boba (56)
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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 T... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 tea milk style taiwan sweetheartcafe boba bubbletea drinks recommended
2017 02 21 19.45.52

iTea Lychee Green Tea: A rare miss at my go-to boba shop, I found the lychee green tea at iTea to have an overly sweet artificial flavor and very little herbal taste. The boba was also too soft, though the lychee jelly that comes with the drink had a nice bite and satisfying fruit flavor. I've generally found that the more traditional tea drinks are better than their fruit teas. 2.5/5.0

2.5 tea green lychee bubbletea boba itea drinks
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Wonderful Dessert and Cafe Grass jelly drink with boba: Wonderful Dessert and Cafe is a small shop lined with bulk candy bins. Counter for bubble tea in the back. Painted window signage declares that this shop has the "best tapioca in town." In actuality, it was one of the worst I've had from any establishment, with a mushy texture and no flavor. The herbal jelly tea was no better, with a medicinal metallic taste. Was hopeful given high online reviews and this store's location in Inner Richmond, which feels the most like Flushing, Queens as I've... (read more) 1.5/5.0

drinks 1.5 boba drink jelly grass wonderfuldessertandcafe innerrichmond bubbletea sanfrancisco avoid
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I-Tea 3G milk tea with boba, grass jelly, and pudding: I made a dangerous discovery that my new favorite bubble tea shop has a location in San Francisco, much closer to work than the Downtown Oakland spot. I ordered their third most popular drink, the 3G, named because of its three toppings: boba, grass jelly, and pudding. It comes with classic milk tea, and, by default, is served in a "chubby" container that's short and squat. I opted for the more portable standard cup (all drinks come in a single size). The black milk tea was done just right -... (read more) 4.5/5.0

bubbletea 4.5 pudding jelly grass boba milk 3g itea sanfrancisco tea drinks exceptional
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U Cha Barley milk tea with boba: Continuing my bubble tea taste test across Berkeley, I found myself at a popular tea shop named U Cha on Bancroft. Their expansive menu has the fruit and milk tea flavors you expect from a Taiwanese-style chain. I ordered their barley tea with boba at 20% sweetness with little ice. The flavor was familiar but watered down and over-sweetened; the boba was too chewy. With better options, this one is a pass. 2.0/5.0

2.0 boba tea milk barley ucha bubbletea berkeley drinks
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Sharetea Hokkaido black milk tea with boba: I stopped by this branch of Sharetea to scout out tea shops in downtown Berkeley; this one is located right on the edge of campus. Coming in around lunchtime meant there was a sizeable line of college students, and it took about 10 minutes total from getting in line to retrieving my drink. Their menu has several variants of classic black milk tea, including Hokkaido black tea, which supposedly has a roasted brown sugar flavor. Though I ordered it at 30% sweetness, it was more sweet than I wo... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 boba tea milk black hokkaido sharetea berkeley drinks milktea bubbletea