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Pearl-Tea Bars

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Tea time: The java and tea counter at Java N' Jazz.   

1. TenRen's Tea Time

This tea mecca offers almost 50 bubble-tea flavors -- from honeydew ($3) to hibiscus ($4) -- with a colorful takeout counter to match the mood. Loud slurpers can take classes on tea etiquette. (79 Mott Street; 212-349-2286.)

2. Saint's Alp Teahouse

The rustic setting, youngish crowd, and under-$10 menu make for a great first date. The menu also offers delicate, killingly sweet Taipei dim sum. (51 Mott Street; 212-766-9889.)

3. Café Ma

As Lower East Siders trickle out to Park Slope, they've brought a taste for pearl tea with them -- hence the menu at this bar, a spinoff of Kobma, the Asian-fusion restaurant around the corner. The friendly, accommodating staff is more than willing to match your tastes (less sugar? extra pearls?). Spiked versions, too. (428 Bergen Street, near Fifth Avenue; 718-628-0645.)

4. Fay Da Bakery

A bustling shop that looks more like the set of Happy Days than like a Chinese bakery. Try the lotus-seed-paste pastry (75 cents) with the strawberry-wheat bubble tea ($3.50). (83–85 Mott Street; 212-791-3884.)

5. Java N Jazz

Still primarily a coffee hut, this café–art gallery recently added bubble tea to the menu. Grab a cushy seat in back and sip hot or cold milky mango ($4) on a late-night weekend for live jazz. Just don't lose your shirt on the $500 abstract photographs for sale. (868 Broadway, near 17th Street;212-473-4200.)


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