Oliver Gallop, graphics editor
Boba or bubble tea, as some call it, has recently emerged as the beverage of choice for many people in Los Angeles and the rest of the United States. The tea-based drink, first created in Taiwan during the 1980’s, comes in many different flavors with an option for chewy tapioca pearls. Here are my four favorite boba spots, in no particular order:
1. Volcano Tea House
On Sawtelle Boulevard in the midst of Little Tokyo lies Volcano Tea. This small boba spot specializes in cold beverages. The most popular drink, the house milk tea, can be ordered with or without boba. There is even an option for normal sized or miniature tapioca pearls. The service is very good, and the drinks are usually ready in under a minute with their signature vacuum-sealed plastic top covering. The simplicity and deliciousness of the boba at Volcano Tea makes it a must drink. However, beware of the occasional long lines. Senior Ashley Geilim calls the milk tea “heaven in a cup.”
2. Aio Coffee
This lesser-known cafe is located in a bustling strip mall in Koreatown. Because of its location and atmosphere, it can be called one of the more traditional boba joints. The owner of AIO Cafe, who has been present every time I go, speaks minimal English but is very helpful and friendly. The most popular boba, the house milk tea, has the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. Senior Rachel Lee’s favorite drink at AIO cafe is the house milk tea.
“It is sweet, so sweet,” Lee said.
3. Boba Time
With three locations across Los Angeles, Boba Time is one of the more popular spots for boba. In addition to being popular, it is also the most modernized, progressive boba cafe on this list. The inside gleams with orange, yellow and green walls and structures. They have traditional boba, but set themselves apart from other boba places with smoothies, milk shakes, slushes and shaved ice, which have all become ve
ry popular menu items. Junior Joseph Choi cannot resist going to Boba Time when in Koreatown.
“I usually get a strawberry banana with boba or a cookies and cream shake with boba. In a sense its less traditional because it incorporates milkshakes and American drinks, but also has the asian vibe,” Choi said.
4. Urth Caffe
This restaurant/cafe can be found in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Downtown. They take a different approach to their boba than other more traditional Japanese or Korean cafes. Because they are known for their fine tea and organic coffee, Urth Caffe does not put all their effort into boba. For the popular drink, Urth Caffe either puts tea on ice or blends the tea, and then injects countless tapioca pearls. Although the boba here is relatively expensive, the unique take on the drink with blending and sheer size makes boba at Urth Caffe a solid investment. Sophomore Jackson Prince’s favorite drink at Urth Caffe is the Earl Grey boba.
“I like how close Urth Caffe is to everything, being on Beverly Drive, and the Earl Grey boba really hits,” Prince said.
Head over to any one of these delectable boba locations for variety in your quench-hunt.