Have you ever wondered where to go for boba tea? Considering that it is (and has been) one of the hottest food products, I bet you have.
Boba, bubble, tapioca, or pearl milk tea a is a tea based beverage usually containing milk, sugar, and toppings (arguably the most important part). That delicious tea flavor combined with a topping or two makes it a great snack. Here are a few facts to get you up to speed:
- Boba tea stores generally offer a customizable drink option, so you can put together your perfect drink.
- Customization usually includes choosing the flavor, toppings, and sweetness of your boba tea.
- Most drinks can be made hot or cold and with or without milk.
- There are also no caffeine items at most shops.
- Example: At Teaspoon I get the paradise lime flavor (it has no caffeine): cold, no ice, 0% sugar, and with the almond pudding topping.
- Sometimes you can ask for samples!
- If you can’t decide how to customize your drink, you can typically try a “specialty” drink which contain flavors and toppings that go well together. There’re sort of like the store’s signature teas.
- You can still customize some specialty drinks if there is an option for that.
Basically I was just trying to tell you that it’s hard to get something that you won’t enjoy. I think that boba tea is amazing because it’s simply (yes, I’m saying it again) healthy, but tasty. You can drink it after school and not feel guilty as if you just splurged on a soda. Yet at the same time, it’s still very enjoyable and satisfying, like a snack should be. It’s definitely something new and unique compared to other food products.
You can probably tell by now that boba tea is incredibly popular. What that means however, is that there’s a lot of competition between companies that sell it. Your friends will tell you to go here, but then someone else will explain why “this” place is actually better. I’m not saying that you should listen to everything I write in my comparison, because it’s just my opinion. I do hope, however, that it’s some use to you. Here we go!
Before I start, please know that both of these boba tea stores are great choices.
Teaspoon is located at the intersection of San Antonio and El Camino road. It’s been around here for a while and we’ve been going there for about three or so years. Teaspoon also serves a very tasty shaved ice that you have to try (you won’t forget it!). The line at this store can get fairly long at times and though it’s not too bad, you could be waiting for up to 15-30 minutes at times. I think that everything works very efficiently there. The menu is up on a screen that everyone can see, so you know what you’re buying when you reach the front. The employees take your order very quickly and make it fast too, so you’ll be receiving your drink in no time!
Boba Guys is another boba tea store also located on another El Camino intersection with Embarcadero street in the well known Town and Country shopping area. It is very new (opened four weeks ago), but still extremely popular nonetheless. Like Teaspoon, often it is crowded, as students from the Palo Alto High and Castilleja schools can make the walk there in less then ten minutes. The wait time is similar with that of Teaspoon’s, and it all depends on the time of day you choose to go. Today, my mom, sister, and I drove there a little after noon and the wait time was pretty good. I would say that the service there was great and everything functioned very smoothly.
In this category for my review, I have to give my kudos to Teaspoon. I’m not saying that Boba Guys has a bad customization menu, it’s just that wow, Teaspoon knocks it out of the park. Both stores have almost the same customization options. There’re around 20 tea flavors each and you can make your drink hot/cold, choose a sweetness level, etc. The customization category where Teaspoon completely jumps ahead of Boba Guys is the toppings. It’s crazy, really! You’ll walk through the door and find yourself staring at a counter with 20+ different buckets all carrying different toppings. I thought for a second that I was at like a frozen yogurt store! I don’t even know where to begin. To start off, there’s the classic chewy tapioca “boba” balls that are the signature topping of the boba tea franchise. Then you’ll see the different types of popping boba (Ex. strawberry popping boba), the variety of jellies (Ex. lychee jelly), and the miscellaneous items (Ex. almond pudding or sweetened taro chunks). There’s so much to choose from that it’s actually overwhelming! To get back to boba guys, they still have toppings, but I don’t believe that they offer any popping boba or jellies which limits their add-on selections to only 6 or so choices. If you want a good customization experience, you know where to go.
The part where Boba Guys starts to balance out with Teaspoon is in their specialty drinks. Like I explained earlier, the benefit of specialty drinks is that they’re going to taste good, literally all of the time (unless you don’t like boba tea of course). With Boba Guys, the “good” turns into a combination of mouth-watering and stunning. Take the strawberry matcha latte, their 1# drink. The green tea flavor mixed with creamy milk and sweet strawberry puree is irresistible. It’s like a completed puzzle! Everything fits together and balances out perfectly. Not too much of this, not too much of that. The specialty drinks at Boba Guys are the types of foods that one would crave. Don’t forget that Teaspoon’s specialty drinks are still tasty options, but Boba Guys is going to receive the win for this category.
So there you have it! Do know that Teaspoon and Boba Guys aren’t the only places with boba tea. There’re probably more than 100 in the bay area, so it’s not like you can’t try this amazing beverage if you don’t live close to one of the two stores I wrote about.
I’m sure many of you will be wanting boba tea after reading this, so comment down below one of your favorite boba tea combinations (flavor, toppings, sweetness, etc). After all, the first time you try something new is often the time when that “something” sets an impression. Now, you’re probably thinking that I am going a little crazy with such a long post. The truth is, you’re most likely at least partially correct. I’ve never really done a full review before where I compare two food selections, so it would be greatly appreciated if you left a couple feedback sentences in the comments section. Go find your tea!