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PaTea Brown sugar oolong milk tea with boba: I really love living in NYC, but one thing that was missing for me was a mom-and-pop super-asian bubble tea shop, the kind that has an overwhelming number of flavors that isn’t a major chain like Gong Cha or Coco. Those types of shops are omnipresent in the Bay Area, but not so much here. However, that gap has now been filled by PaTea, a very small bubble tea shop a few blocks away from Union Square. There, they have the “chubby” bucket-sized bubble tea cups in a variety of milk and fruit te... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 boba tea milk oolong sugar brown patea asian chinese milktea drinks bubbletea nyc recommended
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&pizza Rose and champagne cotton candy: This is a 2-serving-size cotton candy snack from &Pizza, available in two different flavors: rose and champagne. They taste slightly different from one another, but neither are particularly close to their intended flavor—the Rose is more mild than the champagne, but both taste of pure sugar. Not particularly distinguishable from standard carnival cotton candy. Expensive, at $5 each. 2.5/5.0

2.5 candy cotton champagne rose pizza dessert sugar
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Coca Cola Coke Zero Sugar: I'm in the Coke Zero camp (I.e., I prefer it to Diet Coke for its better depth of flavor and less metallic taste). Though, to be honest, they both pale in comparison to the more fully body Coca-Cola, which unfortunately has too much sugar. Apparently, Coke improved the flavor of Coke Zero while also emphasizing that it's a zero-calorie beverage through rebranding, for those who were unaware. I didn't taste much difference from the original Coke Zero which is neither good nor bad. So if you w... (read more) 2.5/5.0

2.5 sugar zero coke cocacola soda drinks
2017 08 02 20.22.48

Purple Kow Rosie Oolong Tea with Brown Sugar Jelly: Somehow, I kept finding myself at this bubble tea shop in Berkeley, likely because of its proximity to the downtown BART station. Purple Kow serves its bubble tea in "chubby" cups (essentially stout buckets) and uses organic milk products for its milk teas. I think they're a little too proud of this fact given that the last few milk teas I've had have been overwhelmingly milky to the point that you feel like you're having sweetened milk. Even with the "micro sugar option," it was too swee... (read more) 2.0/5.0

2.0 jelly sugar brown tea oolong rosie purplekow berkeley milktea drinks
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Kung Fu Tea brown sugar ginger tea with boba: This hot beverage evolved over time, but for the worse. I really liked how the ginger flavor was prominent and unforgiving-perfect for cold winter nights. But as I progressed to the bottom of the cup, the drink became overly sweet. And the boba was terrible (far too mushy). For the tea alone, it was a 3.5, but with the boba, it comes down to a 3.0. 3.0/5.0

kungfutea tea boba drinks asian ginger brownsugar 3.0 brown sugar
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Ginza Tokyo Sugar Butter Sand Tree cookies: Japanese sandwich cookies with a dense, crunchy exterior (somewhat flaky when you bite through it) and a cloyingly sweet icing in the middle reminiscent of cereal milk. Nice packaging, but disappointing flavor. 2.5/5.0

japanese cookie sugarbuttersandtree 2.5 foreign ginzatokyo sugar butter sand tree cookies