The Boba Survival Guide

Lesson #2 on surviving and thriving on the streets of Rowland Heights: know your Boba.

Straws and lids come with purchase

Straws and lids come with purchase


The Basics – Know Your Target

All good things start somewhere small. Known to many as Bubble Tea, Boba was born in the 1980s in a small, quaint shop owned by Liu Han Chieh in Taiwan. Boba is an amazing hybrid between a beverage and a dessert. When done right, this drink will have chewy tapioca pearls floating around in a rich and creamy milk tea.

The Breakdown – Understand the Components
Tapioca pearls are chewy circular delights that are used in Asian desserts; they are most commonly used in these milk tea and Boba drinks. For those looking to spice up their daily lives, these pearls come in an assortment of colors. However, the most common pearls are either a rich dark brown or a milky clear color.

Milk tea is basically the combination of a cream or milk base with a tea added to it, creating a decadent, tan colored beverage that has a rich taste with hints of your favorite tea throughout sips. The milk tea serves as a creamy base for your palate while the Boba adds texture and what my parents call the “Q” factor. The “Q” factor basically indicates that the Boba has a slight bite and chew to it, not unlike the feel of Al Dente pasta.

IMG_3105

Neil basking in his catch for the day.

 

Now that you are armed with the Basics and the Breakdown, it’s time to apply the knowledge and find your favorite Boba provider. I took the liberty of cruising around the suburb and identified the top three Boba hangouts in Rowland Heights that are friendly to your wallets and your taste buds. These also have the approval stamps of my professional taste tester Neil.

#1 – Tea Lane
Perfect for: your inner hipster
Perks: free wifi and virtually unlimited sitting time
Their Boba: Q factor and also warm to the touch
Personal favorite: the House Milk tea or the Hokkaido milk tea
Price: around $3 to $4 for basic drinks

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My verdict: 5/5 pearls | Neil’s verdict: 4/5 pearls

#2 – Half and Half Tea Express
Perfect for: the bucket-lister
Perks: tons of customizations and combinations
Their Boba: Q factor and also warm to the touch
Personal favorite: the Honey Boba with pudding
Price: around $4 to $5 for basic drinks

half and half edit

My verdict: 4/5 pearls | Neil’s verdict: 5/5 pearls

#3 – Ten Ren’s Tea Time
Perfect for: the first-timer
Perks: free wifi and virtually unlimited sitting time
Their Boba: decent Q factor
Personal favorite: the Original Milk Tea
Price: around $3 to $4 for basic drinks

ten ren edit

My verdict: 3/5 pearls | Neil’s verdict: 3/5 pearls

Although I’m not quite too sure how we would all fare in a Zombie Apocalypse, at least we know our Boba.

Sipping some Boba on my corner on,
colima

(All photo’s by Yours Truly.)

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