tea (165)
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Happy Lemon Lemon black tea: Textbook mediocre black tea. Tastes like Lipton, and it probably is. On the plus side, the drinks contains an entire lemon, sliced into wedges. But the overall effect is black tea I can easily make at home. Good thing it was free (from the buy one get on free promotion during Happy Lemon’s opening weekend in Berkeley). 2.0/5.0

drinks berkeley happylemon lemon black tea 2.0
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iTea Guava green tea with lychee jelly and boba: I can’t tell if the fruit teas are generally underwhelming or the quality of this bubble tea shop has just declined over time, but this guava green tea from iTea on Kearny in SF was too sweet, even at 30% sweetness, with a syrupy taste and no trace of green tea. Contains lychee jelly and boba, both of which were decent. Lines were incredibly long at the end of a weekday. Questioning whether I should just stop returning to this once-favorite place. 2.0/5.0

drinks bubbletea sanfrancisco sf itea guava green tea lychee jelly boba 2.0
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Asha tea Blueberry green tea: Another great fruit tea from Asha tea in Berkeley. The drink is tea-first, with a mild herbal flavor that’s clean and refreshing. It pairs well with the fresh blueberry pulp, which turns the drink a deep shade of purple. 4.0/5.0

recommended drinks boba ashatea blueberry green tea 4.0
2017 08 03 16.52.59

TeaOne Buckwheat Purple Yam Milk Tea with Boba: Located on Telegraph on the edge of Berkeley's campus is TeaOne, yet another bubble tea shop in Berkeley. I decided to try their Buckwheat Purple Yam milk tea because it's a flavor I haven't seen elsewhere. Unfortunately, it is a flavor that probably shouldn't exist elsewhere because it has a starchy, grainy texture almost reminiscent of sesame breakfast porridge you get in powder packs at Asian grocery stores. The boba was also overly soft, with little discernible taste. 2.5/5.0

drinks boba bubbletea teaone buckwheat purple yam milk tea 2.5 berkeley
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

drinks milktea berkeley purplekow rosie oolong tea brown sugar jelly 2.0
2017 07 06 11.54.00

Balthazar Ginger Citrus Tea: A fantastically warming ginger beverage that's equal parts ginger and lemon, with a touch of honey. Well-balanced, with a pronounced and cleansing spicy flavor. A noteworthy classic worth going out of the way for. 4.0/5.0

recommended drinks nyc balthazar ginger citrus tea 4.0