Tag Archives: milk tea

Black & White – West Covina

Black & White, like many San Gabriel Valley tea shops, is housed in a suburban strip mall off the corner of Nogales and Amar Roads in the leafier part of West Covina. Parking tends to be difficult throughout the day, as the strip mall is also home to a diverse medley of Southeast Asian places, ranging from Filipino to Thai to Indonesian.

Continue reading Black & White – West Covina


Tea Way – San Francisco

Of course we made a pitstop at Tea Way (previously reviewed on November 9, 2011) after stuffing ourselves silly with takeout from San Tung.

Continue reading Tea Way – San Francisco

Tea Way – San Francisco

One of our friends told us about a self-serve boba joint in Norcal called Tea Way (一茶道), so we decided to try it out. It’s located in Sunset, so we took the Muni to get there.

The place was pretty small, but there was a steady stream of customers when we went. At the counter, you select the drink of your choice and pay up. The cashier then gives you an empty cup to fill with toppings of your choice, ranging from red beans to tapioca pearls to pudding. Then the cup is handed over to a another employee behind the counter who fills in the cup and seals it.

Passion lychee tea, pumpkin pie milk tea, ovaltine milk tea, honey milk tea

The drinks are just okay. I found them really sweet though, especially the honey milk tea. The pumpkin pie milk tea was interesting, but didn’t taste like pumpkin pie.

All of us filled in an appropriate amount of toppings, except for Laurie, who apparently went berserk in the self-serve section and filled her cup to the brim with all these chewy pearls and other odd toppings, leaving no room for the passion lychee tea she had chosen.

Address: 2150 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 | map


The tapioca milk tea making process

The tapioca milk tea making process, illustrated.

Tapioca pearls soaked in honey

Brewed black tea

Condensed milk boiled with the tea

It was for a Community Service Commission fundraiser.

Little Green Bean – Rowland Heights

Little Green Bean (綠豆苗) had pretty good reviews on Yelp (4 stars) so I went to check it out. It’s inside an Asian shopping plaza, almost next door to a Ten Ren Teahouse.

The milk teas are sorta pricey here, considering Quickly, a block down, sells boba milk tea for 89 cents a cup. On our first visit, we got a tapioca milk tea-coffee ($3.50 L) and a tapioca milk tea with coffee jelly ($4.00 L).

The milk tea-coffee was surprisingly good. There was a strong hint of expresso and the drink was creamy. The pearls were likewise chewy. The tapioca milk tea with coffee jello was just okay, but the coffee jelly gave it a kick.

I went there a second time, but things apparently went downhill. The milk tea tasted different and the tapioca pearls tasted stale. Perhaps it’s a hit-or-miss type of thing.

Address: 18415 E Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748 | Yelp

Peace, Justin

P.S. Ask for a stamp card. They don’t hand them out unless you ask for them.

Honeyboba – Arcadia

Honeyboba: Caramel Milk Tea + Pudding + Boba

I went here for the second time last night, with my friend Jenny. I wanted to try this to compare it to Half & Half’s. It was pricey, almost $5 after tax. It was really good though. It tasted really similar to Half & Half’s. I couldn’t finish the drink though, normally I can with Half & Half’s.

Anyway, it was good…better than my first experience here with the overly sweet Hello Honey Milk Tea.

❤ josie

Fantasia – San Jose

Fantasia is a purely Norcal phenomenon, which is why I wanted to try their tapioca milk tea. The drinks had a surprising Western taste to them and everything was meh to me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that SOCAL > NORCAL, at least when it comes to boba milk tea.

Address: 378 Santana Row #1115, San Jose, CA 95128 | map


Honeyboba – Arcadia

Honey Boba

As I was coming home from my microbio class the other day, I stopped by Honey Boba because I read that it was comparable to Half & Half. I wanted to find out for myself.

When I first entered the boba place, I found it really misleading in so many ways.

  1. It looks a lot bigger from the outside, but really it had seating enough for maybe 10 people at most.
  2. It reminded me of Guppy Tea House from the outside because of the plants, but really the place could do without it.
  3. They have the fat cups on display, the ones similar to the half & half ones.

The place wasn’t that inviting when I first walked in. Pretty much the counter is like this huge wall, with a square cut out, where you order your drink/food and also pick up your order. Really inefficient in my opinion.

I asked the worker there what she recommended and she said the Hello Honey Milk Tea was one of their more popular drinks. So I ordered it.

I brought the drink home and drank it there. The boba is good— definitely I could taste the honey flavor. The tea overall was way too sweet. I felt like I was going to get diabetes from drinking it. I regularly get honey milk tea from boba places, and this was just way too much for me. I felt sick after drinking it.

Overall, I think the prices are similar to half & half, but I still think that half & half is probably better.

Oh! Just giving you a heads up, boba is not included in the price of the drink. It’s an additional $0.50 more. I mean… what kind of boba place doesn’t include boba in their drinks/prices.

Come on!


1 W Duarte Rd
Arcadia, CA 91007

Boba Review № 11: Temple City’s Kang Kang

Kang Kang Food Court (康康小美) just opened in Temple City, part of a franchise of Chinese food courts in the 626 serving a really wide variety of Chinese dishes for cheap. Their menu options are numerous, extending all four walls.

We ordered Taiwanese-style shaved ice (剉冰) with red beans, mung beans, grass jelly and condensed milk, for about $4. They offer the option of 3, 4 or 6 sides to add to the shaved ice. Pretty generous portions.

I finally tried their boba for the first time today. Only $2.75 for a generous cup of tapioca milk tea (they have other options as well, like Thai tea and yuanyang for the same price).

The tapioca balls were pleasant and chewy, but they were clumped together. The strong brewed tea, though, is what stood out to me. The milk tea had a rich fragrance, made apparent by the fact that the liquid was much darker than most milk teas. And it was perfectly sweet—I felt no desire to add extra milk to dilute it.

Address: 9618 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780 | Yelp


Boba Review № 10: Culver City’s Westsubs

Westsubs is a pretty misleading name for a place that specializes in boba and tea.. I think 9/10 customers in there were ordering boba, not sandwiches. Anyway, I went with Josie and some of the P. WILD directors, after eating at a Brazilian food joint next door.

They offer a huge variety (an endless list of options, from mint mocha to Thai tea) of boba milk teas ($3.75), making it especially hard for indecisive people like me to decide on one.

The ambiance is pretty well-suited for studying. The windows are lined with orchids and there’s ample lighting. Apparently they offer free wifi as well. If only I had a car…

Their cups are huge. They’re not standard-size boba cups, probably a good two inches taller.

I ordered a taro milk tea. The taro milk tea was yummy, one of the best I’ve ever had. 😀 The tapioca balls were likewise perfectly done: chewy and slightly sweet. Combined with the generous portions, I was more than happy to pay $3.75.

Address: 3863 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90232 | Yelp


Boba Review № 9: San Gabriel’s Snack Inc

Snack Inc. just recently opened in the Hawaii Supermarket Plaza. Before a boba shop counter was added, the store just sold Chinese snacks, like dried jujubes and dried mangoes. Now they sell boba milk tea too, with an extensive selection of teas and flavors.

We just ordered the normal tapioca milk tea, a safe choice and also $1.50 (for opening promotions). Unfortunately, the tea had a distinct odor, one of preserved fruits and candies and was quite runny. This might have been because the place doubles as a snack shop, selling preserved fruits and candies in those huge plastic jars. But, with each sip, the taste grew on me. The tapioca balls were sort of hard to chew too, a little plasticy, and most definitely not sweet.

No stamp of approval. :{

Address: 120 E Valley Blvd Ste A, San Gabriel, CA 91776 | Yelp (none!)


Boba Review № 8: Palms’ Boba Time

First off, I’ve obviously drunken more boba milk tea since my last boba review (San Gabriel’s Tea Spots). By last count, I’ve had 74 this year. I just never remember to bring a decent camera and frequent the same spots (call it my rotations) most of the time, so they’re not worth reviewing.. I shall review MPK’s Half and Half Tea House soon too.

Boba Time is in a generic nondescript plaza and their milk tea is apparently cheaper than their menu prices ($2, not $3.25). I usually get that so I can benchmark and compare it to other places.

So I ordered the tapioca milk tea, which was made promptly. The balls were chewy (meaning they weren’t stale yet) but not sweet (usually the trademark of tapioca balls). The milk tea itself wasn’t very memorable either. It was drinkable, plain and simple. I felt it was milkier than it was sweet. But considering this kind of price for boba in West LA, I was more than happy to be drinking it.

Bottom line: cheap and pleasant tasting.

Score: 7/10