’ve been drinking boba for as long as I can remember. My mom worked in a boba shop for around two years, and while she was working there, I have tried every flavor and tea. Last summer I also worked at a high class tea shop that also served boba. I
Having tasted many different types of tea, I know the difference between good and bad quality. Currently, I drink boba at least 3 times a week and have been to all the most popular boba places around the Bay Area.
Here are the 4 most popular boba locations:
Happy Lemon: Tanforan Way, San Bruno, CA 94066
Purple Kow: 3620 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Boba Guys: 3620 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Tpumps: 1916 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Happy Lemon: Happy Lemon is really popular right now, but the lines are decent (less than a 10 minute wait).
Milk tea Quality: I’ve tried their most popular drink twice, the salted cheese milk tea. My first impression wasn’t the best. The drink wasn’t flavorful at all and tasted watery. The second time, I decided to give it another try, it was also another disappointment.
Boba Quality: Honestly, the boba really sucked. It was flavorless and tasted like plastic.
Price: Average but a waste.
Purple Kow: Purple Kow has been pretty popular for quite some time now. They never disappoint and their portions are excellent.
Milk Tea Quality: I’ve only tried two drinks; Jasmine milk tea was my first ever drink that I got from PK, it was very watered down. The second thing I ordered from there was D4, Iced Milk with boba and grass jelly. Ever since then, I’ve been committed to D4.
Boba Quality: Good, sweet
Price: Super worth the price for the amount you get
Boba guys: Boba Guys is really ‘hot’ right now. The location on sutter and stockton has a line going down the block. The line usually takes 20-45 minutes.
Milk Tea Quality: I have tried their Jasmine milk tea, Hong Kong Style milk tea, Lavander Black milk tea, Horchata, and Matcha latte. Overall the flavor is great and my personal favorite drink is the Lavender black milk tea. The floral flavor gives a nice kick to the drink and isn’t too overpowering.
Boba Quality: Known for their ‘grade grade A balls’, the boba is great.
Price: Boba Guys is one of the most expensive boba places I have been to. It’s around 5 bucks for a super small size (16oz)
(In the picture: 24oz)
Tpumps: Tpumps was the “it” boba place a couple years back. I remember when the line took 2 hours, but now it has settled down and often there is no line.
Milk Tea Quality: It’s all syrup, but it does taste good. My personal favorite is tangerine vanilla green milk tea (creamsicle)
Boba Quality: Their boba is super chewy and good, but they give really little. Compared to other boba shops, they give like half the portion of boba.
Price: Affordable and cheap