When I started grad school in LA, I had high expectations for the boba quality in the city. The problem is I have EXTREMELY high standards. To me, a proper boba beverage must meet the following qualifications:
- the boba must be chewy but firm and definitely fresh
- the tea has to be actual tea- not powder
- creamers should be actual food products (NOT Coffee Mate)
- the tea should be steep enough to be flavorful and not oversteeped
- I should be able to customize my beverage (i.e. Asha Tea House in Berkeley refuses to serve a combo of grass jelly and boba - even when I offered to pay for it. )
This list excludes the Starbucks or bobas (King Fu, ShareTea, etc.)
Milk + T
Definitely a cute, minimal venue that has self-serve. The idea of consuming as much boba as you desire is a boba lover’s dream. However, the idea of a billion people touching the boba spoon is not my cup of tea (pun intended). The tea here is high quality and the drinks are well made.
Would I come back? Only if I was in the area or if someone wanted to go.
Jin Tea House
This spot is a tea house first and a boba tea spot second. They specialize in high quality Oolong and their boba was fresh and had that sugar marinated taste. I understand the premium price for the tea, but it feels like this place charges for everything. I spent $7 per beverage. I asked for real milk, which was an up-charge, and extra boba, which was a larger than normal upcharge.
Would I go back? Only if I was trapped in Pasadena.
I was all ready to give this place a thumbs down because I have a rule: boba places that serve super sweet snacks are never good. I was expecting sugary, icey drinks with mediocre pearls. In reality, this is a great spot. The boba was soft, the tea was good, and I could adjust he seeetness.
Would I go back? Yes.
Pearl’s Finest Teas
This was another place I judged quite harshly for their empty interior. Their drinks are BOMB though. Very well made.
Would I go back? Yes.
Other Places I’ve Tried:
- Boba Truck (Northridge)- great teas, but no real milk options
- Refresh by Ekkamai (Culver City) - the people here are so nice, but the boba is just okay.
- Honey Boba (Sawtelle) - They give you large cups here. I’m not a gallon of boba kind of girl, I prefer tea quality.
For more boba fun: