Difference between snow bubble and icy or snow smoothie and icy slush

After extensive research about these specialty drinks*, the definitive difference is creamer (or milk) ::

snow bubble or snow smoothie = flavored drink with crushed ice plus milk or non-dairy creamer

icy or icy slush = flavored drink with crushed ice (no milk or creamer)

And, of course, you could all kinds of yummy goodnesses like boba, jellies, puddings, juices, fruits, whatever is on the menu or off menu when you’re ordering.

lolli3drinksAdditional references:

“What is snow bubbles?” via chowhound.com (2004)–

Snow Bubbles are light, creamy blended beverages made from non-dairy creamer, blended ice, and the flavor of your choice. They are similar in concept to thin milk shakes.

The difference between a Snow Bubble and an Icy is that Snow Bubbles and Icy’s are both drinks made from blended ice. A Snow Bubble is creamy, like a thin milk shake. An Icy does not have cream (with the exception of Taro Icy), and has a thicker, slushy consistency.

A more detailed explanation at tjjournal.com (2011) —

Lollicup has over 100 tea and fruity flavors to offer, and any two flavors can be combined to make a unique mixed drink. There are also different consistencies to choose from: a snow bubble is a creamy blended drink, slush is similar to an icy, milk tea is a creamy tea, and flavored iced teas and juices are also available. In addition, there are different ingredients to add to the drink: bobas are very popular among the Asian culture; it is a ball of tapioca pudding that sits at the bottom of the drink. Puddings and jellies can all be added for a twist to the drink. Any drink can be served hot or cold with either milk or soy.

* interviews with knowledgeable staffers at 2 SoCal area boba tea shops
** drinks are called: snow bubble and icy @ Tapioca Express; snow smoothie and icy slush @ Lollicup