Recently, a boba tea and smoothie shop called N2O Puff (1131 Airline Drive, Bossier City) opened in Rams Airline Plaza, at the corner of Airline Drive and Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier City. My interest was initially driven by the simple fact that a boba café was opening in Shreveport-Bossier; most boba sold in this area is found at Vietnamese restaurants. Furthering my interest in N2O Puff was the apparent popularity of the place – the parking lot was packed on a recent Tuesday afternoon, so I stopped in to see what all of the fuss was about.
As it turns out, N2O Puff takes its unusual name from the café’s most popular product: The “dragon puff” ($4.99) is a cup filled with liquid nitrogen-blasted, oversized breakfast cereal balls (think jumbo Trix corn puffs) that are eaten with chopsticks and served with a fruity dipping sauce. When you pop a dragon puff ball into your mouth and bite in, smoke billows out of your nose and mouth. During my visit, the shop was packed with customers broadcasting video of their best dragon impersonations on Snapchat and Instagram. Whatever you call the dragon puff (dessert? snack? science?), it appears to be catching on.
Boba tea enthusiasts will be glad to know that N2O Puff also serves really terrific boba beverages. I tried the taro boba tea ($3.99) and, honestly, it was one of the best that I’ve had in Shreveport-Bossier. The tapioca pearls that hang out at the bottom of the glass can be hit-or-miss, especially at places that don’t sell a high volume of drinks, but at N2O Puff they’d just been prepared and were springy and easy to chew. If you prefer that your boba tea is blended, as it’s served at many local Vietnamese restaurants, you’ll need to order it as a smoothie – otherwise it will be served over ice. Boba tea flavors include common options like Thai tea and taro along with not-so-common flavors like black milk tea and matcha green tea. There are more than a dozen boba smoothie options including honeydew, mango and blueberry.
There are some rules and regulations that come along with eating liquid nitrogen-blasted anything: don’t touch it with your hands (that’s what the chopsticks are for at N2O Puff); don’t drink any liquid nitrogen that gathers at the bottom of the cup. The staff at N2O Puff is great about sharing these instructions, which are also posted at the ordering counter. All in all, the dragon puff really was fun to share with friends, but the boba tea and boba smoothies will bring me back to N2O Puff.