Tag Archives: tea


27 Jul

I was surprised today turned out really warm. It was cold this morning with overcast skies so I didn’t think that the fog would lift. When I went to go pick up Mantou from daycare later in the afternoon I put on one of my fleeces expecting it to be cold. After I walked out the door I wished I just left it at home, but I was anxious to go pick up the little guy. I’m glad the day turned out nice anyway. For one, it’s summer, it’s suppose to be warm but also because my husband and I decided to meet downtown. We needed to pick up some more lotion for Mantou and some Blue Bottle coffee beans for the hubs. What did I get? I wanted bubble tea!

There’s about five different places downtown that we can get our bubble tea fix. I’ve been to four of them and I like going to each one for different reasons. At TeaWay it’s a “do-it-yourself” type of place. You order at the counter the tea you want, they give you a cup, you fill it with whatever type of goodies you want, then they pour in the tea and seal the cup. Quickly is a chain that’s everywhere in the Bay Area. The one near me has been pretty consistent with their tapioca balls – these have to be made well – in Chinese there’s a term we call “q” it has to have the right bounce and chew, in other words mushy or hard = bad. Plus I like getting their taro milk tea because it’s their anniversary “special” so it’s cheaper than the other flavors. At Dessert Republic, I like to sit at their tables and order because they have this fun way of serving. At each table they have a little placard with options for you to press; for example, when you press the “order” button you hear a “ding” and a waitstaff person presents┬áthem-self to take your order. The most recent find is a place called Tpumps. It’s owned by a super friendly guy named Alex who is really passionate about healthy tea. He serves up some awesome taro milk tea with real taro pieces.

Ok, so why a review on the bubble tea places in my neighborhood? Well, if you have noticed, I had been ordering my favorite milk tea! Gladly most of the menus at these tea places have a variety of teas that do not include milk, just straight up tea. Alex at Tpumps says he will think about using soy milk since his patrons have requested non-dairy concoctions. However I have a tolerance for strong tea, I grew up drinking oolong black tea, plus there’s that added sweetness in bubble tea. I wonder if any of these places would welcome the suggestion of using coconut milk? While visiting Portland, OR in May I found a tea place called Fat Straw (on “TrendyThird” street – which is the same street as my favorite chocolate place “Moonstruck”). Their unique ingredient? You got it – coconut milk. It is a great alternative to regular milk however coconut milk has its own flavor so it will affect the taste a bit and is a little bit denser. If you like coconut milk, then that’s not a problem.

One more thing, those bubbles are made from tapioca starch so no worries about wheat there!