Anyone have a favorite boba/milk tea/pearl milk tea/bubble tea place?
So many new "Taiwanesey" places that serves freshly brewed (milk) tea. I said Taiwanesey so I'll leave out Boba Guys and Fifty Fifty since they're more hipster.
We all know about Purple Kow, also now in Berekely, and Tpumps, which is originally from San Mateo. Purple Kow brews each cup of tea per order, hence the long wait. Tpumps brews in bulk because really, it'll still be just as fresh since they're constantly brewing a new pot. Their pearls are the best, just slightly coated in honey; however, Tpumps doesn't offer the different types of teas (matcha, hojicha, assam, etc.) that Purple Kow has.
I've recently been going to Super Cue Cafe (on Taraval) because they also serve just iced milk (no tea, similar to the popular drinks in Purple Kow) and with (real) fresh taro as a topping. They just opened less than a month ago, I believe. And now I just found out that Chinatown finally as a place that also makes fresh milk tea - Cool Tea Bar. These two places uses the espresso method of brewing the tea, hence a much faster turnaround.
Before these two places, I've been going to Ocha in San Mateo or Mr Green Bubble in Oakland for fresh milk tea (espresso-style), but now I don't have to go as far, unless I want to sit down and hang out for a bit, but if I want to stay local and have a seat with tables, then there's also Little Sweet Cafe on Geary, another new boba joint that only opens at night. Drinks served fresh, and this place is the _most_ Taiwanese of them all. I didn't even know so many Taiwanese people (straight from Taiwan) lived in the city.
By the way, most people don't seem to know this. 波霸 "boba" is Taiwanese slang for big boobs. It refers to the big black balls. Go ahead. Do a search in Google images. I dare you. "Pearl" (Chinese is 珍珠 zhenzhu) is actually the smaller black balls. It's more common to have these two options in Taiwan. Here in the states, they're basically synonymous for the bigger balls. And the "bubble" in bubble tea refers to the bubble that forms at the top of the cup after the tea is shaken up.