One drink that sets T-Kettle apart from other neighborhood bubble tea shops is the Black Sugar Milk Tea. It's not the regular menu, but sometimes they have a sign up promoting the drink. Either way, ask for it at the register and they'll know exactly what you mean.
Hot milk tea is blended with melted black sugar and served iced. Black sugar may be a bit of a misnomer for this common Asian ingredient—it's actually brown, not black, in color. The flavor is distinctive, with malty molasses notes. It's more mellow and rounded in flavor than plain white sugar. The end result is a milk tea with a sort of haunting soft sweetness. Instead of ordinary tapioca balls, pair this drink with sweet scoops of pudding—it's an unusually good pairing with the black sugar.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond.