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Best Boba Tea Spots

Here are five of our favorite spots to find Taiwanese bubble tea.


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by Radhika Salkale

You used to have to go to Taiwan for bubble tea. But recently, bubble tea (or boba tea) shops have popped up all over the East Bay, serving milk teas, fruit smoothies, and ice-cream shakes with a wide straw so you can eat the chewy boba beads (tapioca balls or fruit jellies) that settle at the bottom. Here are five of our favorite spots.


 

Milk Tea Lab

Open until 2 a.m., this is a great study spot for thirsty students. The drinks are huge, and families will love the table and board games. Check out the periodic table of boba tea elements on one wall. Sip this: Classic milk tea with grass jelly. Pleasant Hill, (925) 349-4784.

 

Panache Caffé

This tiny locally owned coffee and tea joint boasts a large storefront window and outdoor patio, high-quality espresso, and delicious boba. (Tip: Add boba to the bottom of any iced latte for a next-level coffee experience.) Sip this: Mango green tea slush with boba. Lafayette, (925) 284-7232.

 

ShareTea

Whether you’re craving fruit tea, brewed tea, milk tea, or a blended drink, you can order it at Sharetea—one of the most popular boba tea venues worldwide—with boba pearls, mini pearls, pudding, aloe vera, and other fun and funky additions. Sip this: House-made taro with fresh milk and boba. Multiple East Bay locations, www.1992sharetea.com.

 

T4

This tea shop started in Taiwan, then opened locations around the world. The name is derived from a greeting: “A cup of tea for you.” Sip this: Jasmine green milk tea with lychee pearls. Multiple East Bay locations, t4.com.tw.

 

Westea

Known for its three adorable white Westie pups, this is the place to go for delicious fruit teas. Owner Stacy Huang makes her drinks with real fruit and honey. Add a scoop of ice cream for a treat. Sip this: Kiwi strawberry fruit tea with boba. Pleasanton, (925) 399-8565.

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