UTA alumna Ayla Hernandez said when she was a student, she craved boba tea all the time and would drive 10 to 15 minutes from campus to the nearest boba shop.
She opened Kung Fu Tea, a bubble tea shop, in downtown Arlington in May after realizing how convenient the location is for students. This location will provide a place for students to venture off campus and escape, Hernandez said.
The shop is decorated with lanterns and bright colors. The second floor is a lounge area where customers can study or hang out with friends. There are bean bags, stuffed animals, books and board games like Yahtzee and Scrabble available for customers to enjoy.
There is even a TV playing anime near where customers pick up drinks.
“I just really enjoy spaces that make me feel welcomed and comfortable, that create an ambience that you want to stay in for as long as possible,” she said.
Hernandez earned her bachelor’s in interior design, so she wanted the space to reflect her design values. Her ideas for the shop's interior design stemmed from the original Kung Fu Tea branding and unique style, but with her own touch.
Leslie Nguyen, human resource management junior, said she hasn't been to the Arlington location yet but expects it to be clean and organized, and the environment to be an optimal study and hangout spot.
“I do enjoy the fact that it’s really close to campus,” Nguyen said. “It’s convenient for other UTA students.”
UTA alumna Katherine White said she’s been to other boba shops near campus such as Unitea Bubble Tea and Share Tea, but what stood out about Kung Fu Tea was the colorful environment and photo opportunities.
“You feel like you’re still connected to everything else going on in the shop and the town,” White said.
Psychology freshman Angelica Stebbins said they never considered studying at other Kung Fu Tea locations, but said they plan to at this one.
“This is the first Kung Fu Tea I’ve ever seen with an upstairs, and it actually prompted me to come back,” they said.
The drinks cost from $4 to $6 depending on the toppings, which cost an extra 50 cents each, Hernandez said. Students will get 10% off all drinks during finals season each semester, she said.
Stebbins’ favorite drink is the black milk tea because it’s not too sweet compared to the Houston location, they said.
The shop is an eight-minute walk from their dorm, Stebbins said.
“Being on the outskirts of campus is really working to their advantage because it’s a favorable location,” they said.