Drinks at Tiger Sugar in Carle Place, from left: a brown...

Drinks at Tiger Sugar in Carle Place, from left: a brown sugar milk tea with boba and tiger jellies, a cheese tea and a matcha boba with red beans.

As if boba weren't already wild enough, now Long Islanders can get their milk tea swirled in the shape of tiger stripes. Tiger Sugar, a rapidly expanding Taiwanese brand, has opened its first Long Island location at the Parkway Plaza shopping Center in Carle Place. 

From the bubble tea heartland of Taiwan, Tiger Sugar is famous for popularizing a newer variety of brown sugar boba, a liquid riff on Taiwanese desserts. It's a drink that doesn't feature tea at all, but milk and tapioca pearls cooked in brown sugar until they're caramelized and syrupy. Chee Fann, one of the partners of this franchise location, arrives 3½ to four hours before the shop opens to prepare the boba, first boiling the raw materials provided by the company, then brewing them with sugar to flavor them, and finally frying them up until "the texture is just perfect," he said. Tiger Sugar employees then streak the syrup on the side of the cup and pour milk over it to create the signature tiger stripe pattern

Like many boba shops, Tiger Sugar has a vast and customizable menu, so it's best to order from the computer kiosk next to the register. There, you'll see a range of fruity teas, drinks featuring sago pearls made from palm tree pith, or drinks with sweet taro root and chocolate malt milk. After picking your order, you can choose your sweetness level, how much ice you want and what type of milk and cream you prefer. 

An iced brown sugar matcha latte with "less sugar" ($6.44) is rich and toasty from the matcha. Red beans add an earthy element, and the brown sugar boba balls are soft and slurpable. (Note, the menu also calls them black sugar boba interchangeably, but it's the same thing.) Shake it up a few times before you drink for a more even flavor. 

The signature drink, the brown sugar milk boba with pearls ($6.44) is so sweet and toasty it's almost like drinking creme brulee. Those who aren't into sugar should go for the golden oolong tea with cheese mousse ($5.52). Despite the name, the mousse is more like whipped cream and less salty and savory than other varieties. 

Right now, Tiger Sugar is doubling down on its feline marketing strategy by doing a partnership with Hello Kitty. For an extra $12.99, you can purchase a plush Hello Kitty cupholder that fits over your drink and fills it with cloying cuteness. There's also other merchandise including a line of souvenir cups, but that makes it harder to see those tiger stripes. 

Tiger Sugar, 207 Glen Cove Rd., Suite B, Carle Place, 516-882-4999, tigersugar.co. Open 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

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