If you’ve been frequenting the likes of Lollicup or Shau Mei or Tea Station for boba, chances are you’ve either forgotten what real boba tea should taste like, or you’ve never had it in the first place, says ipsedixit.

Thankfully, Tenju Tea House is here to show you the way. “Boba is NOT supposed to be tooth-achingly sweet,” says ipsedixit. “You should be able to taste tea, yes, tea. And the boba should be soft on the outside, but chewy (not rubbery) in the middle, with just a hint of tapioca. Most commercial, chain boba stores have these balls that are either mushy or distant cousins of jaw-breaker candies. Plus, their boba is made fresh, not scooped up from some bag distributed by the Asian equivalent of Sysco.”

There are plenty of choices of tea, of course—at least 25. The snacks also look and smell good, including popcorn chicken and a hot dog with cucumber.

Meanwhile, over at Boba Time the real find is Korean shave ice on the Westside, announces greengelato. There are three flavors—mixed fruit, mixed fruit deluxe, and mango—and green tea and coffee ice cream, plus generous amounts of toppings including sweet red beans and mochi. The shave ice goes for $5 to $6.

Tenju Tea House [San Gabriel Valley]
5817 Rosemead Boulevard, Temple City

Boba Time [West LA]
Corner of National and Sepulveda boulevards

Board Links: When serendipity knocks, TENJU TEA HOUSE answers
korean shaved ice in the westside!

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