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Fong On Can't Go Wrong Tofu Pudding with Red Beans, Grass Jelly, and Taro Balls: Fong On is a small family-run tofu shop on Division Street in Chinatown, right next to the Manhattan Bridge. I found out about it from a profile in the New York Times a few months ago, describing how the long-standing neighborhood tofu shop, which had been open for 80 years, had recently relocated and reopened after the son took over the family business. They sell freshly made soy milk, rice cakes, and doufu hua, all traditional Chinese favorites. Doufu hua is kind of like getting frozen ... (read more) 3.5/5.0

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Yi Fang Grass Jelly Drink: Purchased at the Taiwanese fruit tea chain Yi Fang in Chinatown. A classic Chinese drink, grass jelly has a slightly medicinal taste but rich sweetness reminiscent of molasses. This version from Yi Fang is much better than the canned grass jelly herbal tea that I resort to once in a while when I'm craving this taste from my childhood. Their grass jelly, which surprisingly is not included as part of the drink already, is also satisfyingly gelatinous - not too firm or soft, and fully flavored... (read more) 3.5/5.0

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iTea wintermelon milk tea with grass jelly: I ordered this drink out of curiosity, but the wintermelon didn’t have too much of a distinct flavor compared to regular black milk tea. The herbal grass jelly was very good as always, though Purchased at I-Tea in Kearny in SF. 3.0/5.0

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Young Tea Roasted oolong tea with grass jelly: This small tea shop in Seattle's Chinatown / International District is just a few steps away from their impressively sized Mitsuwa Market. It takes pride in its traditional Chinese herbal teas, and it comes across clearly in their drinks. The oolong milk tea I had was just right: more tea than milk wth just a bit of sweetness at 50%. The grass jelly was one of the most memorable I've had, with a silky texture and slightly bitter flavor that complements the sweet tea. Highly recommended! 4.0/5.0

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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

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50 Tea Longan Red Date drink with grass jelly: On my last visit to Oakland, iTea was out of ice and only offering hot beverages. Given the beautiful weather, I decided to go across the street to a new tea shop instead. Named 50 Tea, the shop is iconic Chinatown – half of the storefront is for tea and ice cream while the other half is for purchasing various goods like DVDs and small trinkets and gifts. Their walls are covered in hand-written menu additions with distinctly Asian flavors like winter melon and sour plum. I opted for thei... (read more) 4.0/5.0

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