Jun 01, 2023

Drink Up: Meet the Austin Boba Girls of East Austin boba tea shop Terrazzo Tea

Behold, the “Taro-zo” with strawberry heart jelly.

Photo by ATXtoday

Boba, spice, and everything nice: these are the ingredients chosen to make the perfect chewable drink.

With a love for boba tea and a dream, the Austin Boba Girls appeared and opened Terrazzo Tea, located on 1923 E. 7th St., in May.

In celebration of Drink Up Month, we sat down to chat with Terrazzo Tea co-owners Kimmie Ly and Vi Nguyen. When you stop by, tell them ATXtoday sent you and you’ll get 15% off your order through July.

Longtime friends Kimmie and Vi grew up hanging out at the many boba shops in San Jose, California, which were often open late. When Kimmie moved to Austin in 2017, the pair “FaceTimed every single day” while Vi stayed in San Jose and worked in marketing.

While studying at Texas State University in 2018, Kimmie opened her first business: Icy Rolls, a bespoke rolled ice cream and boba shop. After being laid off in San Jose, moving to Austin during the pandemic, and being laid off again from her tech job, Vi said the stars aligned to partner with her best friend and open their own take on boba.

Vi, left, and Kimmie, right, said starting a boba tea shop together was always the dream.

Photo courtesy Terrazzo Tea

Vi said if she hadn’t moved to Austin, she wouldn’t have taken the risk to start her own business.

“We work well together and we have a huge passion for [boba tea],” Vi said. “It was just the universe telling me, ‘This is what you were meant to focus your energy on.’ Everything was divine timing..”

The idea was to create the boba hangout they felt was missing in the Austin area, inspired by their love of tea, street wear, music, late hours (Terrazzo is open until 9 or 10 p.m. most nights), and Instagrammable drinks.

“Opening a business wouldn’t even have crossed my mind [in San Jose] because it was way too expensive with too much competition,” Kimmie said. “Being here, I felt like I had the room to be more creative and think about things that I actually enjoy doing.”

Kimmie and Vi — who are also roommates, by the way — designed the drink menu while looking at their terrazzo coffee table.

“Our drinks are paired with multiple toppings — if you look at it, it kind of looks like the patterns in the terrazzo tiles,” Vi said.

Each drink was thoughtfully curated by the pair to give you a burst of flavor. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got recommendations.

Don’t forget to mention ATXtoday for 15% off all month long, and if you buy four teas, you can get one free. When you visit, snap a pic and tag @terrazzo.tea and @atxtoday — you’ll thank us later.