Thanks to Melanie Wong for spotting this new tea drink place in Palo Alto.
I didn't realise it was just a few doors down from the new coffee place Caffe Del Doge, which I wrote a review of this morning. Guess I drove by too fast in the morning :-).
So on my way home, I had my second caffeine fix this afternoon and dropped by Neotte to check it out. Hope I sleep fine tonight since coffee and tea on the same day can work wonders for insomnia ;-)
Neotte's decor is very nice, and almost passes for a sister shop of Caffe Del Doge, aka modernized and very westernized.
They have a variety of Chinese tea leaves (pretty much the ones mentioned on their website) and thus drink offerings (hot tea and tea in ice). I was thinking of trying their tea latte, since it was highlighted on their website, but when I saw Chinese characters and also a listing for HK style milk tea, I let my instincts get the better of me and decided to try this instead.
I spoke briefly with who I assume was the owner, who didn't speak Cantonese (though understood my order). He is actually from Taiwan, and I had asked about their teas and how long they have been open (not very long, about a month or less). All of their teas are from China, with the exception of one called BaoZhong which I think he said was a type of oolong.
My Hong Kong style milk tea was surprisingly good, though not cheap (the large size wasn't really large, and was $4.30+ after tax), which pretty much is double what HK style cafe restaurants charge. I could taste the quality of the tea, and despite seeing the tea barrista use the HK canned Carnation sweet milk, the mix was done nicely and had a good balance of tea and milk flavor. If there was a stronger hint of sweetener or sugar, it would have been rather perfect. The milk tea was not strong or dark, and did not have that herbal texture to it either like some restaurants do, but it was nice and smooth (and if you translate it into Cantonese, that is how HKer hounds describe really good HK milk tea).
Maybe this wasn't a good representation of what Neotte has to offer, so next week I'll try the tea latte and see how they do that one.
So now that part of University Ave just got more interesting....with a nice tea place and a nice coffee place almost next to one another.