Since moving to the Bay Area I have picked up a new addiction, Bubble Tea or Boba. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink that comes in so many different flavors and types, and pleases all of my taste buds! As I am a newbie to boba, there are still so many types and flavors that I need to try! However, I do want to share with you what I have tried and loved, as well as the drinks that didn’t quite turn out to be what I expected!
Quickly is one of the largest tapioca milk tea franchises in the world. Their drinks are fairly inexpensive, which gives them an advantage over the other two places I will mention, however, I am not convinced on the quality of the ingredients in their drinks. I have tried a some drinks that I have truly enjoyed from Quickly including 1) Plain Bubble Milk Tea, 2) Coffee Milk Tea, 3) Taro Milk Tea, and 4) Earl Grey Milk Tea. All of these are great on days that you are looking for a sweet treat- especially when you choose to drink them cold (versus hot) on warm sunny days! One thing that I learned a little too late is that you can actually ask for the tea to be less sweet- I would recommend this is you don’t enjoy super sweet beverages. Also, I order tapioca in my bubble tea, but I would love to branch out to other toppings in the future, any suggestions? One tea that I personally did not enjoy from Quickly was the Red Bean Milk Tea. I have tried red bean ice cream before and loved it, so I was excited to try this drink. Unfortunately, I was not a fan. This drink contains actual red beans, which, even with the tapioca, made it a texture experience that I just could not enjoy.
With two locations in San Francisco, this is a bubble tea place worth the hype! Boba Guys has top-notch boba- in my opinion at least! Popular drink choices include the Strawberry Matcha Latte (my fav!), Coffee Milk Tea, Horchata, and the Hong Kong Style Milk Tea. Boba Guys has a great selection and a variety of flavors- fewer options than Quickly, but more options than Plentea. Also, the employees that work here are quite knowledgeable about the teas and topping options that they serve. For this reason, I feel like the quality of the drinks is high. Drinks at Boba Guys range from $3.50-$5.00 depending on size and beverage.
This place is a fan favorite- always a line outside this shop! I definitely understand why. Besides epically yummy boba, Plentea serves their drinks in glass milk jug. If on a return visit you bring back your glass they will recycle it and give you a discount on your next drink. I love this concept! Not only is this more sustainable, but it also makes for super cute Instagram pictures. The drink pictured below is the Coffmilk Tea, which is the only drink I have tried from Plentea so far. However, some of their drinks that I am lusting after are their Nutella Milk Tea and their Almond Milk Tea. My husband went for the Matcha Milk Green Tea and loved it as well. The cost of the drinks at Plentea is comparable to Boba Guys with drinks ranging from $4.50-$5.50.
All boba teas win in my book! However, when it comes down to it for me, quality wins and I would prefer to pay more for a drink that I consider higher in quality. With that being said, I won’t turn down a chance to hit up Quickly on a warm afternoon either. I would love to hear any suggestions of bubble tea places in the Bay Area that I should check out!