Smile Politely

Five smoothies to try before summer is over

Before I dive into each smoothie on my list, I want to share that I drink my smoothies with boba if it’s an option. I love these chewy treats so much that I don’t mind paying extra for them. Boba is definitely not a must to enjoying a smoothie, so while you will see pictures of smoothies with boba, know that you can enjoy each smoothie without it.

Each shop featured on this list offers carryout or delivery through Chowbus. Smoothies are generally the type of drink that is best enjoyed immediately after being prepared, so I recommend ordering carryout instead of delivery to ensure your smoothies aren’t watery.

A green kiwi smoothie from Mitsu & Tsaocaa balances on a black railing in an outdoor setting in Champaign, Illinois. Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Mitsu & Tsaocaa’s Kiwi Tea Smoothie

The kiwi tea smoothie ($6.60) from Mitsu & Tsaocaa is one of my favorite smoothies in C-U because it’s refreshing and the texture is similar to a slushie. I love it so much that I even drink it during the winter! At Mitsu & Tsaocaa (and like at many other bubble tea stores), customers have the option of choosing their sugar level. Since kiwi is slightly acidic and already naturally sweet, I opt for 50% sugar. This smoothie is perfect for cooling off on a hot day.

Mitsu & Tsaocaa
608 S Sixth St
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily

A tall cheese float strawberry smoothie from Teamoji sits on a honey-colored wooden counter with a wooden backplash against a painted-white concrete wall. Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Teamoji’s Cheese Float Strawberry Smoothie 

Teamoji’s cheese float strawberry smoothie ($6.75) is simply a strawberry smoothie topped with fluffy cheese foam. If you’ve never heard of cheese foam drinks, they originate from Taiwan’s night market stands, and they’re popularly known as cheese tea. Several of the bubble tea stores in C-U are now serving cheese teas, so if you’re interested in trying them out, I’d recommend starting with the cheese float strawberry smoothie from Teamoji. Since the cheese float is paired with strawberries, it makes the introduction to cheese foam in your drink pleasant — and possibly familiar if you grew up eating Mexican strawberries with cream or strawberries with cottage cheese. The cheese foam is tart like plain frozen yogurt but slightly salty, and it compliments the sweetness of the strawberries.

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy a smoothie or a segue into cheese foam, this strawberry smoothie from Teamoji is for you. But, if you aren’t interested in trying cheese foam and love strawberries, you can order the smoothie without the cheese foam.

617 E Green St
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily

A mango smoothie from Latea with purple boba on the bottom sits on a wooden table. Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Latea’s Mango Smoothie

If I don’t know what smoothie to get when I’m craving one, I default to a mango smoothie because I know I’ll always be satisfied. This mango smoothie ($5.90) from Latea does the classic smoothie justice and will never disappoint. The texture is super smooth, and the flavor of the mango tastes fresh. If you do decide to add boba to any of the smoothies on this list, I recommend adding it to this mango smoothie because the boba from Latea is super chewy and soft.

601 S 6th St
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily

In a re-usable cup, there is a black plastic cover with a bear drawing. You can see the white color of the black sesame smoothie from Bearology. Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Bearology’s Black Sesame Smoothie

If you love bubble tea and like trying different bubble tea stores in town, I’m sure you’ve already seen the drinks in cute re-usable glasses sold at Bearology. Luckily, their black sesame smoothie ($6.50) tastes just as good as it looks. It’s made with ice, milk, sesame powder, and bananas. I love that Bearology offers non-dairy milk options for their drinks. I ordered mine with almond milk; if it was made with whole milk, I wouldn’t have noticed a difference. The black sesame smoothie reminds me of peanut butter and banana smoothies because of the nuttiness of the black sesame, but I would still consider it in its own lane. I associate smoothies with bananas with breakfast smoothies, so if you wanted to treat yourself one morning, I’d recommend trying out the black sesame smoothie from Bearology.

608 E University Ave
noon to 9 p.m., daily

A frosty watermelon smooth from Rokee Cafe sits on a gray square on Green Street by the University of Illinois. Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Photo by Chantal Vaca.

Rokee Cafe’s Fresh Watermelon Smoothie

Rokee Cafe opened about two months ago and is now where Taipei Cafe used to be, inside the same building as Taco Bell on Green Street. Out of all the smoothies on this list, Rokee’s fresh watermelon smoothie ($4) offers the best deal by having the lowest cost for a smoothie. Watermelon is the epitome of summer fruit – juicy, sweet, and refreshing. Before summer is officially over and watermelons fade from the produce aisles of grocery stores, I recommend trying the fresh watermelon smoothie from Rokee Cafe. Although this smoothie is more watery than a standard smoothie, it works because of the fresh watermelon flavor. Rokee’s watermelon smoothie is perfect for any time you need to feel refreshed.

Rokee Cafe
512 E Green St
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily

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