Strolling around downtown Baton Rouge on a humid Thursday evening, we found the new T&T Café almost by accident. Nestled in a picturesque courtyard between Ruffino’s Restaurant and the former space of Driftwood Cask and Barrel on North 3rd Street, the café opened earlier this month.
With a lengthy menu full of different varieties of fresh fruit teas, milk teas, and milk cheese foam teas – as well as coffee and smoothies – the café offers patrons the chance to try something new each visit.
Though we’d seen bubble tea – also known as milk tea or boba tea – shops popping up around the Capital City, we were slow to the trend and had never tried the sweet Taiwanise drink. Luckily, the helpful employees of T&T were more than willing to answer all of our questions and advised us to start with the milk cheese foam tea, a traditional bubble tea with boba (chewy tapioca balls) on the bottom and capped off with a foamy layer of milk and cream cheese. We ordered three milk cheese foam teas, one black (or unflavored), one strawberry, and one rose-flavored.
The teas are a bit thicker than some of the other places around town, but the consistency was still thin enough to enjoy. The milk cheese foam gives them an extra rich taste, and the tea is flavored with homemade syrups, rather than using a powder. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, go for a fruity flavor like strawberry; or if you would prefer a lighter beverage that still satisfies a sugar craving, the rose tea is our recommendation.
The mousse cake desserts in T&T’s display case also caught our eye – they appeared to be edible art. The gelato-esque treats are shaped into small animals showing immense detail, from the color on a tiny pig to the fur on a teddy bear. It takes four hours to make a dozen of the mousse cakes, along with a lot of practice, according to the team at T&T. The café makes roughly a dozen a day and just began selling them about a week ago. Despite their recent arrival, they’ve already began gaining popularity, and customers have already started calling ahead to reserve them in advance.
As we dug in to our tiny animal, the taste was not what we were expecting. The dessert tasted just like cheesecake – all that was missing was the graham cracker crust. The dessert is rich in flavor, so we recommend sharing it with a friend.
Midway through our dessert, we noticed a couple at a neighboring table sharing a mango silky ice, which is shaved ice with fresh fruit. The silky ice, piled high in a bowl, looked like the ultimate summer refresher. The couple said it’s highly recommended, so we made a mental note to try it on our next visit.
If you’re feeling a savory meal instead of dessert or tea, T&T also sells salads, sushi and poke bowls.
T&T Cafe’s hours are 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday.