Our Favorite Boba Places! (Taipei & San Francisco)
In our blogs, we not only want to share stories about our stores, what we are doing and why we are doing it, we also want to share our culture and who we are as people. Since we both grew up in Taiwan, and lived/been living in Taiwan for a few years as adults, and love Taiwanese food, so we thought it’d be fun to share some of them with you.
Boba milk tea (some call it boba, milk tea, bubble tea, pearl milk tea, etc.) has become very popular around the world in the last couple years, so we want to share some of our favorite places with you. Let us know your favorite boba place in the comment!
Chin’s Favorite Boba in Taiwan
Location: Everywhere in Taiwan
Favorite Drink: Fresh Taro Milk + Boba
Price: 60 NTD + 10 NTD for boba
Story: Milk Shop is my fav boba place ever! The boba is soo goood! And the way they cook the taro is just AMAZINGLY DONE, so smooth and so sweet. They make sure every sip you take, you can taste the taro. The owner of Milk Shop is actually also a cattle farm owner in Taiwan. He had the idea of opening a boba milk tea place because no one was buying his milk :( So there’s no doubt about the quality of the milk. SUPER RECOMMEND MILK + TARO + BOBA.
Name: Herb Tea (草本茶集)
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Favorite Drink: Rose Alice (玫瑰愛麗絲)
Price: 70 NTD
Story: This store has special flavored boba: sesame boba, rose boba, taro boba, agar boba. At this store, these kinds of special boba are made by natural ingredient, so they taste AMAZING; they do not add any preservative, pigment or anything artificial. My favorite drink is the rose boba + milk which is called Rose Alice. The drink tends to get watered down by the ice as it melts, so make sure to ask for less ice! The picture is actually another drink—Genmaicha fresh milk with sesame boba—the day I went they ran out of rose boba. It is remarkably tasty as well! But you can’t taste the tea that much. Only the boba is good here.
Location: Taipei, Taiwan (only 1 store)
Favorite Drink: Brown Sugar Boba + Milk
Price: 40 NTD
Why: This is supposedly the first brown sugar boba milk place IN THE WORLD! Unlike all the other boba milk tea places, this one only has a few options to choose from. The store has been there since I was a kid, but at the time not many people were buying it. Now that brown sugar boba milk has become a trend, there is always a looong line and it has become a tourist spot. I used to love this store, but as an amateur foodie, I will have to say this one doesn’t have the best boba milk. 😅 It is def. traditional Taiwanese. If you ever visit Taiwan, you should give it a try.
YUn’s Favorite Boba in US
Name: T4 清茶達人 Tea For You
Location: US and all over the world
Favorite Drink: Honey Peach Royal Tea
Price: US$ 2.95 + US$ 0.5 boba or any topping
Why: T4 is the most Taiwanese boba drink chain outside of Taiwan in my opinion. A lot of times, tea shops or restaurants would change the flavors to better cater to local customers, thus creating some products that completely change the original drink/dishes. T4 has many different flavors of tea, but they are all flavors you would find in Taiwan!
They are an international chain where you can find store in US, UK, Spain, Hong Kong, Malaysia, many more, and of course Taiwan!
And while researching for this blog, I found out on their blog that Peach Royal Tea is their #1 flavor!
Location: US (not sure which cities)
Favorite Drink: Roasted Oolong Tea + Boba
Price: US$ 3.75 + US$ 0.5 boba or any topping
Why: It was the best milk tea place around where I lived, and there were around 5-10 in the area.
Overall, I think they are pretty similar to T4 in terms of atmosphere, tea selection, and price point. I’d recommend both places.
I’ve been to iTea numerous times, and every time I go back to Roasted Oolong Tea with Boba, no ice and half sugar. Best combo!
Name: Boba Guys
Location: US (California & New York)
Favorite Drink: I get something different everytime
Price: US$ 4-5 + US$ 0.5 for toppings, and you can choose from regular milk, almond milk, and oat milk
Why: So, Boba Guys has a really really great story, from its mission to the founders to the products and their amazing marketing, make sure you check out their website and Instagram to learn more about them. Their TA is definitely millennials who love a good story and want to feel good about their community and what they consume.
I enjoy their story and what they are doing, but I wouldn’t consider this as one of my favorite places. They have good tea and unique flavors that lets me try something different everytime, but I like the more authentic milk tea places.
In the picture here I got Matcha Peachu which is sparkling Pellegrino Mineral Water with housemade peach marmalade and premium cold-brew matcha, a yummy combination.