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Emial Tapiocatime Royal Latte: My sleep has been terrible, with jetlag and the world burning down, so I've been relying on caffeinated beverages more than normal. On my way to lab, I purchased this tapioca drink from 7-11. It's an iced coffee, very sweet, that contains gelatinous balls that aren't quite like normal starchy and chewy tapioca but have a unique texture all its own that I surprisingly enjoyed. It reminds me a little bit of a more chewy jellyfish, which I know is not the most appetizing comparison but the cl... (read more) 3.5/5.0

recommended 3.5 latte royal tapiocatime emial 711 japanese coffee drinks
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Shiro-Hige Cream Puff Factory Totoro Cream Puff: Shiro-Hige Cream Puff Factory is a small, quaint shop / cafe about a 10 minute walk from the Odakyu Line in Tokyo. I'm not positive of its official affiliation with Studio Ghibli, but it has so much tasteful Ghibli decor, including original watercolors and sketches, that I would imagine it has been sanctioned by the studio. Their speciality is Totoro cream puffs ranging in flavor from strawberry, chocolate, banana, and regular, each with their own adorable decoration; for example, the stra... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 puff cream shirohigecreampufffactory japanese cute studioghibli totoro japan recommended
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Happy Ice Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bar: This is the famed, verging notorious, Taiwanese brown sugar boba iced tea bar, containing tapioca balls, that have been sold out everywhere. The person who was able to purchase it did not reveal its source but did say that there were multiple boxes available at this unnamed shop in the city of Los Angeles. The bar is a true work of science, with the tapioca balls retaining its iconic stretchy and chewy consistency despite being embedded in a frozen ice cream bar that tastes exactly like br... (read more) 4.5/5.0

4.5 bar cream ice sugar brown happyice milktea boba taiwanese icecream recommended
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The Penny Ice Creamery Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream with Blackberry Compote: Waited in line for about 20 minutes to enter this small ice cream shop in downtown Santa Cruz. Entire clientele was student-aged. They make all their ice cream in house, and they had some interesting flavors like celery and raisin sorbet (which I sampled but found did not taste as much of celery as I would like). I got a mini scoop of their lemon poppy seed ice cream with fresh made blackberry compote, which cost a little more than $4. You can tell from the texture of the ice cream that ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 compote blackberry cream ice seed poppy lemon thepennyicecreamery dessert icecream santacruz pennyicecreamery recommended
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KitKat Yuzu kitkat: There's a small KitKat shop in Ginza. I'm not sure if it's the main one because I've seen more KitKats in a room in most malls here, but they did have them individually packaged in nice collector cases. They were pretty pricey, a $3 for a single KitKat (not even the type you break in two, which I thought was a defining characteristic given the jingle but apparently not in Japan). I purchased the most interesting looking one: Yuzu. It's actually very good: sour and tart, like a lemon flavore... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 yuzu kitkat chocolate citrus japanese recommended
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Fanta Socata Soda: This is a limited edition vending-machine exclusive in Japan from Fanta, the first in a series they're calling 'Delicious Flavours of the World,' where they introduce flavors only available in other regions of the world to the Japanese market. I found out about it because I was intrigued by the name SOCATA?! on the label, with the universal white and blue color scheme of mystery flavors (e.g. White Air Heads, Mystery Oreo, etc.) The label also features a castle in the background, hinting a... (read more) 3.5/5.0

3.5 socata fanta vendingmachine japanese soda drinks recommended