. Tsai, on the other hand, worked hard to make hers the kind of place where customers are likely to linger, with a couple of easy chairs, a comfy leather couch, seating for forty-five, and a color scheme that contrasts a cheerful but restful orange with lime green accents. There are games, books, and magazines (in English and Korean), plus free Wi-Fi.

Tsai sells more than twenty types of bubble tea. Flavors include green apple green tea, passion fruit, and red bean milk tea. They start at $3 and are made fresh daily on-site. She also offers fruit smoothies and fruit-flavored shaved ice, plus sandwiches, soups, toast, and coffee.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Tsai moved to this country four years ago and earned a master's in chemistry at Detroit Mercy College. She's hard pressed to explain why she went through so many years of schooling only to open a bubble tea place. "Life changes very fast," she says. "First you want to be a professor, but later you think: everybody does that." She shrugs. "Sometimes, you just want a change."

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