2017 03 11 22.06.58

Sweetheart Cafe Taiwan Style Milk Tea with Boba: This hole-in-the-wall on Durant in Berkeley features a small counter overflowing with asian snacks and walls plastered with laminated drink menus (items listed in Chinese followed by English). The first time I stopped by shortly after it opened its doors for the day, I was informed that the boba had not yet been delivered from Oakland, where they have a sister cafe. Returning several weeks later on an impulse at around 11pm (they are open past midnight on the weekends), I opted for their Taiwan style black milk tea with boba (and less sugar). Drinking the tea induced an almost Ratatouille-like flashback, not because the tea was especially good, but because it perfectly captures the milky, sweet flavor of black milk tea you can get at any corner bubble tea shop on the streets of Taipei. Yes, it was too sweet even with less sweetness, and it was more milk than tea, but this drink scores high for authenticity. The boba is unlike any I've had before, seemingly defying all physics by maintaining an impossible Young's Modulus. The boba is endlessly chewy but maintains a slick, firm consistency throughout. I sat and savored the drink at their cramped bar facing the street, which made for excellent people watching, as Cal students mingle with, or simply rush past, the indignant homeless crowd camped out on the edge of the so-called Asian ghetto. 4.0/5.0

4.0 tea milk style taiwan sweetheartcafe boba bubbletea drinks recommended