“Can I get it in the light bulb?” is maybe one of the more ridiculous sentences I have uttered, but the smiling woman behind the counter at dessert shop Mango8, near the Drag, was all too pleased to make sure my lychee boba tea was delivered in the hottest new-to-town beverage vessel — a bona fide light bulb-shaped plastic cup.
The shop, according to TimeOut Austin, is the first place in town to offer their beverages, which include classic tea, boba tea and smoothies, in these Instagram-friendly cups. The trend of drinking out of re-purposed electrical appliances started early last year in either a Hyundai department store in South Korea or a Taiwanese boba shop, depending on which origin story you hear, and has since traveled to the U.S., to big cities like New York and Los Angeles, according to the TimeOut Austin piece.
And, as of last month, to Austin, too.
Mango8 has proudly adapted the light bulb trend and has myriad posters advertising the new “lightbulb drinks” in front of and inside the store. It costs an extra $1.25 to get your beverage in one of the cups, but hey, you get to keep it and forever drink out of it at home. My souvenir will fit right in with all of the other miscellaneous glassware, mainly brewery pint glasses, I’ve collected over the years. Or maybe not. I can see it getting mistaken for a real bulb and moved to the office supplies closet.
The little shop in West Campus, at 705 W. 24th St., opened earlier this year with a specialty in heaping portions of shaved ice. Now, the light bulbs seem to be one of its biggest highlights. If you order something a bit more colorful than my lychee boba tea — such as, say, the passion refresher — and take a picture of it, there’s no doubt your Instagram will light up with likes and comments. ‘Cause if you’re going to order something so silly (and so fun), you might as well go viral with it, right?