boba (64)
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2017 04 05 19.45.41

iTea Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with Boba: While I previously have had very good experiences at iTea in San Francisco, I've found that the quality has seemed to decline over time. On my last trip, I ordered their Roasted Oolong Milk Tea with little sweetness and ice, yet the drink was still sweeter than I would expect and diluted tasting right from the start. The boba, too, was overly chewy without much character. I typically like to order new things every time I go, but if I find myself at iTea again, I will likely order one of m... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 tea milk oolong roasted itea bubbletea milktea boba drinks
2017 03 24 23.27.07

Boba Ninja Pudding Milk Tea with Boba: Right around the corner from Sweetheart Cafe on Durant (in Berkeley) is a competitor named Boba Ninja, which has barely enough standing room to accommodate a single-file line. Lining the interior is a shelf of flavor powders in small tupperware containers. The pudding milk tea is a regular black milk tea with large pieces of pudding (I added boba as well). The pudding had an inconsistent texture, as if the mix had not been fully stirred, and the boba was overly soft. Not much to say abou... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 boba tea milk pudding bobaninja bubbletea berkeley drinks
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